My Home Studio Setup and Useful Tips For Teaching Business School Students

My Home Studio Setup and Useful Tips For Teaching Business School Students

Show Video

Hi Everybody, I'm Andrew Lo and I want to welcome  you to this video about my online teaching   experience and the setup I've built to deliver  my lectures. By way of background, I'm a faculty   member at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and  affiliated faculty in the Department of Electrical   Engineering and Computer Science, and a principal  investigator at the Computer Science and AI lab.   And, as you can probably tell from my suit and  tie, I teach mainly business school students.  

Which represents a somewhat different set of  challenges and opportunities than teaching   college or K-12 students. One difference  is that business school students tend to   have higher expectations in terms of content  delivery and interaction with their faculty and   classmates. And rightly so because they're  paying full tuition for their education.   So if you're teaching in an MBA, Master of  Finance, or Executive Education program,   and you have to do it online this video is for  you. I'm going to cover three topics today,   The first is the motivation for investing in  your home studio and it is an investment. The   second is the particular setup that I  put together and why and how I did it.   And third some useful tips that I wish I had  known before I started to do online teaching.  

Now, I have another video that goes into  more detail about how I use this setup   in a specific online course in healthcare finance  that I taught during the fall semester of 2020.   It's got some concrete examples of the ideas  that I'll be sharing with you in this video   so please check that one out afterwards. I put  a link to it in the video description below.   Thanks for joining and let's get started.

I'd like to begin with the disclaimer, and the  disclaimer is this, I am not an expert in online   teaching or audio visual technology by any means.  In fact, prior to August 2020, I knew absolutely   nothing about the technology that I'm going to be  describing to you in this video. And I actually   think that that's a feature not a bug. Now, it  turns out that I have a fair amount of experience  

with putting together online courses. But, the  extent of my involvement in the production of   those courses is to contact MIT video productions  which is an incredibly professional organization   with experts in all of the AV technology that  you need in order to produce online content. So   I would show up my classroom, and they'd be  there put a mic on me and I'm good to go. That   was the extent of my knowledge. And it would be  great to be able to get MIT video productions   to come to my house once a week, and help me  to deliver online content during the pandemic,   but that was not going to happen. And so what I'm  going to be describing to you is the process that   I went through to create what is essentially a  one-man band. It's a solo operation for being  

able to deliver online content in a way that  I think students would find more compelling   than the typical talking head setup, and I'll come  to that in a minute. Now I'm going to be giving a   relatively high level description of my setup  and some useful tips if you want more details   I would urge you to take a look at the document  that my co-authors Brian Stevens and Sean Williams   and I have put together it's called "The  World of Edcraft", which takes its title from   the gaming community, "Challenges and  Opportunities in Synchronous Online Teaching". So   with that caveat in mind, let me first start with  a little bit of motivation, and explain to you   what really drove me to be able to put together  all of the things I'm going to tell you about.   So what's the goal? Well, in my case the goal was  to be able to deliver synchronous online content   that dominates live lectures in some dimensions  and to be able to do it solo. Let me explain   each of those components. After March 2020, when  all of us were thrown online without notice,   we were pretty frustrated that essentially  we were delivering lectures in a way that   students weren't really responding  to as much as if it were in person.  

For example in some cases because  students were in different time zones,   we had to pre-record lectures and we posted them  on our various different platforms. And not all   students watched all the videos, and those who did  said that they really weren't as engaged as they   otherwise would be for an in-person lecture. And  so, it's important to have this live connection   even if it's just online interactions the fact  that it is synchronous is pretty important.   Now, the reason that I want to be able to deliver  that content in dimensions that would actually   exceed what you would get in person is simply  because I was so frustrated that students were   getting shortchanged. In my opinion, they paid  a fair amount of tuition dollars they were not   getting the experience that they had hoped for.  And so, out of that frustration grew the thought   that well with all this wonderful technology  that we have shouldn't technology allow us to do   some things better than without it? And that's  true with financial technology, it's true with   social media, it's true with so many other facets  of modern life but it doesn't seem as true with   educational technology, and so, that was the goal  as well. And finally, why do it solo? Well mainly  

