UW Information Technology

6 tips to get the best out of video

Butch De Castro, associate professor, Nursing and Health Studies at UW-Bothell, shares six tips he used to help students succeed in a group video assignment, which focused on understanding the views and concerns of South Seattle neighborhoods. For the full story, go to Using Technology to Engage Students Provost report.

  1. Consider class size in developing assignments

    Think small—15 students in a class is about right for group assignments, with students working in teams of five or six.

  2. Structure the assignment to ensure participation by all students

    Each member of a team should be required to contribute at least one clip for a class project. De Castro limited videos to three minutes to keep things manageable.

  3. Encourage students to focus on a specific issue

    To keep things tight, De Castro told students, “Your job is not to try to capture everything you’ve learned in terms of environmental pollution and human health consequences among at-risk communities, but rather to pick a specific issue.”

  4. Explain privacy issues

    To respect confidentiality of residents, especially those who might not want to be identified with environmental problems, students didn’t photograph recognizable faces, license plates and addresses. The students didn’t use photo release forms.

  5. Provide access to equipment

    Students checked out small flip video cameras and tripods from the UW Bothell Information Technologies Circulation Equipment desk. All three campuses provide equipment to their students.

  6. Provide basic media training

    Keep it basic. This is not a video class. Consider bringing in an expert to help students understand basic videography techniques, including basic video editing training.