Instructional Video created as a recorded slideshow using Apple Keynote 

As part of the online French course I teach for NHTI, Concord’s Community College, I provide instructional videos to supplement the students’ assignments. Some videos are designed to elicit “video responses” as a means of giving students the opportunity to practice speaking while interacting with their environment (one involves me showing objects on my desk and asking them to respond in turn with a video showing objects on their own desks). Other videos, like the one I posted above, are meant to guide them in understanding new vocabulary and grammar.

The above video is a particularly successful one that I created to supplement the lesson on reflexive verbs (verbs that express actions one does for oneself). This video clarifies how the verbs themselves are to be conjugated, and also puts them in context with non-reflexive verbs to describe activities that one performs during the day, creating a sort of personal agenda. I also surreptitiously sneaked in a little lesson on how to express time in French, a lesson I think is poorly presented in the textbook I’m using. Again, contextualizing time with daily activities is a great way to have students learn how to understand otherwise confusing syntactical/grammatical structures. The video is also useful to them since it aids them as they write their compositions, and ultimately provides them with the opportunity to use new vocabulary in context.

Thus far, my observation with this video (it’s only the second semester I have used this particular one) is that when students are asked to write a composition describing their daily routine, they are more creative and draw on more cumulative vocabulary than students in semesters before the video was in use. They also seem to have a better understanding of how to conjugate reflexive verbs, which was one of my original goals when I set out to create the video in the first place.

I feel that as a professor who teaches online, it is helpful to build a repository of materials that can be repeatedly added to and drawn upon to create a rich and interactive learning environment for students and faculty alike.