out of practicality during pandemics you're not  going to be able to get video crews to come into   your home, and show you how to set things up, and  manage glitches that happen all the time. And so   you have to figure out how to do it on your own.  So that's what I'm going to tell you about today.   Now which dimensions can we actually give students  a better experience than an in-person live class?   That's a tough one because I realized something  about human behavior. The fact is that as soon as  

you walk into a classroom and are standing  in front of a class of 50 or 60 students   you've got their attention. You don't need to do  anything you just have to be breathing and moving   and they are watching you they are listening to  you even if they may be finishing up conversations   with people seated next to them. The fact is  that a collective hush happens at the start of   class and everybody is focused on you. That is  very difficult to do in an online setting and so   we need to use technology to figure out a way to  replace that kind of human interaction. The three   dimensions that I came up with for being able  to outdo an in-person live class are number one   the ability to network with your peers  and even with others outside of class.   Number two real-time interactions with classmates  speakers and mentors I'll explain what that   means a little bit later on. And finally  access to a greater range of expertise  

than your professor mainly people from industry  who have a deep understanding of the kind of   business issues that our students are interested  in. I believe that using this online platform   we can actually deliver better than in-person  experiences in these three dimensions.   Now, I have to explain to you how and and why  but that's the goal that I set out to accomplish.   And it turns out that there's a common element  to achieving these goals. The key issue is how   do we capture and keep students attention  while they're watching us online? Especially   in my case over a three hour time slot  because once we went to a covid situation   we had to change the class schedules to be able  to allow students to engage in some hybrid classes   some in person but to do it in a socially  distanced and safe way. It turns out that   we didn't have the choice of selecting our  teaching slot so I was assigned Thursdays   from 6 to 9 pm. I was competing with dinner and  date night and that's a really serious challenge.  

So as long as we can figure out a way to  keep students focused on these interactions   with our online courses I believe  that we can achieve these three goals.   How do we do that? Well, it turns out that this  problem has already been solved. It's been solved   by Netflix and by the gaming community. Clearly tv  shows and video games are able to capture and keep  

our attention in some cases for hours. How do they  do that? It turns out that there are some common   elements to the so-called infotainment platform  and I want to tell you about four of them.   The first is that each of these infotainment shows  provide narrative. To begin with, they're telling   a story and so right away whether it's a drama or  it's a particular video game that we're following   and we're trying to defeat a boss. In whatever  setting you will interact in either gaming or tv  

shows you are aware of a narrative, and that  helps you orient your focus and attention.   Second there is almost always active  involvement, whether in the case of a   Netflix show some kind of an emotional buy-in you  identify with the protagonist you want to find out   what happens to him or her, and so you're paying  attention for that reason. In the case of gaming,   obviously, you're seeking to achieve a particular  goal and you're working either by yourself or   collaboratively so that interaction is there as  well. And the gaming community has now figured out  

all sorts of ways to increase that kind of buy-in  by having live streaming so you can actually see   gamers playing. Well, we can do that as well  with online lectures. In the zoom platform   that I use using polls, breakout  group exercises, the chat window,   raising blue hands for q&a, providing surveys to  students, initial meetings with your students,   informal lunches, allowing them to moderate guest  speakers and then having practicum exercises.   Those are all examples that I'll describe to  you a little bit later on how you can actually   get the students to be actively involved as  opposed to being passive observers. Three   you've got to engage multiple senses it's  not enough just to be speaking at them   and showing them slides you have to use other  mechanisms like sound effects, like animation,   like music to engage their emotions. And finally,  last but certainly not least, you need to give   viewers frequent breaks. At one point I thought  it was just you know because of commercials  

you have to be able to sell tv ad spots in  order to be able to raise money, but in fact,   there's a reason that breaks are important.  From the viewers perspective it allows them   to be able to reset and to be able to break up the  viewing period into a series of smaller segments.   Now people who've developed massive online  open courses understand the need for smaller   segments and it's the same even though you're  doing synchronous teaching. So the days where   you can lecture for an hour and 20 minutes that  may be true in person because physical presence   allows students to pay attention without getting  tired bored or distracted. But, in online settings  

