UMS Faculty Focus Blog

UMS Faculty Focus

The UMS Faculty Focus blog publishes articles on effective teaching strategies for technology-enhanced, classroom, online, blended, or flipped learning experiences.  Faculty e-Learning Grant recipients and other UMS faculty are welcome to contribute. Please contact the UC Faculty Development Center if you are interested in writing an article for UMS Faculty Focus at uc-fdc@maine.edu

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The Art of the Interview - in Screen Cast-o-Matic

Each semester there is a particular course that sends its students out into the larger university community at USM to interview professors.  A worthy dispersal, promising discipline-specific conversations and discoveries about how learning happens.  Thee professors--inhabitants of various discourse communities, in various offices, classrooms, labs--can meet students for a face-to-face conversation, type responses in an email reply, or . . .

If the first option is impossible for scheduling or location reasons, and the second option seems to overtake the job of the student (shouldn't they be doing the note-taking?), a third way can be found via a friendly technology tool. 

Kaltura's recent entrance on the Blackboard scene makes it a good choice.  But as I am still becoming acquainted, and because the student who sought me out for an interview was in a previous semester's class, I wanted an avenue to respond to her good questions (attached here) that would approximate the 'live' quality of a video feed but could be freely shared/accessed without needing the BB platform.

One good outcome of using the free version of Screen Cast-o-Matic for the video is that I can keep an eye on her questions while I'm talking, and I can be pulled off stage by the 15 minute mark.  (At the outset of the video I reassured the student that 15 minutes would be more than enough, but as it happens, in our discourse-communities-of-prolixity, I nearly ran out of time before I ran out of breath.) 

Outcomes: the student received her responses by the assignment due date and still had some note-taking to do to keep the project honest; the professor worked within the time limit through structured questions about research, teaching, mentoring. 

By the end, the home-video-ing experience created an opportunity to make a pitch larger than simple Q&A sometimes allows: I felt as though I was exhorting a member of the new generation to care -- about my field, her eventual field, any field, as long as it can be pursued with an ethical drive and commitment to good citizenship.  I can't say as though this could have come out in a standard, face-to-face interview experience, where that monologue-ish finale might have been curtailed by better 'listening' to the student's cues of facial expressions, body language, qualifications, etc.  For better or worse, then, Screen Cast-o-Matic enabled inquiry, response, and, I hope, mentoring. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/143vUwnd0_FIvi9vGVFAdFbtHC6xN6UGZ/view?usp=sharing

Note: the student has granted her permission for my inclusion of both her questions (below) and the video clip here (above).

THE QUESTIONS:

 

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Kenneth Elliott
This use of Screen Cast-o-matic is novel and helpful. The assignment as well, interviewing professors gives good food for though. I am a user of this tool but hadn't considered this kind of use. Thanks. Ken Elliott, Prof of Psychology at UMA.
Posted on 3/23/18 4:29 AM.
Lisa Hibl
Thanks for the comment, Ken.
Posted on 4/22/18 5:57 PM in reply to Kenneth Elliott.