Teaching and Learning in Nursing (2011) 6, 92–94
Tim J. Bristol PhD, RN, CNE
Creating video for nursing education
Creating videos for nursing courses can be a rewarding task that meets multiple needs in the process. We can have videos that engage the learners. They can be created for preclass listening and pretest studying by allowing students to view the material over and over. Videos can help faculty in multiple ways. If there is a difficult concept, a video about that concept becomes a tutor for the students. Video recordings help faculty build variety into their lesson plan. And finally, recording a video can help faculty focus the students' attention on what is truly important (Bristol & Zerwekh, 2011). Let us explore some ideas for planning the video, creating the video, presentations, and sharing.
1. Planning the video The plan for your video depends on the needs of your classroom. As a proponent for making the classroom experience interactive, I avoid spending excessive class time watching videos. Try to keep in-class video clips to 3– 5 minutes. Longer videos should be assigned for independent time out of class. If we are sharing a longer video (e.g., simulation, role-play, patient experience), I make sure the students have some type of evaluation (e.g., simulation performance evaluation, scoring guide) or reflection tool to help focus their attention. This tool can be completed during the video or as a group activity immediately following the video or be discussed online for homework. For more entertaining videos, demonstrate relevance to the students by either connecting the video to the learning objectives or letting the students know this is a “brain break” with no thinking required. There are a number of strategies for enhancing lecture with video. Try creating a fun video of you sharing a story. Although “you” are lecturing in class, the video of “you” can help maintain the students' attention with a little creativity (record the video in your living room, garden, or a local restaurant). Public service announcements (highlights for the next examination) make great commercials in class. Maybe you want to break up lecture by
showing a video of a person describing his or her experience with a nurse, hospital, or medication. For content-related videos, treat them similar to lectures in the beginning. After you master the art of the video lecture, then try spicing up the experience with advanced video editing and additional audio. Try to make the video no longer than 15– 20 minutes. If you have 50 minutes of content to cover, create three sections or chapters. Smaller video segments and clips help the student better manage the material (e.g., downloading, scheduling time to watch). This is also a benefit to the instructor if a revision is required because it is better to recreate a 20-minute video as compared with a 50-minute video. Another consideration in the planning phase is that you can share the video creation responsibility with students. At the beginning of the semester, assign groups of three to five students different chapters in the textbook. Their assignment is to create a 5-minute video of them presenting the three most important concepts from that chapter for the professional nurse. Then, they describe (one to two paragraphs) each concept with a few bullets. The videos are initially used as class openers or lecture breaks. The nice thing about these presentations being in video format is that everyone in class can access the videos at a later date (great study tools). You may also wish to add a little incentive. The team with the most creative video wins a pizza party with the professor.
2. Creating a video Video creation can be accomplished with a variety of tools. Here are some important concepts to keep in mind. First, you do not have to stress your budget. If you ask around, it is likely that someone at your school already has the tools you need to create videos. This includes webcams built into laptop computers or a camcorder that you can borrow from the library or maybe a colleague in a different department. You may also find that the cameras in the simulation laboratory area are available as well. If all else fails, purchasing a camera may be the next option. If the departmental budget is tight,
1557-3087/$ – see front matter © 2011 National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.teln.2011.02.001
Creating video for nursing education some faculty are able to use their professional development funds for purchasing this type of equipment. Many tools for video capture are found at the local department store. For most video capture projects in our classrooms, video recorders (flip or standard camcorders in the $100–$300 range) work just fine. Video recorder features to consider: • • • • • • • •
Computer compatibility (Windows Vista, 7; Mac OS) Batteries (rechargeable, AA batteries, USB charger) Storage (4 GB or removable SD cards) Memory type (flash memory is easiest to edit, convert, and transfer to the computer) Resolution (high definition is fine but not a must, 2.1 MP or higher) Zoom (not a key concern) Audio recording (two channel or stereo) Refurbished (sometimes is outdated equipment that is not that big of a savings).
