There are a variety of ways to make your lecture interactive by integrating quizzes, knowledge checks, animated diagrams and/or graphics, illustrations, and hyperlinked supplements. However, the easiest way to make a lecture interactive – and the method requiring the least amount of additional computer software – is by embedding thoughtfully designed quizzes and questions.
Design a “Pre-Quiz” for Recorded Lectures
To get your students mentally primed to integrate new material about a subject, first give them a “pre-quiz” that prompts them to retrieve their prior knowledge about the subject. By doing so, they mentally activate organizational structures about this subject that they can augment with the new information. To incentivize student curiosity and exploration of their knowledge, the “pre-quiz” should be no- or (very) low-stakes, e.g., not counted at all or as “complete”/”incomplete.”
Insert Questions between Sections
To enhance retention and recall of knowledge, students need to practice retaining and recalling that knowledge – and simply designed multiple choice questions are very effective in this regard. After each 10- to 20-minute section of video, ask students to perform some simple recall of what they’ve just learned.
You can also design questions that ask students to apply and synthesize knowledge – not just recall it. These questions may take a little longer to develop, but the learning payoff is great, and these types of questions can be a very efficient way of prompting students to synthesize information in an online, asynchronous environment.
All questions should provide feedback on why a particular answer was correct, incorrect, and/or the best choice.
The School of Nursing has a guide on designing questions and other simple activities using Bloom’s Taxonomy: https://info.nursing.jhu.edu/blooms-taxonomy/#/. (Please note: all examples use nursing content, but the overall guidance can be applied to any subject matter.)
Identify Software/LMS Tools for Interactivity
This may be the most challenging part of building simple interactivity into pre-recorded video lectures. Panopto and Kaltura offer the ability to add quizzes to video, so if your school/division uses either one of those tools, that’s probably the easiest way to build interactivity.
Alternatively, you can build out questions/quizzes in Blackboard using the Test Tool in the course site. So: you can record a video using one tool, upload to the video (or video sections) to the LMS, and build out questions in Blackboard.
Contact your school or division’s teaching and learning center for more information about potential tools.
Inform Students of Instructional Benefits
Tell students why they’re doing certain activities. While this may seem self-evident from an instructor perspective, it may not always be from a student perspective. Also, in a live lecture, this message may be conveyed throughout the lecture through discursive give-and-take between the instructor and students; in an asynchronous, pre-recorded environment, this is not possible. The pedagogical intention of each activity should be explicitly stated so that students understand their instructional benefits.
When you give a pre-quiz and/or insert questions between sections, tell students why you’re doing those things. This will cue them to pay closer attention themselves.
Use Quizzes and/or Questions to Interleave Information
Interleaving is the practice of mixing (or interleaving) multiple subjects or topics to enhance the retention and recall of these subjects across a course or program. Interleaving has been shown to be more effective than “blocked” learning, or learning one topic very thoroughly before moving onto to another one. By mentally juxtaposing topics, interleaving helps students determine the similarities and differences between the topics and develop problem-solving skills.
Interleaving is an easy way of prompting your students’ abstract, higher-level thinking skills (such as problem-solving) in an online, asynchronous environment.
Sources on interleaving: