Thursday, February 2, 2012

Courses on video: all good.

This semester for the first time I'm having my course videotaped.

First consequence: I hear myself on tape. What a shock! What a strong accent I have! I never knew it! Can I fix it?

Second consequence: two students already told me that they had watched the first lecture on video; this is shopping period and it's a convenient way for them to test several courses being taught at the same time.

Third consequence: some of my TAs are going to watch parts of lectures, for the more challenging parts of the course or when they need a refresher (for example: log*n analysis of union find at the end of lecture this past Tuesday).

So far so good.

Another developing trend: some students had difficulty with a homework exercise using recurrences (which I did not cover in class). Instead of pointing them to a textbook, or to lectures notes on the web, the TAs pointed them to a video of a lecture on the subject at MIT, from a number of years ago: so, these videos are becoming resources for learning, competing with textbooks.

All good developments!

6 comments:

  1. Are the video courses open to the public? Can the fans of this blog watch them?

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    1. Yes, they're open to the public, but they have not yet been indexed, so if you want to watch a particular segment on a specific topic, it's not so easy right now. (They will be indexed as soon as things get sorted out.)

      There's a pointer to the lectures from http://www.cs.brown.edu/courses/cs157/lectures.xml

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  2. At the technion there were video tapes of many courses when I was studying there in the mid 90s. For large first-year courses, more often than not the recorded lecturer was better than the one who happened to be teaching the course that semester. The classes were huge so there wasn't an advantage over videos in terms of interaction (there was none anyway). Another advantage of the VCRs was that you could play them at double speed.

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  3. Thanks for making this available to the public...am sure I will learn a lot from it!

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  4. Keep the accent! It brightened our mornings in CS17.

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  5. These seem to have been taken down... any idea if they'll be available the public again?

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