when you don't have that physical presence it's  much more difficult to do. So, let me tell you   about my teaching style and why I developed the  particular technology to fit that style. First   of all, as you can tell, I use powerpoint as  my primary mode of instruction. I try to use   animation, again, in order to be able to engage  the students. And occasionally I'll use excel  

every once in a while I may use a blackboard,  but I don't really do flipped classrooms. We   tried that as an experiment and we found that our  business students actually did not want faculty   to be working on problem sets for them they  rather do that with the TA. They wanted to be   able to interact with faculty to hear about their  unique insights about the subject matter at hand.   Second, I typically like to stand when  I'm lecturing even online because I feel   like when I'm sitting there's just less energy  less dynamism. I want to be able to move freely   and I want to use this kind of a  weatherman type of an interface because   this is the closest approximation to what it would  look like if the students were in a lecture hall   with me in the front walking around back and  forth. And so I've set this up so I can move   freely and I can point to various parts of the  slides and so this seems to me to be a much more   dynamic kind of a perspective than the typical  talking head view that you might see from you know   a zoom interface. So this is what it would look  like if you were to share your screen and zoom and  

you would lecture you can't really point at the  screen. You might be able to use some kind of a   an annotating device but it really isn't the  same as when you're able to do this and to be   able to move around and to interact in a way that  makes the whole lecture seem much more realistic.   Also, I want to be able to transition seamlessly  from one type of a scene to another scene.   So for example, if i'm simply making comments  and speaking I'd like to be here in a kind of a   conference room setting but when I'm showing  slides I'd like to be able to move around   and finally you have to put  all of these pieces together   in a seamless high production quality fashion,  how do you go about doing that? Well that was   the problem that I was faced with in August  of 2020 thinking about the fall semester   and it wasn't until I encountered this gentleman,  Sean Williams, who's a visiting faculty at MIT   who gave a wonderful townhouse presentation of  his studio set up that I realized it was possible.   And when I saw Sean set up I said get me one  of those-that's what I want. It turns out that   I really had no idea what I was asking  because that was a fairly involved effort.  

And Sean was incredibly generous with his time  and advice and really helped me set my studio up   with multiple phone calls and pointers to various  different suppliers for the equipment and walked   me through setting up the equipment. It was really  an extraordinary show of generosity and one of the   reasons that I'm putting together this video is  to pay it forward to try to help other people the   way that Sean helped me. Sean also brought one of  his colleagues from the University of Tennessee,   Brian Stevens, who's been teaching online for a  number of years very successfully. And between   Sean and Brian, I was able to build the studio  that I wanted, to be able to deliver in the style   that I would like that's what I'm going to tell  you about now. So Im going to tell you about my  

studio setup and there'll be three components  to it hardware, software and the setup itself.   So let me start with the hardware  this is a list of all the components   in my home studio. I'm going to divide them up  into five categories audio, video, computing,   lighting and background, and then miscellaneous.  This is part of a larger spreadsheet that is   in the video description so you're welcome to  take a look at it at your leisure. It contains  

links to every single one of these components  from the various different vendor website   and by the way I'm getting no kickbacks or payouts  or sponsorships from any of these sites so these   are just the components that I purchased and  they work well for what I'm trying to accomplish.   Now you can see that the prices are listed as well  and some of these components are pretty expensive   as I said at the outset this is an investment so  if you're looking to give three or four online   lectures it is absolutely not worth it for you  to do this. The only reason that this would make   sense is if you're going to be teaching online  for a period of time and you're going to be   using this studio over and over again. I also  want to point out that there's a diagram number   in this particular spreadsheet. I want you to  pay attention to that because that's going to   correspond to a diagram of the setup that  I'm going to show you in just a minute. Now,   coming back to the cost of these components  let me show you the four most expensive parts.  

