Faculty Advice on Lightboard Lecturing

The new instructional lightboard is now available for recording at the Denney Hall Digital Union. Stéphane Lavertu, one of our early adopter instructors, shared his thoughts on lecturing with the lightboard. 

What did you like about using the lightboard? 

It’s the best way for me to replicate the classroom experience. I’m accustomed to using the chalkboard in class. Writing on the board forces me to slow down and draws students’ attention to the most important content, so it benefits students in that way. Additionally, I find that the videos using the lightboard are more engaging than using slides with a voiceover. I can illustrate concepts by drawing charts, and I suspect that my moving around as I write draws students’ attention a bit more. Finally, one of the issues with distance education is that it is relatively difficult to feel a connection with the instructor. I believe that my talking directly into the camera will feel more personal.

Have you had any feedback from students in the course?

My students find the videos helpful, as they can watch sections multiple times to make sure they understood. They also say that they are closer to replicating the in-class experience than the voiceover lectures they’ve seen. They still prefer having me in person—they say I’m better at commanding their attention in person and that they like being able to ask clarifying questions.

What is your advice for another instructor who is going to use the lightboard for the first time? 

Some tips:

1) Don’t try to be perfect and polished. Complete your videos in one take just as if it were an in-person lecture. I think it feels more natural and engaging when you come across as more human—i.e., make mistakes, joke around, etc. I often joke around in class, but I refrained from doing that in most of my videos. By the end, though, I realized that I was far more effective when I didn’t try to be polished. 

2) Record your lectures right after giving that lecture in person. The content will be fresher in your mind, and you will have better intuition about what portions need clarification for students. Also, you can then provide the videos to your students and ask them to let you know if there are any problems with the videos.

3) Make sure that you are rested, energetic, and comfortable when you record. Try to record your videos early in the day and make sure that you don’t pack your work schedule too tightly on recording days. I was exhausted when I recorded some of my videos and the quality suffered. Along those lines, make sure you are comfortable in the studio. For example, I found the temperature uncomfortable while recording some of my videos, and it is apparent to me on screen.

4) Enjoy yourself!

Stéphane Lavertu Headshot 

Stéphane Lavertu is an Associate Professor in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. He used the lightboard to teach Public Affairs 2110, Introduction to Public Affairs.