Recording videos for incoming students and the transition to higher education

By Matt Cornock

Learning Technology - Videos

As part of an institutional-wide project on the Transition to Higher Education, I presented a few months back on an approach to create videos to help students understand what a subject entails at university-level. One of the biggest challenges that some subjects have is that they are not taught at A Level, which means for the vast majority of their students they are starting from scratch. Simply getting a basic understanding of what the subject is, and more importantly why it is relevant for today’s society (and careers), is a key part of both the recruitment and transition experience.

Videos convey a personal insight

Videos offer one way of conveying this information in a personable way, which is far more engaging than reams of explanatory text. Furthermore, videos allow students to begin to relate to the individuals in the Department and get a sense of the people who they will work with during their degree. There is however a trap: the generic welcome video. The generic video tends to have little insight into the staff of the Department, contain little meaningful insights into the programme itself and hence be of little importance to students (as implied in student feedback). Videos on the subject itself, what the students will actually study and introductions to modules can be of use and of meaning as part of the transition process.

I have provided my approach to our transition videos in the supporting document below, which also emphasises the need to consider different audiences (or rather the different stage a student may be at) during the transition process. There are also videos available on YouTube which we use on our transition site, as examples of how the captured footage, once edited, can have multiple purposes.

Supporting documentation

Example videos

Videos produced on the back of a single recording day are available on the YouTube channel for Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York. In particular:

Other videos, such as module introductions, are for the Preparing To Study transition site accessible only to enrolled students.

The audio from two recordings was also used to create two podcast episodes:

Further information

Details on the University of York’s transition project can be found at:

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