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Guide to Hybrid & Online Teaching at JMU

Online content for labs and studios

Online content as video capture of activities that take place in laboratories, studios, and kinetic-related cognitive space is an emerging area for online or hybrid course development. There are cognitive, technical, managerial, and editorial aspects of these types of online media production. 

Cognitive considerations

Cognitively, multimedia learning principles provide solid guidance based on established scientific research. The video clips of lab demonstrations and exposition are processed by students in dual channels. That is, “humans possess separate channels for processing visual and auditory information” (Mayer, 2009, p. 63). Therefore, there are limits on processing excessive information at one time unless active processing strategies are applied. These strategies include: minimizing extraneous cognitive load, adding cues to highlight important information to direct students' attention, and managing intrinsic load by learner's control of pace and chunking instructional materials segments. The Center for Teaching and Learning at Wiley Education Service provides a complete, succinct, and linked resource here

diagram showing Cognitive Information Processing model

Therefore, when capturing real-time video in a lab, studio, or clinic settings, please keep in mind:

  • Reduce excessive color combination of settings.
  • Reduce the noise of the background as much as possible.
  • Use well-selected and high-resolution images (300dpi).
  • Use the personal voice of the instructor. 
  • Chunk video clips around 6 minutes (Quality Matters, 2020) and provide a series if necessary. 

Technical considerations

Technically, equipment availability and proper use considerations that can impact optimal and efficient content development. Time is a very important consideration here - it can take more than you may initially think. 

Some equipment available from the JMU Libraries Equipment checkout include (Note: the links to the equipment will prompt you to log in the equipment loan with JMU eID):

  • CamcordersDSLR – interchangeable lens, and/or GoPro Camcorders: These devices will help you capture the video in labs and studios. DSLR have better image quality but will need a manual white balance adjustment because of the lighting conditions (Liu & Johnson, 2020). 
  • Tripod to hold your camera steady (please make sure to set the level and height properly before video capture.)
  • Lavalier or Lapel Microphones or Lavalier or Lapel Microphones: Audio is of critical importance because most students will likely watch the instructional video clips with a set of earphones, earpods, or headset. These microphones can help ensure your audio is crisp and clear. Keep in mind dual-channel processing. 
  • Light Kit or Portrait Light Kits: Lighting is of also very important in video capture. This is particularly important in labs or studios when the shots need to be very close, for instance, the operation of sample clips on the Sample Clip Stage of a microscope. These kits will ensure what you will capture is well lighted (Strack, 2020). 

Managerial considerations

Managerially, footage captured with the above equipment needs to be well organized so you can easily find and organize files. Visit our Data Management website for advice on naming and organizing your files. Good file management can save you time in developing your instructional content (Liu & Johnson, 2020). Borrowing a portable hard drive can be a temporary solution. Faculty and staff may borrow 128Gb external hard drives and other equipment for free through JMU Libraries Equipment Loans.

Another more flexible option is Open Science Framework. Open Science Framework (OSF) is a free, open source web application built to help researchers manage their workflows. The OSF is part collaboration tool, part version control software, and part data archive. The OSF connects to popular tools researchers already use, like Dropbox, Box, Github and Mendeley, to streamline workflows and increase efficiency (Shorish, 2020Liu & Johnson, 2020).

Editorial considerations

Editorially, TechSmith Knowmia (formerly TechSmith Relay) is a JMU Libraries supported software (and free for JMU faculty and staff). Video clips can be uploaded to your personal Knowmia profile (see a tutorial here from TechSmith), and edited (see a tutorial from TechSmith), and then shared directly to your Canvas class site (refer to Step 17 of the Lecture Recording section in this guide.)


Find more topics in this guide on the A-Z Page List or in the menu.