Pedagogy makes the difference

Pedagogy makes the difference

There are lots of considerations when working on camera, but it is best to start simple and
focus on the big 5.

Correct Framing:
This is where you position images and people on the screen. You need to make sure the screen is balanced both horizontally and vertically This means not having too much space above the top of your head or to the left or right of your image. For example, do not be half out of frame.

Close up:
Students must be able to see your eyes and facial expressions. It is important to feel comfortable on camera, but it is not about you, it is about the students

Eye Contact:
It is vital the student feels you are looking at them, to do this you must be looking at the camera to give the impression of eye contact.

Visual Variation:
If possible, move from PowerPoint’s to a whiteboard or to another video feed to give some visual variation to the students. Keep coming back to you. If it is a straight video link vary the camera angles if possible, if not, lean towards the camera every now again.

Audio:
Our brains are very sophisticated and compensate very well for poor visual messages but cannot do as well with poor audio messages. The audio must be clear and in sync with the vision, although this later point is usually determined by the software. Ensure your voice is clear. Vary the pace of your speech and volume for emphasis.

Younger students love seeing themselves and their classmates on the screen. Where possible put live images or at least still images of students on the screen when they are talking. Middle years students are more conscious of seeing themselves on screen but love seeing their classmates, making it tricky. They generally will make far greater use of text chat facilities if they are available. Older students are more relaxed and are generally happy to be on screen and are keen to be involved in student-based discussions.

By William Newman PhD, Alice Springs School of the Air