The first is the wireless mic that i'm using,  the second is the video camera, the third   is the desktop workstation that i'm using to do  all of this and finally the last one is the desk   that i'm using that's adjustable in  terms of height going up and down.   Now you can certainly put together your home  studio for much less than this so you do not   need to spend this kind of money. In my case, I  wanted to build a studio that was capable not only   of delivering online lectures but it would allow  me to edit and produce videos, because again solo   operation, we're not sure how long the pandemic  is going to last I want to be able to do this   in a way that can be sustainable over a period of  time. Now let me show you a diagram of how all of   these components are connected. This is really a  wiring diagram that shows pictures of every single  

component and how they're all connected  and the kind of connectors that you need   if you do this. Eventually you're going to  learn the difference between a USB A, USB B,   and a USB C connector and it's important to  understand those distinctions because you're   going to need to buy additional cables to connect  them all. Now let me just give you a tour through   each one of these components and if you want  the details, again, take a look at the paper   that Sean, Brian and I co-authored. I'm going to  go through each one of those clockwise using the  

item numbers that you have on the previous  slide let's start with component number one   that's a stream deck. This is a device out of  the gamers community that basically allows you to   put in a single key press multiple  functions so this is what allows   me to switch from scene to scene in a  seamless manner just by pushing a button.   Number two are the monitors, I recommend that  you get three monitors, I know that that's   excessive it may seem like a very big investment  but I promise you that it's well worth it. The   reason you need three is that one of the monitors  is going to be your computer monitor so you can   see what's going on with the various different  components. The second monitor is to project your   powerpoint slide you don't need a separate monitor  but it turns out that for a variety of reasons   that we'll describe in the document it's much more  convenient to have a second monitor display your   powerpoint. And the third monitor a much bigger  one monitor 2a in this diagram is really so you   can see your zoom video and interact with various  colleagues and students. Part three is lighting.  

You need at least three different lights. One 3a  is a light that's contained in a diffuser so as to   give you relatively soft light. And 3b are two led  panels that are very bright give you illumination   component. 4 is your tripod that's where your  camera goes. And on top of the tripod is a pan   and tilt remote, and the reason for that as I  mentioned you want to be able to do a one-man   show it's very difficult to run back and forth  to adjust your camera position unless you have   one of these devices where you can go up or down  and adjust the height and the tilt of your camera   from where you are. So very handy device something  that I've used many times saves me a lot of back   and forth trips to the camera. Item number five  is called a 10 mini this is a device that converts   the images from a webcam into a signal that a  computer can understand. And item number six is  

your webcam this is a Canon EOS RP but there are  many other webcams that are perfectly acceptable   so you can pick your favorite. Item seven  is a green screen this is what allows you   to create this weatherman look as well as to  have lots of different virtual backgrounds   now of course zoom has virtual background features  as well ,but for reasons that I'll explain a   little bit later on, it turns out that it's much  better to do this with your own green screen and   to be able to do the virtual background outside of  zoom. Item number eight is a 10 port USB extender.   You notice all of these connections going into  your compute. Most computers are not going to   have as many usb ports as you will need so this is  definitely going to come in hand. Item number nine  

is a foot pedal that allows you to advance your  slides without having to use your hands which   is particularly handy if you're giving a talk and  you've got notes and you're simply using a monitor   to be able to read those notes. Item number 10 is  a device called the GoXLR, this controls all the   various different audio components of your online  lecture, and it's really handy for things like   sound effects and be able to put certain parts on  mute while allowing other sounds to go through.   Item number 11 is the uplift desk that allows you  to move the desk up and down to various different   heights. The reason that this is particularly  handy is because sometimes when you're giving a   lecture you want to be standing, but if you're  doing a zoom meeting for several hours during   the day as well you want to be seated in that case  you can move the desk down to your seating level.  

