ideas March 2010

If a picture paints a thousand words, how many does a moving picture paint?

While we cannot give an absolute figure, a well-crafted video probably paints much more. It is with this in mind that CIT launched the ConceptCast project.

As the name alludes, ConceptCasts are videos - screencasts, multimedia presentations or similar items - which are aimed at addressing specific concepts. These are short, easy to understand videos lasting not more than five minutes.

Creating videos sounds like a lot of work. While there is a fair amount of planning and production even for a short clip, CIT will provide all the support required, particularly for more difficult tasks like filming a scenario or creating an animation/simulation. You need not worry about spending time producing the video or learning the skills required to produce the video.

That said, you may attempt to produce a simple ConceptCast on your own too. Associate Professor Lee Kim Seng provides an example of a self-made presentation which illustrates the ConceptCast idea. In this short Breeze presentation, Assoc Prof Lee introduces his students to the topic of Couplings. Note that a basic concept is discussed, with some simple animation. The total running time is less than three minutes.

While the preceding example is from the world of Mechanical Engineering, ConceptCasts can be adapted to any subject area. For example:

  • a Philosophy ConceptCast can illustrate a specific logical fallacy, such as False Dilemma;
  • a Biology ConceptCast may contrast the types of eukaryotic life cycles;
  • an Architecture ConceptCast may show the distinguishing features/characteristics of Art Deco design.

ConceptCasts are handy in cases where particular concepts cannot be easily explained though text or a still image. For example, if you use particular software for your subject, it may be easier for students to follow a ConceptCast explaining the steps involved in performing a certain task, rather than writing instructions for it.

ConceptCasts are also useful in answering and clarifying questions about a topic which you face every semester. You can use the video in your lecture, post it to Multimedia in IVLE or even on the NUS YouTube Channel for the benefit of a wider audience.

Contact Mr NARAYANAN Shyam to find out more about ConceptCast.

ConceptCast FAQs

1. Why create ConceptCasts?

  • Videos can incorporate multimedia elements which can better illustrate
    certain concepts
  • Videos can be reused
  • Save time explaining basic concepts repeatedly

2. What are ConceptCasts ideal for?

  • Demonstrating specific tasks
  • Explaining basic concepts/tenets/principles with the help of visuals
  • Answer ing f requent ly asked questions, particularly those which are best shown, not written
  • Getting basics out of the way to free up lecture time for more complex topics

3. What can you put in the videos?

  • Scenario-based videos
  • Diagrams
  • Animation
  • Software demonstration
  • Text (but not too much)

4. Who creates the ConceptCasts?

CIT will work with you to develop ConceptCast videos. If you have an idea, please discuss it with us. We will advise you on the best way to proceed. In some cases, you will be able to create ConceptCasts yourself. Other ConceptCasts may require our assistance e.g. filming, editing etc.

5. Can I do this on my own?

Yes, you definitely can. In fact, we encourage you to do so. You can use our services, such as Screen Recording or Breeze to create your own ConceptCasts. Do contact us so that we can advise you on how best to proceed.

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