Learning to Produce & Integrate Presentations, Videos & Stills

DR. BARBARA A. ROSS Assistant Professor School of Nursing Ball State University Muncie, Ind. SARAH J. BECKMAN and LINDA H. MEYER Associate Professors Department of Nursing Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, Ind. The rapidly changing use of technology, both in education and in many other professions, requires educators to implement new teaching strategies into the curricula. Incorporating instructional strategies that offer multi-sensory and multimedia stimuli complements a variety of learning styles. Educators can no longer expect all students to learn in the same manner, nor in the same time interval. Innovative teaching, shifting from passive lecture or textbook presentations to the use of educational technology, can incorporate active learning with learner-controlled pacing. The focus of this article is on three different types of media-full-motion video, still-store images and computer-mediated presentations-and three different points of view. The first is the view of the professor who developed a course in Advanced Teaching Strategies for nursing faculty. The second is the perspective of faculty who took the course to increase and improve their use of technologies in the classroom. And the third view is that of students who were taught with some of the new strategies and skills learned by faculty. Advanced Teaching Strategies Course A faculty development course in Advanced Teaching Strategies was designed in 1994 for faculty teaching at post-secondary levels. Although requested by doctoral students, it was planned so that individuals teaching in non-college settings could be included. The class was intended to afford participants the opportunity to explore, select and apply a variety of teaching strategies. The emphasis was on incorporating various educational technologies and methods to promote student learning. Initially, participants were asked to analyze their personal teaching skills, abilities, methods and strategies in relation to adult-education methodology and the promotion of critical thinking. This became the basis for them to move forward to design and develop two different educational projects. Students had full use of faculty development resources in addition to the resources available to graduate students. These included computer labs, university media services, equipment check-out, instructional designers, videography instruction and consultations with the two faculty. The class was organized to make maximum use of students' time, since many did not live near the university. The course was offered during the summer and met five hours per day, twice a week, for the first two weeks. Participants then had seven weeks in which to develop their projects. One of the projects could be to complete a Teaching Portfolio. As part of the course, each student was required to compile a journal in a three-ring binder, organized as a personal reference (see Figure 1: Journal). Demonstrations and group discussions, led by the two faculty members conducting the course, took place during the first two weeks of class (see Figure 2: Demos & Discussions). A dozen different projects were suggested (see Figure 3: Projects); however, students were not limited to those suggestions. Some students joined the class in anticipation of learning how to use specific technology. For instance, one pair of students, who taught together, developed an entire course for teaching geriatric assessment. Another student chose to develop a Teaching Portfolio. In this portfolio, she evaluated herself in relation to her course development, syllabi, student evaluations and research activities. She used these evaluations to plan specific improvements in selected areas of her educational activities. Several other students worked together to create a module for psychomotor skill performance. A module to assist students in learning sterile techniques, for example, had equipment, handouts, displays and directions. Three of the more advanced projects are discussed further in this article. One was a full-motion video production; another combined still-store images and full-motion video; and the last was a computer-mediated presentation using an LCD panel. The final "exam" for the course consisted of a professional presentation by each student to the entire group on their particular projects. Technique: Using Full-Motion Video One of the projects presented to the class was a full-motion video showing the steps community health nursing students should take in making a home visit. It was produced because commercially available videos were too long for classroom use. The first step was for the teacher to select the content and the videographer to decide on equipment and location. Together they chose three "actors" and laid out their roles for filming. The location was the kitchen and dining area of one of the participant's homes. The actors were the videographer's grandmother, playing the patient; a colleague, playing her son; and a student nurse, playing the visiting nurse. The "script" consisted of a logical series of steps, each either a separate scene or one that led directly to the next. The initial steps were as follows: (1) Nurse walks up to the door (shoot from outside), (2) Is greeted by the son and walks inside (rest of the shooting is inside); (3) They converse as they walk into the dining area. (4) Nurse greets patient who is sitting at the table in a wheelchair. ... No attempt was made to write dialogue for these amateur actors. They "rehearsed" each section as they went along and their