Item number 12 is a document camera this  is particularly handy if you want to show   specific documents you want to do writing or  drawing you have a document camera right here.   This is my remote control and if I had some  equations that I wanted to do some derivations   I can simply write on this. Item number 13 is  the wireless microphone that I'm using as well   as the charging port for the batteries. This  is a really expensive mic but I have to tell  

you it is phenomenal. It's wireless which  allows me to move around without any issues   and the sound quality is just really excellent.  Item number 14 is a Wacom tablet input device,   I don't use it much, but for people that  like to annotate on their powerpoint slides   it's actually pretty handy. Item number 15 is  Bose computer speakers, I love the sound of Bose,   but in addition it's got a really nice on/off  switch that you can use for certain situations   where you want to turn off the speakers and maybe  use your microphones to prevent feedback. Item 16  

is the most expensive part on this list, the  desktop workstation. Part of the reason it's   so expensive is because it's really built to do  not just online lectures but video editing as well   so it's got a large amount of memory solid-state  drives and it's completely sound insulated so   it's absolutely silent you'll hear no  fans or other noise coming out of it.   Item 17 is the mouse and the slide advancer I'm  using the Logitech spotlight remote, which is   particularly cool for online lectures, because you  can do this. I want to spotlight the confidence   monitor I can show you this, or if I want, to go  back and show you the stream deck I can do this.   Not that easy to do with your typical  remote because you can't see a laser pointer   online. Item 18 is a uninterruptible power supply.  Item 19 which looks like a coil of cobras it's   actually a bunch of cables. Although each of these  components typically comes with its own cables  

you're going to need extenders, because once  you get your setup, you will invariably run into   situations where the cable is not long enough and  you will need to have extensions. You won't know   what cables you will need until after you set  up your system so I would propose that you get   all of the components working the way you want  it first, and then figure out where you'd like   to have everything positioned, and then purchase  the cables that you need. And last but not least   item 20 are in-ear monitors. You see I'm wearing  them here so that I can have direct input from the   system into exactly what it is that I'm outputting  to all of you. The reason that that's important   is actually a behavioral fact. So it turns out  that after doing a whole bunch of zoom meetings   during the course of a day I realized that my  voice is completely hoarse, and at first I didn't   understand why until I started watching myself and  listening to myself as I interact with with people   online, and I noticed that when I was listening to  them through the speakers I would raise my voice   somehow to match theirs it's I guess a human  behavioral trait that we're in conversations   with other people we try to match volume so  that we're not louder or softer than they are.  

And because of the way that the room echoes, I end  up speaking much more loudly than otherwise would,   and really end up making my voice hoarse after  just a few hours of speaking. And so when I use   these in-ear monitors and I turn off the speakers  it turns out that my voice lasts that much longer.   Now that we've gone over hardware let's talk about  software. This is the list of software that I use   to deliver online content OBS studio which I'll  describe in a minute, powerpoint, excel, and word,   zoom of course, adobe after effects which is used  to create transitions also known as stingers. So   here's an example of a stinger, pretty cool right?  I want to thank Brian Stevens for producing that for me in adobe after effects. Auto hotkey  which is a keyboard macro program that you  

can download for free wonderful program  that allows you to create shortcut keys.   Snazz which is a countdown timer and i'll  show you how that works a little bit later on.   And finally OBS ninja which is a new piece  of software that essentially allows you to   turn your smartphone into a webcam, and I'm  going to be using that to give you a tour of   my studio in just a few minutes. Now this is the  software that I use for delivering online content,  for editing videos that I've already shot like  for creating this video there's a different set of   software. It turns out that Windows 10 has actually  a very good editor built into, it if you want to be   a little bit more professional adobe premiere pro  is excellent and I also use avid mux and audacity   to edit the sound for various different videos  that I've shot. Now that we've gone through the   hardware and the software we're now ready to see  how it all fits together. As I mentioned before,  

