By Alyssa Neece
Dr. Roy Scranton, Associate Professor of English and the Director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHUM), came to the Office of Digital Learning with a script in hand and a desire to get students excited about his course, “Witnessing Climate Change.” This course educates students about the role that Humanities plays in the collective action against climate change. This course echoes the mission of EHUM, which is “an interdisciplinary initiative that seeks to foster innovative undergraduate education, scholarly research, creative endeavor, and institutional diversity on critical environmental issues, through a comparative humanities perspective foregrounding questions of ethics and meaning.”
In particular, Roy was interested in creating a course video trailer, due to video’s many positive impacts on learning and engagement, in particular a deeper engagement with course material and deeper student engagement than text. (Kaltura, 2022)
Despite Dr. Scranton’s affinity to the written word, he knew that the compelling nature of visual storytelling would have the exact effect he was looking for to bring attention to his course. As we dove into the script, breaking it down line by line, we were able to assign symbolism and cultural references in a way that engages a prospective student. We were also able to directly involve students in the production, allowing the students to relate and see themselves in the course before they even enrolled.
One of the greatest advantages that video offers is the ability to convey concepts with greater depth, through juxtaposition and layering. In other words, pairing symbolic visuals with scripted words can share a multidimensional perspective on a topic. Furthermore, the intensity of an issue can be heightened through video with implicative music and immersive sound design. If you need to share a lot of information and meaning to a viewer in an engaging way and in a short amount of time – video is the tool to use.
Want to bring greater visibility to your course and excite students toward enrollment? Email Notre Dame Learning today to start the collaboration, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaltura. (2022). Seventh Annual State of Video in Education 2022. Retrieved on February 6, 2022 from https://corp.kaltura.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/2022-state-of-video-in-education-kaltura.pdf