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Teaching Excellence and Panopto, Part 1

This is Part 1 of a two-part blog post.

A group of 30 professors from Universitaria Minuto de Dios Uniminuto (Uniminuto) in Bogota, Colombia, recently participated in an intensive weeklong Teaching Excellence workshop, led by iCarnegie Global Learning’s academic experts and bestselling authors Dr. Michael Bridges and Dr. Marie Norman.

Dr. Bridges, Director for Educational Excellence, shares how Panopto’s lecture capture technology is playing a major role in the delivery, evaluation and impact of the program.

Tell us a little about Teaching Excellence.

The Teaching Excellence Program is one of iCarnegie’s core product offerings, and it’s a powerful concept – enhancing the teaching skills of professors – that’s gaining traction around the world. Many world-class universities are now leveraging the research from the learning sciences to support their faculty in the classroom to improve the quality of teaching.

While at Carnegie Mellon University’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Dr. Norman and I reviewed and synthesized a lot of this research, which we compiled into a book with several other coauthors, titled How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. We are thrilled to be taking this research ‘on the road,’ showing faculty members in places like Colombia, India and Qatar how they can transform the educational experiences of their students. In that, it’s our job to introduce core concepts, including course design fundamentals and the seven principles of learning, which will make them more effective teachers.

What made you decide to use Panopto?

Video recording is one of the most potent pieces of feedback you can receive, in learning anything—including how to teach. Panopto enables us to have a 360-degree view of what’s going on with regard to any difficulties with the material presented, or the style of the presenter. We loved that we could record using multiple cameras, to capture both the audience and either one of us at the head of the classroom. Dr. Norman and I also embedded a lot of rich media, including video files and high-res images, into the PowerPoint that accompanied our presentation. It’s all there, accessible anytime: our material, our audio and video presentation, and our audience’s reactions to everything.

So this is much more than just lecture capture…

Absolutely. For us, assessing our own effectiveness as educators is critical. And we can get feedback from participants, be it face-to-face, written, or anonymous, but going in and being able to view our delivery is perhaps the most valuable source of feedback, because it’s less biased and it helps us to really reflect on and evaluate the program in its totality. It’s helping us to develop a world-class program that very few institutions (if any) have to date.

What’s it like for professors to critique themselves?

It’s very helpful to revisit those experiences – as in, “let’s watch this three minute clip of you actually leading the instruction process” – in order to develop your skills as an educator. Professors will have their own initial memory as a recipient of a lecture, but the video recording allows them to gain a new perspective, stepping back to view and evaluate how they as presenters came across. To provide them with this ability to observe and self-reflect is an important tool in faculty development.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Published: September 11, 2012