conversations flowed naturally from what they were doing. Filming was completed in one afternoon with minimal equipment. A real sense of accomplishment came from developing an appropriate, educational project in a manner that was easy and inexpensive. The resulting video, when edited by university media services, was eight minutes long, compared to the commercial ones that average about half an hour. Furthermore, the video is course- and content-specific. Combining Still- and Full-Motion Video Single photographic images, from either traditional 35mm slides or still-store images on floppy disk, can also be used to make videotapes. In nursing, as in many other disciplines, students must often learn a procedure as a series of inter-related steps. One video developed as a project in this class showed how to administer intravenous fluids and medications to infants and children. The principles of fluid administration to infants and children are the same as those for adults; however, because of greater concerns with fluid balance in youngsters, some of the equipment differs from that used for adults. After viewing this video, students are able to identify the various intravenous equipment needed and to describe the proper techniques to assemble the equipment as demonstrated in the video. A script was written identifying specific equipment needed and the sequence in which it was to be photographed. In addition, the script included step-by-step instructions demonstrating the required psychomotor skills. A narration script was included. A still-store video camera (Canon XapShot) was used to take pictures of the specific pieces of equipment. Still-store images, similar to slides, are particularly well suited when animation is not required. This camera automatically focused and allowed shots at close range for a clear identification of the items. Up to 50 images could be stored on a 2.5" reusable floppy disk. Further, the images on the disk could be shown directly on a television screen (by connecting it to the camera), transferred to videotape or processed as photographs. Full-motion video was utilized to demonstrate the psychomotor skills required to assemble the intravenous equipment. Assistance was solicited from a hospital's audiovisual department, which provided a motion-video camcorder. A pediatric staff nurse, who works in this hospital, was recorded as she demonstrated the specific sequential skills. After the visuals, the narrative voiceover was done. Finally, the still-store images, full-motion video and recorded narration were merged onto one videotape using a Video Toaster. Text, graphics and music were "toasted" into the final product by the university's media department. This video is now presented to students in their first week of pediatric clinical experience. Additional copies are accessible to students in the nursing laboratory and in the pediatric unit at their clinical site. At their convenience, students may review the tape. The video provides accurate and consistent information while freeing instructors from repetitive demonstrations. Visual and auditory learning styles were considered and principles of multi-sensory stimulation are evident. The video provides colorful and graphic visualizations of the equipment along with narration explaining each step. Following viewing, students can practice assembling the equipment. Computer-Mediated Presentations Several students chose to do a different, more advanced project. They chose a computer-mediated presentation, similar to a slide presentation, using Persuasion presentation software; other, similar programs exist as well. While the learning curve for simple presentations is about 30 hours, if working alone with only a manual, this is shortened dramatically if one is familiar with similar software or assisted by someone. The university's faculty development lab has student lab technicians to help. The lab's high-density scanner was available to scan pictures and graphics into a computer. Scanning pictures can take up to 15 minutes; importing clip art graphics can be done in just a few seconds. The advantage of using photos, however, is that they convey more clearly the speaker's personalized message compared to general clip art. The first step was to prepare a detailed content outline, which included text, pictures and graphics. Then, two, six-hour time periods were spent with lab technicians preparing approximately 36 "slides" or screens, which were stored on the hard drive. Photographic slides, color transparencies and/or handouts can be produced from these stored images. The finished presentation and runtime version were copied onto a 3.5" diskette. (A runtime version allows a presentation to be run on another computer without the application being present, but revisions cannot be made.) For their final presentation, the students emphasized the technologies, rather than specific content. They used a computer, a color LCD panel and a high-density overhead projector to display their computer-mediated presentations; they could also have connected the computer directly to a large-screen monitor. Immediate feedback from peers and faculty was very positive. They were enthusiastic about the technology and its potential for grabbing and holding an audience's attention. A significant advantage to computer-mediated "slides" is how they can be revised or updated by changing the outline of the program. Background color and designs are changed by a mere menu selection. This allows for creativity in exploring which colors and template designs would be most effective in presenting content. Plus revising or