The Learning Glass in action
The Instructional Technology Integration (ITI) group at Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS) has added a new tool to its online education services to create an even more engaging learning experience for students: the Learning Glass.
The Learning Glass allows faculty to perform work traditionally done on a whiteboard or blackboard while still looking at the camera. The Learning Glass uses the same skills that faculty use when teaching in a classroom using a whiteboard or blackboard. This creates a video experience that feels engaging, natural, relaxed, and friendly. The technology was first developed at San Diego State University (SDSU) by Dr. Matt Anderson and first built by Dr. James Frazee’s group at Instructional Technology Services at SDSU.
UC San Diego Professor Joel Watson of the Department of Economics was the first to use the Learning Glass to create online education content. “The Learning Glass makes it easy for faculty to transition from teaching with a standard blackboard to videotaping at high quality,” Professor Watson said.
Professor Watson leads a group of six faculty who are creating video lectures for online education. Originally, videos using the Learning Glass were expected to make up a third of all videos. However, the majority of his colleagues now plan to use the Learning Glass exclusively for their videos.
Though it is easy to pick up, Professor Watson estimates that for every 10-minute segment it can take anywhere between one to four hours to prepare for filming with the Learning Glass, depending on how comfortable one is using the system. An hour or two of filming in the studio is standard, often due to multiple takes to get the video just right.
A view of the Learning Glass in the recording studio
“The Learning Glass is one of the most important tools in online education that we’ve found and presents a number of different advantages,” Don Olliff, Instructional Technologist with ITI, said. “Faculty can easily draw on it to illustrate concepts, thoughts, or equations, using colors for emphasis and contrast. Students are more engaged because Learning Glass videos feel more personal, like a conversation rather than a lecture. Believe it or not, it’s actually easier for both faculty and ACMS to create Learning Glass videos than other types of videos. It’s a much more relaxed process that also creates great educational content.”
Research has shown that student engagement is higher when tools tailored to online education, like the Learning Glass, are used to create instructional videos. A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that content created with the principles of online education in mind had higher student engagement than traditional lectures. Technology like the Learning Glass was not included in the study, but it combines real-time diagramming and informal, enthusiastic faculty delivery of information, both of which were identified as high engagement techniques.
For more information about the Learning Glass and online education, contact ITI at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (858) 822-1456.
See the Learning Glass in action in this video featuring Professor Watson.