Going Asynchronous: Recording a Final Exam Review

This winter, we had more winter storms than usual and consequently, some schools closed. Now that the spring is here and the end of the semester is upon us, those same schools have added days to make up for those closings.

At Fordham, my New Media class was cancelled twice due to the snow storms, and the college added a makeup day. However, as I am a part-time instructor, I have other jobs, and I am not able to miss a shift, where I do get paid, for a make-up class, where I don’t get compensated.

Even with the winter storm closings, we had covered all of the material I planned to cover. As a final class, I recorded a Final Review where I summarized the material for our final exam. I shot the video using a Canon EOS M, a portable mirrorless SLR-quality camera, with a 22-mm f/2 pancake lens. I used a small Slik tabletop tripod, similar to this one to stablize the camera on an adjacent desk. Since I don’t have a shotgun mic so I used the built-in microphone, which is why the sound quality is sub-optimal.

The final review was simple: I summarized all of the readings and material we covered in the second half of the course. It took about forty-five minutes to record the review, including a few retakes. I edited the video using iMovie and inserted a few images to illustrate a few of the concepts and to give viewers a break from looking at me the entire time. The edited video was just over twenty-five minutes. That was a little longer than I had planned, but I didn’t have the time or the skill to cut the parts where I ramble on. Also, I was trying to minimize the agony of watching myself on video. I did add section titles to break up the video into more managable segments so students can take a break and come back later.

Update: The video is now available on YouTube.

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