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Distance Education at Corvinus, Part 2: Video streaming

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

An original KÖZGAZDÁSZ ONLINE post.

The Coronavirus pandemic forced the universities to close their doors, but teaching continued online on the 23rd of March. The related methodology was devised during the early spring break. What is distance education like at Corvinus? What can the students expect? This series of articles makes an attempt to answer these questions.

How does distance learning work? The Teacher Training and Digital Learning Centre of Corvinus University of Budapest devised three solution paths during the early spring break. Our previous article was about the individual learning method. Now let’s take a closer look at video streaming.

Using video streaming teachers use their own digital devices to stream video and audio materials and share sound or their screens. Classes may be synchronous and asynchronous as well. Synchronous classes are being streamed real-time at the time slot in the timetable, while asynchronous classes are uploaded in a pre-recorded format and can be viewed at any time.

In the case of popular, top priority lectures the university will assign staff for professional photography shooting tasks, but these days it should be no special challenge to shoot satisfactory footage using a simple smart phone or a webcam. But what is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous classes?

Synchronous classes

The lecture is broadcast live, and the teacher may as well be sitting in front of their own screen. The students may see the teacher and the presentation, depending on technology, and may ask questions (even using moderation). The event can be recorded, creating an asynchronous lecture this way (this is to be detailed in the next part).

The prerequisite for this method is a webcam or any other device suitable for voice recording, even a regular laptop with a built-in webcam may suffice. In cases of top priority lectures specialist staff might help with the recording, however, in the present health hazard, to minimize social contact, this is not preferred.

The good thing about this technique is that with a laptop the recording is relatively easy to make, and the lecture is the same as it would be in the case of the regular course that the teacher has been planning – this meaning less preparation time. On the other hand, it is less motivating for the students and may be boring without much interaction, plus the lecture itself may be dragging on.

Asynchronous classes

These classes may be viewed later on, in a pre-recorded format. The recording may take place at the time of live streaming, in the presence of a real audience. In this case the interactions, for example Q&A sessions can be recorded as well.

Technology-wise, this lecture can be presented in a “talking head” format, or, projecting a ppt along with narration at the same time. Besides these, many video graphics applications are available free of charge which allow you to create interesting and colorful videos, but this requires some extra effort.

The advantage is that the original lecture plan may be used and, contrary to synchronized lectures, can be edited, which is advisable, to remove the less interesting parts and longer pauses. This makes the lecture shorter and more digestible for students. The disadvantage is that this method is less motivating, with the students being in a passive role and not able to ask questions.

In summary, video streaming has both advantages and disadvantages. First and foremost, as opposed to individual learning facilitation techniques, these lectures can be used in their original format, as they were planned, so this needs no extra work. At the same time, it is less fun and not motivating enough for students, and the lecture may end up being too long. As it is a good idea to combine the different tools, individual or group tasks may accompany the video streaming sessions, for example using the video session to prepare students for the tasks.

The next parts of our article series will introduce the methodology of video streaming, together with suggestions, like here. The third part will be about the e-learning tools and further useful materials.

The professional material was compiled by the Teacher Training and Digital Learning Centre , namely Éva Bodnár, Olga Csillik, Magdolna Daruka, Judit Sass, Lídia Fekete Vinczéné, Krisztián Pálvölgyi, Zsolt Orbán and Péter Balkányi.

Photos: Shutterstock

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