Maaike van der Veen in a Do-It-Yourself studio, photo Ivar Pel

Knowledge clips are increasingly being used in UU education

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Around a thousand new knowledge clips are recorded at Utrecht University every academic year. The reuse of previously recorded clips is growing. Making short videos for education is not embraced by all teachers. They indicate that they have insufficient time or a lack of technical knowledge to make a clip themselves.

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This has become clear from a recent study by educational innovator Educate-it in which 495 teachers from over 2100 teachers at the UU participated. A knowledge clip is a five to ten-minute video that covers a specific topic. A variant on this is the enriched knowledge clip: these are knowledge clips with a corresponding homework assignment.

Of the 495 teachers, 40 percent use knowledge clips within education. Less than 20 percent of this group of respondents produces new videos. However, 30 percent of respondents indicate not to use knowledge clips, although they have considered this. The most important reason for not making knowledge clips is that they are too busy. In addition, insufficient knowledge about the existing options plays a role in their decision as well.

The remaining 30 percent has never considered using knowledge clips. The reason given by this group is that they have insufficient knowledge of the existing options. According to the Educate-it research report, this group says that they would consider the use of knowledge clips "if they had good examples, the effect of the use would be clearer, and there would be more insight into the possibilities".

More than a thousand new knowledge clips per academic year

It has been possible to record knowledge clips since 2010, but it took until the start of Educate-it in 2015 that a clear increase in the number of recorded clips was first observed, says Daphne van Roosmalen, communications consultant at Educate- it. In that year, a total of 1086 knowledge clips were recorded, a tripling of the 288 recorded clips in 2014-2015.

According to previous research by Educate-it, the use of knowledge clips has a positive effect on the quality of education at UU. For example, students who view a knowledge clip at home on a specific topic are better prepared for face-to-face instruction. In 2017, students also indicated that they were more motivated and that they had studied the subject more.

The number of new knowledge clips that have been recorded has remained virtually the same since the start of Educate-it. "We see that the number - after an explosive growth in recent years - now remains stable," says Van Roosmalen. There are roughly 1100 new clips developed each year, for example 1099 new videos were recorded in 2017-2018, and 570 in the first half of 2018-2019.

The stagnation, says Van Roosmalen, is due to the reuse of knowledge clips recorded in previous years. “Of the 3000 knowledge clips used in the 2018-2019 academic year, 1000 were newly recorded and no fewer than 2000 were reused. Once recorded, knowledge clips can be used multiple times in subsequent courses, so that the time investment pays off and can even save time.” In 2017-2018, 1880 clips (63 percent) were reused and the first half of the following year that percentage increased to 72.

Enriched knowledge clips encourage students to take action

Knowledge clips can be recorded at home or in one of the five Do-It-Yourself studios of the university. In both cases, the recordings are made using the My MediaSite desktop recorder. After editing, these recordings are stored in Mediasite, the university's video platform. When the clip is needed, it is shared with the students. The knowledge clip, Van Roosmalen explains, can contribute to blended learning, the educational model embraced by the university. In this model, face-to-face instruction and online learning are integrated and the two components should reinforce each other.

Van Roosmalen says that Educate-it primarily wants to stimulate the enriched knowledge clips. “Because the students are really actively involved with the subject matter and improve their learning results. This gives the teacher a good insight into the subjects or issues that need to be addressed during the face-to-face moments. But starting with the deployment of knowledge clips or expanding them is already a fantastic start for teachers who want to strengthen their education. IT use is not an end in itself, but contributes to quality improvement and an increase in the learning effect.”

For the teachers who need to orientate themselves on the use of self-made clips in education, Educate-it provides explanations, tips and tools on its website that relate to the different possibilities that teachers have to deploy knowledge clips to strengthen their education. In addition to didactic assistants, Educate-it also has a group of teaching assistants, who offer teachers practical support.

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