Some video can also be captured with a webcam. Webcams are not as flexible as camcorders because they are attached directly to a computer. However, for recording at the computer (e.g., video lecture, Web conferencing), the webcams in the $50–$100 range work well. Webcam features to consider: • Computer compatibility (Windows Vista, 7: Mac OS) • Resolution (high definition is fine but not a must/960, 1,280, 2.0 MP) • Audio (you will want a built-in microphone).
Once you have your equipment in place, familiarize yourself with the camera. Next, explore the editing software (if used) and any distribution or sharing software that will be needed. Distribution software can include programs like Youtube, your course management system (e.g., eCollege, Blackboard), and even software to burn the video to a CD or DVD. Consider practicing with a few small clips before creating the initial video for use with students. Once the small clip is recorded, practice copying to the computer and then upload for student viewing. Try viewing the video on a few different computers on campus to ensure compatibility while noting audio quality, download speed, and clarity. If you plan to show the video in class, trial the video on that classroom computer and projector, again noting video clarity and audio quality. It is often best to have a member of your instructional technology team work with you on this process. After you are sure the equipment is set, focus on developing the content outline for the video. For a short 3to 5-minute video, a verbatim script is not usually that difficult to create and edit. For a 20-minute video on specific content, writing a word-for-word script can be very time consuming and often is not any more effective than talking as if you were having a conversation with the viewer (i.e., keep it real). Some instructors will create a PowerPoint and print the slides to keep in front of them as they record. Other
93 instructors will put a picture of a group of students near the camera so they have faces to look at as they talk. Before the recording starts, be aware of your attire and surroundings. What will the students see behind you (picture on the wall, books, window)? Hang a “do not disturb—class in session” sign on the door. Silence all phones, fax machines, PDAs, pets, small children, and significant others if applicable. This may require relocating the noise makers to another part of the building. As you talk, try to remember to keep it animated. If you tend to use a lot of hand motions in class, back up from the camera so students can see your true personality. Talk clearly, slowly, and slightly louder than normal. It is much easier for the students to turn your audio down than to struggle with audio that is too quiet. Change the tone of your voice and your facial expressions often as this also engages the viewer. Most importantly, remember that your delivery will get better with each video production. Another way to create a video is directly in a software program. This may be a presentation with PowerPoint slides only mixed with audio. Maybe it is a video of the faculty member working with certain software needed by the student (e.g., eBooks, electronic medical record, simulation software). This software will capture everything that happens on the screen to include video, audio from a microphone, and even clicks made by the mouse. One of the easier ways to capture this is with a webinar software such as Adobe Connect or Elluminate. These programs will record the interactions in the software and provide for easy sharing of that recording. Another type of software is referred to as screencasting software. Two of the more popular screencasters are Camstudio.org (free) and Screentoaster.com. Editing the video can be quite complex, fairly simple, or not used at all. Most camera devices come with a simple editing software. This is often sufficient. Windows PC computers usually have built-in Windows Live Movie Maker software, whereas Apple computers come with iMovie for video editing. Some webinar programs, such as Adobe Connect, have the ability to record all that happens (e.g., video, audio, PowerPoint, chat) during a webinar. This recording is edited directly in the Adobe Connect software, and an FLV file can be downloaded. In the early stages of video creation, consider keeping the editing to a minimum. Video conversion software can also help in the editing process. This software transforms video files from one type to another. One popular free converter is Zamzar.com. This tool will turn your FLV video file type to an AVI or MOV format. This particular conversion is important because PowerPoint will not work with FLV file types. Conversely, if you have a WMV video file type, you cannot incorporate that into an Adobe Captivate presentation so you will need to convert it to an FLV format. As for closed captioning and audio transcripts, they are not always necessary. Check with your student success department or contact a learning disability specialist at the local university or technical college. They can give you
94 information on requirements for students who have special learning needs. You may also inquire about special software or Web sites (Youtube.com) that will help you transcribe the video. Creating a video can be a lot of fun. Be sure that all participants in the video have signed a release (most schools already have this form). In addition, avoid using patients of any type. As for the audio for the video, your voice is a great way to go. When using prerecorded audio and video, it is best to check with your school librarian as to the copyright and fair use laws. With some sharing sites (Youtube), the audio is scrutinized for possible copyright infringement. If a song from a popular band is playing in the background, the audio may be removed from the video. Students should be made aware of these policies and laws if they are creating videos for class. Many nursing programs have policies related to this in the departmental handbook.