Elektra has a number of different components audio,  video, powerpoint, excel, perhaps a writing tablet,   some cases you might want to use a light board  or other input devices like a document camera.   All of these components come together to make  up a lecture in the same way that the Hollywood   studio brings together all of these different  elements to make up a scene and so OBS studio   really does that job of bringing together these  different inputs which it calls sources and it   creates out of those different sources a single  scene and once it creates that scene it then feeds   it via a virtual webcam into zoom which then goes  to the students and so this process happens in an   incredibly complicated but seamless way on your  desktop computer which is one of the reasons why   you need a desktop and laptops really don't work  unless they're a gaming laptop and even if that's   the case it's got to be one that you purchased  within the last six months in order to have the   proper bandwidth to be able to use with zoom and  now let me show you the studio so these are images   from the studio that i set up in an office  at the mit computer science and ai lab   and i want to thank daniela roos head of the  lab for giving me permission to come back to   campus to use this office and my faculty  colleague bruce teeter who is in charge of   space allocations at csail for giving me such  a wonderful office to use for this purpose   in fact this was the former office of the late  patrick winston one of the founding fathers of   artificial intelligence he passed away a few  months ago and it's a great honor for me to   be using the office particularly because  in addition to being a first-rate scholar   patrick was also an incredible educator in fact  i put a link to his amazing talk how to speak   uh in the video description below i urge you to  take a look at it i've watched it several times   i have all of my students watch it it's the most  amazing lecture on how to give lectures and so i   think it's only fitting that we put together the  studio in patrick's office now the left image is   a shot of what it looks like standing behind the  desk facing the camera about to give a lecture   the image on the right is what it looks like from  behind the camera looking at the speaker and the   green screen behind that speaker and this image  is to the left of the webcam where you can see   the computer as well as the uninterruptible  power supply and other components and all of   the components are identified here so this is my  studio i'm using obs ninja to turn my iphone into   a webcam and let me turn it around so you can see  what i see when i lecture that's my normal webcam   behind it the confidence monitor i'm actually  running zoom right now so you can see the size   of that screen my desktop my two other computer  monitors two lights that's the third one to the   right and let me now walk to the front of the  office so you can see how everything is laid out   that's probably 15 or 20 feet from where i was  standing to the office door so you can see why   you need as large a confidence monitor as  i have otherwise you won't really be able   to see the images or the chat window from where  you're standing it's also handy to have a clock   and here's the canon eos rp webcam which is  sitting on top of that remote pan and tilt device   that i mentioned by the way unfortunately it's not  wireless so you are going to have to run cables to   your desktop and the computer cable management is  a pretty important thing to keeping a neat studio   that's one of the two bose speakers and you'll notice blue tape markings on  my desk that's really to show where you   stand to be in the middle of the shot  and the left and the right boundaries   this is the uplift desk that allows you  to adjust the height a really handy thing   especially if multiple people are using the  same studio or if you're going to be using   it to stand as well as to sit the stream  deck device that allows you to automate   various different scenes for a single push  of a button go xlr this is the a10 mini and the document camera the heart of the system is  behind that second screen   that's the thinkmate computer and  the uninterruptible power supply   battery charger the box contains microphones  and other items and i'm not sure you can see   underneath but this is where the extra usb  ports are located that's the foot pedal   and now the green screen you'll notice it's  extra wide because i want to be able to move   around without having to worry about being off of  that green screen and that's it that's the studio   now we've gone over the hardware the software and  how to put all of these components together but   there's still a fair amount of work involved in  figuring out how to install and properly configure   each of these components it turns out that there's  a lot of material on youtube to figure that out   and so in the video description below we have all  sorts of links so that you can actually get those   resources the same ones that i and brian and sean  used it turns out the gaming community has been   very active in providing all sorts of tutorials  ones that i use all the time are from gaming   careers pete wilkins thank you very much you've  been a life saver in all the various tutorials   that you provided there's more resources than i  have time to cover in this video so please check   out the materials that are listed below and in  the document that sean bryan and i put together   okay so now i'd like to turn to some useful tips  for using this setup in various different contexts   i'm going to focus on six of them  try to go over it fairly quickly   one is on composing slides in powerpoint two  animation three sound effects four how to   use zoom five using