General Teaching – Creating Camtasia Videos – Useful For Math?

February 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm 1 comment

Getting help from your math instructor has definitely improved. Back in the day, you could get help in class or during office hours. Then came email, where you could ask a question at any point in the day. Although typing mathematical explanations and sending graphic images was difficult at the beginning, it has become much easier to send your students help thanks to MathType, Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, …

One problem still remains – some developmental students have a hard time processing the information by simply reading it. A quick confession – I once struggled mightily when I was taking a Shakespeare class at the University of Rhode Island. Because the language was different than I was used to reading, I struggled for context. It was only when I checked out records (Those big flat CD’s, as my daughter would say) that I was able to read along and understand. Our developmental students may need the same.

Last night I received two emails from students in my elementary algebra class. We had covered graphing linear equations by plotting points that day. One student had a question concerning how to graph a line on MyMathLab, and the other asked about how to select values for x in an equation in which the coefficient of x was a fraction. Within 20 minutes I had put together a short video that answered both of these questions, as well as provided some general information. I used PowerPoint/MathType to create some slides, and recorded the video using Camtasia. There are many (free) alternatives to these programs that would be just as effective.

Here’s the video:

I got an email from a student at midnight, saying that he was getting frustrated with his homework, and that the video really helped him out. Mission accomplished!

This will be my preferred method of helping my students electronically from here on out.

-George

I am a math instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. Each Wednesday I post a general teaching article on my blog. If you have a question or a comment, please let me know. You can reach me through the contact page on my website – http://georgewoodbury.com.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. georgewoodbury  |  February 18, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Here’s an email I received from one of my students. She’s a re-entry ESL student.

    Mr. Woodbury: the videos are helping me so much , it is like having the teacher at home. Thanks.

    Reply

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