Using video to address an immediate research need

This is a video that I put together last week to address a complaint that a faculty member had with her students’ research. The students were finding one particular resource and overusing and over-citing it in their projects. To address her concern, I put together this video and posted it all over my Business Blog, Biz Wiki, and I even listed it in the course management system. I could tell via my blog hits and the stats on Blip.TV that the video was viewed by quite a few students after they got the message through the class email system. (I’m embedding YouTube here to avoid confusing the hit count, but I generally use Blip.TV as my primary method of distributing video.)

The video only took me about 30 minutes to put together, using my Flip Mino camera and Camstudio to record the screen. I wrote the script out the night before on the back of an envelope while waiting for a pizza to cook in the oven. The script was basically just an outline that explained what I wanted to talk about and in what order. The entire video is just 3 separate clips, all shot with one take for each clip. I trimmed and joined the 3 clips in Windows Movie Maker. The entire project was done before a 9 a.m., including uploading, encoding, and distributing to Blip.TV. I deleted junk email and made coffee while the video rendered on my computer, so I was able to do other things while working on the project. The video is not perfect, but I don’t think it has to be to get the job done. I also think the video is a bit more persuasive than if I had just sent all of the students an email.

What are your thoughts? Are you using video in a really cool way? I’d love to learn what others are doing.

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2 Responses to Using video to address an immediate research need

  1. I’ve been using Screenjelly to make quick and dirty screencasts in response to reference questions, especially those I get via email or the phone from faculty members. I’m finding that doing a short video demonstrating how to set up a complex search in database (or an easy search in a database that’s got a tricky interface) is easier to do than laboriously typing out instructions in an email.

  2. Chad says:

    @Stephen Francoeur
    Very cool, Stephen. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been using screencasts to record answers to questions that I get a lot, so in an IM or email I can simply paste the link to the patron. Saves a lot of time and effort, not to mention it cuts down on the carpal tunnel.