Brief one-topic video clips add flexibility not only to studies, but also to the teacher’s work. At best, they make studying easier, improve the quality of the course material and allow the teacher to focus on guidance.

Students of information technology at the Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius are working adults. Their participation in the education programme is enabled by the flexible methods of studying, so all lectures have for long been recorded and offered to students not only in the form of contact teaching, but also as videos that can be streamed live or watched later. Students have been able to select their method of participation according to their schedules and preferences.

By studying the learning results, it seems that students whose studies have mainly been based on videos of lectures have performed as well as, if not better than, students engaged in contact teaching as a result of their higher level of participation. Over the past two years, students have almost completely started to use only the videos of lectures.

Video lectures were for long produced on the terms of contact teaching, even though students no longer participated in it. The videos were as long as conventional lectures and they contained as many topics as could be fitted into a single lecture. In addition, they were recorded in a lecture hall at the appointed time.

Later, the provision of contact teaching was questioned and there was an idea to produce videos to support remote studies. Since the autumn of 2018, the course has been carried out in a complete new way. There are practically no contact teaching lectures. Video material consists of short video clips, each of which consists of a single topic related to the course content.

The teacher can save the videos anywhere and anytime. The videos are produced using a specifically designed application, allowing the teachers to shoot the videos with their computer, for example, in the office or during a business trip. In addition to the video material, the course makes use of the opportunities of an online learning platform. Brief one-topic videos are offered to students via a user interface which resembles the course’s table of contents. The videos are distributed automatically without any actions required from the teacher. Using the application, the teacher can also easily produce introductions and summaries related to the course or, for example, instructions for exercises or example responses.

The short thematic videos and the new navigation method help students to easily find specific course content and get an overview of the entire course. It is easier to divide studies into separate periods and return to previous studies.

From the teacher’s point of view, the scheduling of courses is now much more flexible. The video material can be produced before the course, allowing the teacher to focus on guiding their students. It is also easier to prepare for courses, as they can be divided into smaller parts compared with whole lectures. Teaching is more closely considered and, therefore, its quality is higher. Brief videos can easily be linked to other course content and, for example, to exercises and additional material.

A research group led by Ismo Hakala at the Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius develops and assesses new methods in producing and using video material in teaching.

Mikko Myllymäki, PhD, project researcher, Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius

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