Instructor Interview: Teaching as a Team

Flash and JavaScript are required for this feature.

Download the video from iTunes U or the Internet Archive.

ELIZABETH CHOE: Pulling together this teaching team, I kind of felt like Nick Fury from The Avengers. Tapping into all these people that I came across either as a student, or working with. Video production, that was something that we covered in the class. It's not a solo effort, and I think teaching video production very much is not a solo effort.

So Chris and I had been talking about this for several years, I feel like. Just going through your class, and then talking about the program, and the videos that we make. We'd just been tossing around these ideas. And George and I have worked together extensively, she said with a heavy sigh, on Science Out Loud.

Josh and I met at a conference purely by accident. And I knew you guys were doing awesome animation work, and that was something that I didn't really feel like much expertise on. Just like storyboarding in general, which is really important for students, and for everyone really.

And then we had a couple other guest speakers here and there. So it was really-- so teaching something that doesn't have an objective answer, in physics there's a right answer to a problem set, for instance. In media production or creative writing, or anything like this, you can't just be like, well this is what makes a good answer, necessarily.

I feel like something that helps solidify, or helps you come to a good feedback mechanism for students is to have people who are good practitioners of whatever media you're making. So, you know, if you're teaching creative writing, hopefully you'd be a pretty good creative writer.

If you're teaching media production, or storyboarding, hopefully you're a good animator, or story boarder. Hopefully you're a decent host.

JOSHUA GUNN: Fair to middling.

GEORGE ZAIDAN: I know, right? Tolerable.

ELIZABETH CHOE: So that was why from the beginning I felt like it had to be team effort to teach this class.

GEORGE ZAIDAN: I think you had a skeleton outline for the course, and then you filled in the parts, the learning objectives for parts that you were going to do, and then each of us filled in our parts, and then we all commented on the other people's parts. Which was a good way to do it.

ELIZABETH CHOE: It's tricky because, its not like a linear sort of knowledge comprehension format where first you learn scripting, and then you can learn storyboarding, and then you can learn hosting. That's actually how we first approached it, and it got really hairy because there's so much overlap.


ELIZABETH CHOE: Why did we approach it that way?

GEORGE ZAIDAN: No. Why did it get hairy?

ELIZABETH CHOE: Well, because I think Chris, initially you wanted--

CHRIS BOEBEL: I caused all the trouble.

GEORGE ZAIDAN: What did you do?

ELIZABETH CHOE: I'm like, well what should I talk about?

CHRIS BOEBEL: Yeah, there was a lot of coordination that we-- Josh and I, especially, I think, we felt the need to coordinate. Because there are things that are similar when you're thinking about kind of telling a story in animation and in live action, but there are also things that are different.

And we wanted to make sure that we weren't overlapping each other, and that we were kind of complementary and not repetitive or contradictory. So I think we ended up kind of restructuring a little bit the first few sessions of the course. I'm trying to remember.

ELIZABETH CHOE: It was interesting because in terms of the big picture learning objectives, I worked with Jaime a lot, the other course instructor. And she has never done video production. She wasn't familiar with the content. But she's more familiar with just instructional design in general.

So she would ask me all these questions that I wouldn't necessarily think to ask or answer, like at the end of the day, what are the skills that you want people to have? And then what are the sort of learning objectives that you want them to aspire to?

And those are two very different things, right? Because I don't really care if they were masters of Final Cut by the end, because that doesn't really matter. The objective is can you articulate a clear story?

But she and I would meet to sort of figure out what are the big picture learning objectives that we want, and then it was a matter of how can we take all these details and all these very important plastic elements, and pick at the most relevant ones to match to the objectives.

Free Downloads



  • English-US (SRT)