producing additional "slides" has a quick turnaround time in comparison to the traditional process. Active participation by an audience is facilitated by discussion as slides are advanced. Applying Learned Skills to Teaching Evidence of successful outcomes in this graduate course is found by examining how these graduate students integrated into their own teaching what they had produced and learned. For example, one graduate student's subsequent integration of a full-motion and still-store video and a computer-mediated presentation are critiqued in the following section. Teaching strategies used with the undergraduate students were similar to those demonstrated in the graduate course. A video and a computer presentation were produced for a junior-level university nursing course. These two audio-visual aids were used the following semester, along with two additional computer-generated lectures. These four presentations were complemented by two guest lectures given by a librarian and a computer lab coordinator. All six presentations utilized and demonstrated educational technologies, emphasizing the hardware, software and human resources available to students. Students in the university course were encouraged to work together as a means of promoting collaborative learning. They were invited to return to the computer lab or library for assistance in completing class projects. The outcome measures for the two class projects were: an online database search on a selected topic, a computer-generated transparency to be used in a classroom presentation, and all papers were to be done on a word processor. A classroom assessment activity focusing on the use of educational technologies was conducted the last day. A tool, "Student Evaluation of Use of Computer Technology in the Classroom," written for the "Cola Notebook Computer Project" at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, was used to solicit feedback. Student responses indicated appropriate and effective use of computer technologies in the classroom. One interesting note: 11% of the students commented that computer presentations were used in every class when, in fact, only five lectures actively used the computer while another merely showed a videotape that had required computer technologies to create. Yet 68% indicated this as "frequent" use. Perhaps, since many students often used a computer to complete their class projects, that time spent may have contributed to this response. Figure 4 shows what students really thought. In the Likert-type scale, with 5 being the most positive, all responses ranged from 4.61 to 4.18. These findings support use of computer technologies in classrooms. Summary of Benefits Several benefits come to instructors who develop audio-visual teaching aids using educational technologies. Perhaps the greatest is that such aids can be course-specific. Others include presenting material in a timely manner and making presentations more interesting. Content can also easily be revised or updated. Psychomotor skills can be taught via video instead of requiring repeated live demos by one or more teachers. Initial costs can be very low if the equipment and/or software is already available. If it is necessary to buy everything new, costs can be spread among many faculty who would use the equipment for a variety of courses. Specific benefits to students also exist. Most have grown up watching innumerable hours of television and are very visual learners. Videos build on this background. Students can also watch a video for review and practice sessions. A video assures more consistent, reliable and valid information for all students. Computer-generated presentations not only capture students' attention, but may also demonstrate a new medium for them to learn and use as well. It is in the best interest of teachers and students that faculty be encouraged to develop technological teaching aids. Role modeling by graduate and undergraduate faculty is vital. Just as important is requiring students to learn the skills demonstrated. Finally, classroom assessments need to be continued to determine the effectiveness of educational technologies in the classroom. Barbara Ross, an R.N., has a masters in nursing and a doctorate in education. Currently doing collaborative teaching at Ball State University in graduate and post-graduate work on topics including computer integration in the classroom, she developed the Advanced Teaching Strategies discussed in the article. Ross has given presentations at the International Conference on Technology and Education (ICTE) in London, 1994 and Florida, 1995. E-mail: 01BARoss@BSU.edu Sarah Beckman, an R.N., has a masters in nursing administration and given multiple presentations and papers on technology in teaching, nursing theories and assessment, including ICTE in 1994 and 1995. E-mail: beckmans@smtplink.ipfw.indiana.edu Linda Meyer, an R.N., has a masters in nursing and is a doctoral student at Ball State University. Her research in progress is on implementing computer integration in nursing curriculums and evaluating students' learning with computer applications. E-mail: meyer@smtplink.ipfw.indiana.edu Products mentioned: Aldus Persuasion; Aldus now owned by Adobe Systems, Inc., Mountain View, CA, (800) 833-6687 XapShot still-store camera was replaced by the RC-360 and RC-570 Imaging Kits; Canon, Visual Communications Systems, Lake Success, NY, (800) 221-3333, ext. 313 Video Toaster; NewTek, Inc., Topeka, KS, (800) 847-6111

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/1995 issue of THE Journal.

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