Cloud concepts

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Cloud concepts are recordings that may be used to add ‘life’ to a key concept, help explain a complex idea, or enhance student engagement.

What?

Cloud concepts use audio and video to transform parts of lectures and presentations into learning resources that can be watched repeatedly, on-demand by the learner. They are usually between 1 and 10 minutes in length; focus on 1 or 2 concepts; and include a variety of techniques to encourage learning. In essence, cloud concepts are designed to transform information into accessible and engaging pieces of media to support teaching.

Identifying when to use cloud concepts

Creating a cloud concept is not done simply for aesthetic reasons, you should instead think about why the concept is needed, and what components of your materials will benefit from transformation. Consider the following basic learning design guidelines when creating any learning materials:

  • What area in my content is this activity addressing?
  • Has this concept proven problematic for students in the past?
  • Who will be using the resource?
  • What is the purpose of adding audio and video?
  • How long will the cloud concept have to be to address the desired content?
  • Will a cloud concept better motivate students to learn the content?
  • What resources will I require to do the activity?
  • Will the concept be linked to an assessment task?

Addressing some of these questions will help you better decide where your content could benefit from a cloud concept. This will also help you in the planning process of creating your materials.

Cloud concept techniques

There are many audio and video techniques that can be deployed to deliver a cloud concept. You might use a screen capture to demonstrate a process; a video recording to present an interview or direct a message; or use a series of still images with a narration to present information. Whichever technique you choose, you will be using technology to present your idea or concept to students. These techniques can be used in conjunction with each other, or as stand-alone artifacts to support your teaching. Because information is the most important part of a cloud concept, make sure you choose the right techniques to get your message across.

The table below shows a list of common techniques used to support teaching and learning through cloud concepts. The following section will provide additional information about these techniques and take a look at how each one can be used to create cloud concepts.

Common audio and video techniques used in cloud concepts

Using the basic elements above, you can create a range of different cloud concepts. The following section provides two basic methods for planning and producing a cloud concept. Make your cloud concepts as simple or as complex as your creativity and technical ability allow and always use a method that works best for you.

Technique

What is it?

When should I use it?

Requirements

Talking head

Directly talking to the camera.

Often called a
piece-to-camera

Introducing a theme or linking parts

Summarising information

Directing a learner to complete a task

Camera

Smartphone/tablet

Script

Suitable location

Camera stand or camera person

Screen capture/ Annotation

Recording the screen of your computer or device
using software

To demonstrate a procedure

Record information from within an application

Create instructions

Screen capture software
(e.g. Camtasia, Explain
Everything)

Microphone/headset

Computer

Script

Interviews

Recording a person answering questions

Add expert knowledge to a presentation

Gain insight into opinions

Discuss a topic

Clarify understanding

Location

Camera/smartphone/tablet

Microphone

Interviewee

List of questions

Demonstration

Recording a task that can be repeated

Document a clearly defined task/operation

Support written instructions

Task specific equipment

Camera/s and stand

Instructions/script

Voice over

Recording voice over the top of imagery or sounds

Give context to imagery/sounds

Tell a story

Explain a visual concept/demonstration

Suitable location

Smartphone/tablet with voice apps

Good quality microphone

Script

Images

Original, copyright approved or licensed

still images

Used to show location, person, thing

In-place of video

Comparison of historical images

Document an event

Camera/smartphone/tablet

Internet

Wikimedia

Photoshop/Gimp

Cutaway

Using images or video to cut away from a main video
element

Used to establish location

Present supporting images or video

Make an interview or talking head more engaging

Camera/smartphone/tablet

Editing software

Transcript

Providing written transcript of cloud concept for
accessibility

Support accessibility

Word processor

Using the basic elements above, you can create a range of different cloud concepts. The following section provides two basic methods for planning and producing a cloud concept. Make your cloud concepts as simple or as complex as your creativity and technical ability allow and always utilise a method that works best for you.

ConceptPlans

In the process of planning your cloud concept you might want to create a ConceptPlan (storyboard) to help visualise your project. Deakin provides access to several options for creating your ConceptPlan:

Publishing your cloud concept

We recommend that Deakin staff publish their videos to DeakinAir. See the TeachAssist guide to DeakinAir.

Can I see some examples?

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