After many revisions and meetings, the Engineering Education Innovation Center, EEIC, Impact Grant project charter is complete. I have to thank Rob Griffiths, Tom Evans and Alan Kalish for their support, creativity and insights in getting the charter written.
The next steps in the project were to get started on the creation of instructional videos for the students; and to complete the IRB, Internal Review Board process which involves a reading assignment and quiz. The IRB approval will allow me to use students’ reactions to my videos as part of a research project.
Creating instructional videos required that I first learn some best practices about making a video! Storyboarding is a good way to develop and organize the content of the videos. To learn about storyboarding, we met with Cindy Gray who does a lot of work with Digital Storytelling at Ohio State. She provided an overview of storyboarding and guidelines for successful storyboards that have been very helpful.
Currently, I’m learning how to best use Camtasia, a software package from TechSmith that has a lot of great features for collecting, organizing and rendering various aspects of a video into a useful presentation. The TechSmith website offers tutorials on many features of the software, so while learning Camtasia was not “easy,” it was possible to get the basics quickly. Tom Evans, my Impact Grant lead team mate, is very skilled with many software packages including Camtasia. He has talked me through many of the steps necessary to get started.
I also learned to work the controls of the audio capture studio in the SEL, third floor, called the “whisper room.” The software is easy to use, and it was my own technique for delivering my script that felt awkward. After many “takes,” I finally have a usable audio file for the first video. As of now, we have one, almost finished video and the plans for the next video in the series of 7 or so that are planned. I have found that once I got going, the process was not difficult. The most challenging part was to learn to think like a film director and to be that creative so that the video was both accurate in covering the subject and interesting enough to keep the students’ attention.
The IRB process did have me bogged down a bit, however I’ve been able to complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative, or CITI, training quiz quickly. I have found that taking notes on the reading helps me remember some of the key points that are part of the quiz. I also found that there are several other parts to the process of being IRB approved that I had not anticipated. Rob Griffiths provided a sheet summarizing these that has been helpful.
As we approach the end of Fall 2012 and look forward to Spring 2013, we are working hard on the training modules so the students will have an engaging resource and guide as they build their Advanced Energy Vehicle (AEV) technical, and digital, video presentation.