Universities have been using audio-visual materials in teaching for quite some time. For institutions like the Open University this is part of their working practice and contributes to their distance learning ethos.
Most universities in the UK tend not to produce – at least professionally – audio-visual materials as part of regular teaching activities. Although lecture capture has been embedded in many universities recently, and some have adopted it more cautiously, the idea of building high quality materials into the teaching offer tends to be connected to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) rather than part of the everyday workflow of academics. There are good reasons for that. Most academics are not, at the same time, skilled cinematographers and sound engineers. But when there are technologies that make some of the quality more accessible to those without the professional background, and there is access to facilities, can it support teaching?
This month I am testing out our university’s Media Suite, which is specifically designed for work in the arts and humanities. I want to see if quality of production can help in the quality of learning for our staff and students. I also want to know if I can build this into my teaching workflow, without undue disruption. There is always a learning curve, but can it support our work in the long run? I am keen to find out.