SICSA DVF Professor Beth Simon; Video explanations for university (computing) courses: Lessons drawn from MOOCS

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Date(s) - 01/09/2014
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Level 5, Sir Alwyn Williams Building, Department of Computing Science, Glasgow University

Video explanations for university (computing) courses: Lessons drawn from MOOCs

Question: How many times should a child be able to watch and hear their teacher solving a long division problem? 5 times? 10 times? As many times as the student needs?

The brouhaha surrounding MOOCs has increased interest in the potential of short video snippets for supporting learning. In this talk, I’ll highlight relevant cognitive science research on multi-media learning with a focus on creating videos showing “problem solving” in computer science.* Specific highlights include recommended video length, the value of inserting labels on the various parts of a process, the use of “in-video” prediction quizzes to support active video watching, and why low-cost production processes may better support learning.

*Though these suggestions are also relevant for our colleagues in other problem-solving intensive disciplines


Beth Simon is on the faculty of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. Since 2011, she has also served as the Director of UCSD’s Center for Teaching Development. During 2007-2008 Beth worked as a Science Teaching and Learning Fellow in the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia. Beth’s primary research interests lie in improving the university learning experience through adoption of evidence-based pedagogical practices – notably Peer Instruction. Her current top projects involve developing Peer Instruction materials investigating models of instructor adoption both within university computing instructors and in supporting high school teachers in the US CS10K project. Previously, Beth has explored student preconceptions in computing, the emotional experiences of students in doing programming assignments, student debugging ability, the challenges of recent computing graduates in their first software development jobs, and the use of technology to support interactive classrooms.

During academic year 2014-2015, Beth will be on leave at Coursera, a leading MOOC provider, building a teaching and learning group



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