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General Tips

Prepare early for eLearning Week

Like a student preparing well for examinations, early preparation is vital. It is no different with creating online learning materials and conducting online classes. You will need time to figure out which tool you want to use. After which, you will need time to learn how to use the chosen tool and become conversant enough to use it effectively. Finally, you may run into unforeseen circumstances when creating/publishing your online lecture or during your online class. You may have to create online lectures for more than one module, so schedule enough time for each lecture.

Choose a tool which you are comfortable with

For eLearning Week

There are many options available to you, so which one do you choose? You will have to try out a few options and find what works best. While you may want to be adventurous, the reality is that the simpler options may be the most feasible ones, especially in a real situation when you do not have time to create an optimal online lecture. Of course, if you are tech- savvy, you may wish to explore and exploit the various technologies to their fullest. You may even want to try different tools for different modules. Just remember to leave enough time to do it!

For emergencies

In the case of where the campus is closed, you will look for the simplest solutions:

If you have used webcasts in the past, we can load the previously recorded webcasts for you in IVLE.

If you need to record your lecture, you can use the following:

Consider writing your lecture script...

It is natural that you will want record your lecture as you normally deliver lecturers: without a script. While this allows for spontaneity, you may find that you end up re-recording many times so that no one hears your fumbles, “ums” and “ahs”. In order to save time, you may consider writing your lecture script first. This may not sound as natural, but it will save a lot of time during recording.

Applicable to: Screen Recording (Ink2Go).

... but don't worry if you make mistakes

While writing a script helps to minimise pauses and unplanned interruptions, it is fine if you make mistakes. Your recorded lecture need not be absolutely perfect. In fact, some mistakes gives online lectures a more natural feel.

Applicable to: Screen Recording (Ink2Go).

Audio Recording Tips

Hold your web conference or record your lecture in a quiet place

The audio quality of a microphone connected to PCs will not be of studio standard. However, this is adequate for a decent recording. What matters more is background noise. You can minimise background noise by recording in a quiet room. You may want to put a notice on the door to indicate that you are recording or in an online session, lest you get interrupted by someone knocking on the door.

Applicable to: Screen Recording (Ink2Go), Web Conferencing.

Use a headset with microphone

For audio on a computer, you may want to use a headset with a microphone. This will help prevent feedback during recording or online classes. Also, you can move your head around freely while recording. If you use a desktop microphone, you will have to keep relatively still, otherwise your audio will fade in and out as your mouth will not be at a consistent distance from the microphone.

Points to note

eLearning is unlikely to be as effective as face-to-face

It takes a fair amount of planning, skill and practice to be as effective online as you are offline. Do keep in mind the context in which eLearning takes place in NUS: it is meant to be a temporary measure while students and staff are required to stay at home during emergencies.

Online lectures are likely to be shorter than usual (and it is better in any case)

If you record your own lecture, you may find that it runs much faster than a face-to-face lecture. This is entirely normal as you will not start late or pause for interruptions. You will also not be able to react to the students, leading to a condensed lecture. Do note that shorter lectures may be a good thing. The average student may not be able to concentrate for extended periods sitting in front of an online lecture.

Please resist the temptation to squeeze more content into your lecture

Following on from the preceding point, past eLearning Weeks saw a few faculty taking the opportunity to give longer lectures (2 hours or more) than usual. Even the most engaging speakers will be hard-pressed to hold an audience's attention for more than two hours, so try to keep to your normal lecture length or shorter, if possible.
Applicable to: Screen Recording (Ink2Go).

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