3. Video in Presentations Combining video with presentations can happen in multiple ways. The easiest and most flexible strategies are uploading the video to the Internet (or your campus server) and creating a hyperlink. You will need the URL (Web address) for the video. In PowerPoint, you can simply paste that URL on to the slide or you can highlight a word, rightclick on the word, and choose the hyperlink option. Then, the person using that PowerPoint (faculty in class, student at home) can click directly on the link and view the video. In Adobe Captivate, you can hyperlink to a video online by inserting a click box and choosing the open URL option. As with all technology, it is advised to test-drive the presentation and video before the students arrive. Hyperlinking to a video can also happen if the video file is on the same computer. However, it should be noted that PowerPoint and Adobe Captivate will sometimes “forget” the video location. This means that when you click on the hyperlink during the presentation, you will receive a “file not found” error. To minimize this risk, create the presentation on a USB flash drive, have a copy of the video residing on the same flash drive, then link the video to the presentation. Ensure that these two files always reside on the flash drive together. It should be noted that this will not work if the PowerPoint is loaded to the Internet for students to explore from home. Another strategy is to insert the video into the presentation. In PowerPoint, this means that the video will appear on part of the slide. With hyperlinking (as is described above), the video opens outside of the presentation. When the video opens in PowerPoint, the presentation looks more professional. However, it should be noted that this strategy does not work well unless both files reside on the same device (e.g., USB flash drive). In Adobe Captivate, an FLV video file type can be embedded in the presentation. If the presentation is
T.J. Bristol published to an SWF format, the video will be a clickable feature for the viewer. The SWF file will work on most up-to-date computers.
4. Sharing the Video Once you have created the video, you may choose to share it with others. One of the simpler ways to share a video is to upload it into Youtube or Facebook. These online sharing Web sites manage video very well. The students can easily download the video, and faculty can easily share a Web link to the video. Downloading the video is usually smooth unless the Internet connection is very slow. In the case of a slow Internet connection, the video link can be clicked on and then leave the Web browser window open. Come back in a few minutes and play the video. Faculty can also talk to their in-house technical support department. It is important to understand the limitations of uploading a video to a course management system such as eCollege or Blackboard. There may be restrictions on file size and type. The technical support department may have server space that would be ideal for uploading and storing video and may also be able to help with sharing strategies that protect the video content. Finally, if a poor Internet connection is a major concern, CDs and DVDs can be burned to share with the students. These are inexpensive and do not require the Internet for viewing. It should be noted that when a CD or DVD is created, create only data files. Do not create a media disc that can be played in a DVD player. The reason for avoiding the media disc is that some students will have equipment that cannot play the disc. Whereas, if the disc is a data disc, all computers will be able to play the disc with ease.
5. Getting Help This brief discussion does not have all the information needed to handle all issues that could arise when creating and sharing a video. Therefore, faculty should consider partnering with another faculty member to share ideas and strategize. Faculty can support each other and learn at the same time. Faculty should also not hesitate to search for video creation tips in Youtube. Many people develop videos that not only explain but also show how to successfully manage the processes described above. Another great partner can be found in your students. Students often create video for nonacademic purposes. Often, these individuals welcome the opportunity to help you in this journey.
Reference Bristol, T., & Zerwekh, J (2011). Essentials of e-learning for nurse educators. Philadelphia, PA: FA Davis.