Monthly Archives: April 2016

An update on using videos in the language classroom

Not distracting vs. Distracting classroom behavior
Not distracting vs. Distracting classroom behavior

I originally wrote about my use of videos in my language classroom teaching here. However, with a new semester came a new challenge. With last year’s first year students, I was sharing personal stories based on Tim Murphey’s split storytelling technique. As these are Pharmaceutical Science students, from this year I wanted to go from more general interest stories to projects that were more science-based, continuing to use the principles of dividing the stories into two parts, but basing those stories on published scientific research reports. Ultimately I’m hoping to have students select their own articles to turn into video projects, but as it’s only the third week of the semester, we’re still at the beginning stages of this process. The first project I had them do was based on a research article that I selected and explained in class, then asked them to adapt into a video. I quickly realized that much scientific research can be divided into a setup of the methods of the research and an explanation of possible outcomes as part 1, and that students can suggest their own hypotheses regarding what they think the results will be. Then in part 2 I can explain the actual results of the research and students can see whether their predictions came true or not.

Well, the groups I assigned finished their part 1 videos in class today, based on Sana, Weston, and Cepeda’s article titled ‘Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers’. I would explain the research, but I was astounded at the excellent job one of the groups of students did summarizing the gist of the research as I explained it to them, and so I’ll let them do the rest of the talking for me:

I’m really looking forward to seeing how the remainder of the semester turns out regarding this teaching experiment.

What’s your opinion of my students’ video? Do you have any suggestions for further improving the activity? Feel free to share your ideas and reactions in the comments.