At our last user group meeting for the Spring semester, we saw presentations on two incredible platforms that harness the power of video learning and seek to improve the way it is used in the classroom. Our first presentation was given by Renee Bruner from Zaption, a website that gives instructors tools to enhance online videos with interactive components. Following that, Heather Askildsen from ITS presented Lynda.com, a website with hundreds of quality video lessons on subjects ranging from Software Development to 3D Animation.
Zaption offers instructors tools to enhance video learning with educational videos that may be found on YouTube, vimeo, or other similar platforms. Instructors are able to create tours which can combine multiple videos and pictures together in a single lesson. Tours can have additional interactive elements added like multiple choice, free response questions, or a discussion board. Some of these interactive elements are self-grading and Zaption’s Analytic Center can feed grades into Blackboard and other Learning Management Systems. Instructors have control over the way the content is presented to students and they are able to trim clips, pause videos, and enhance content. For example, an instructor could pause a video that is displayed to include a definition.
It is free to sign up for a Zaption account, but it includes access only to basic features among other limitations. A paid premium account can unlock more advanced features. For more information on Zaption, you can check out their website, or consult this video for a more thorough overview. If you are interested in using Zaption, please let us know by leaving a comment on this post.
Moving on to Lynda.com, this is an incredible platform that everyone at Pace should check out when they have the opportunity. Lynda.com was created by a teacher by the name of Lynda who believes that it is essential to provide high quality video lessons to industry professionals and students in this rapidly changing digital age. All of the videos are organized into fully searchable courses, so users have the option of working their way through an entire course on a unfamiliar subject or just watching a single video on an aspect of a program with which they are unfamiliar. Lynda.com even offers video tutorials on advanced Instructor features in Blackboard. These videos and courses are available through both the website and the companion mobile app.
Unlike Zaption, Lynda.com only offers paid accounts, however it is available through ITS for free to anyone (faculty, staff, and students) with valid Pace credentials. You can access Lynda.com using your Pace username and password at this link. More information on Lynda.com mobile access and classroom uses can be found on this ITS page. You can also check out and browse the courses that they have available by checking out their website. If you use Lynda.com, we encourage you to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.