a checklist and finally six  class logistics so let's turn to the first item   composing slides first thing you'll need to  do is to choose a background color now you'll   notice that i'm using a kind of an off-white i  didn't do that at first the typical slide that   i use looks like this when i was lecturing live  in a classroom you want it to be fairly bright   because in the typical classroom there's lots  of light and so looking at a white background   seems perfectly fine but i realized that when  you're lecturing to individuals who are at home   and particularly if you're lecturing to them  thursday night you don't want something really   bright because it's quite jarring and in fact  if i showed you what this looks like full-on   you can see that a white background particularly  with a dark suit like i'm wearing now is visually   kind of disturbing and so what you want to be able  to do is to soften that a bit so instead of using   a white background i chose something a little bit  darker so that it's just a bit easier on the eyes   okay having picked out a color you now need to  put text on the slide it turns out that for online   lectures the font size doesn't have to be as large  as if it were in person i typically use 28 point   fonts but it turns out that 24 points works just  fine and you can even get away with smaller fonts   but you do need to leave some space to the  right of each slide for your image where   i'm standing right now now here you want  to add extra spaces by padding the line   rather than hitting a line return mainly because  when you do it inserts an extra space i know that   this is a minor issue but it used to bug me so  i'll tell you if i highlight this particular line   you can see that there's extra spaces to the right  of these two lines if instead of adding the padded   space to cause a line return if i actually just  hit it enter right at this point it would look   like this and you see it inserts this extra little  tiny space between the first and second line and   so that's one of the reasons why you want to just  add the extra space by padding the line as opposed   to hitting line return and finally sometimes  you do need to use the entire slide as opposed   to just the the left part and so when that happens  there's a really cool solution that i came up with   so here's an example of a table that i  wanted students to look at and compare   between the left and the right and there's no easy  way for me to make this smaller if i did that they   wouldn't be able to read the entries in the table  and by the way these are much smaller than 20   points so as i said when you're doing this online  you can use much smaller fonts but the way that i   figured out for being able to allow them to see  the right side of the slide as well as the left   is this voila now this looks pretty easy  but there's a little bit of subtlety here   i'm going to give you a few seconds  can you tell what just happened   well what happened is that i used obs studio to  take my image and slide it to the left of the   slide but i did something else i also flipped my  image to its mirror and the reason that i did that   is because in this position i'm looking at my  computer screen and my left hand is pointing   at the middle of the slide so for example when i  point to a particular entry on this table i use   my left hand to do it well if i were to shift and  now go to the other side of the screen i'd have   to use my right hand normally and i would have to  reposition everything it would be quite difficult   because then i'd be looking at the opposite side  of where my computer screen is which is to my left   however when i flip the mirror image i can  still use my left hand and i'm still looking   at my computer screen and still looking at  the middle of the slide from your perspective   so that simple trick allows me with the flip  of a button to be able to go from left to   right right to left up down in a way that's  actually pretty smooth so it doesn't really   matter where the content is on your screen you can  always move yourself out of the way as necessary   okay now let me turn to animation as i mentioned  in order to keep the attention of the students in   an online setting you need to keep it dynamic  and animation is a great way to do that so   here's an example where i'm talking about clinical  trials and showing how clinical trials need to be   arranged into drug indication pairs and  pathways each of these horizontal bars   is a pathway and so what we need to do is to sort  these clinical trials into those pathways this is   a slide where i was talking about the covid19  impact on financial markets the s p and nasdaq   and pointing out that if you simply eliminated  the chunk in the middle where markets reacted   to covid you realize that actually there really  isn't any long-term impact on financial markets   as far as we can tell and that's really  because we're all reacting through the   so-called five stages of financial grief and  so this is an animation that highlights that   but this slide is the slide i am proudest  of this is an illustration of something in   statistics known as type 1 and type 2 error  which is a particularly important concept for   randomized clinical trials in healthcare finance  and so i start with type 1 error which is this   area under the curve here and i talk about what  happens if you've got an alternative hypothesis   and you want to understand what happens to the  test when you're testing against this particular   hypothesis well that's type 2 error which is this  side of the curve and 1 minus type 2 error is   power which is on the other side of that curve i  hope you appreciate this animation because it took   me like three hours to make it i'm very proud of  it and i'm going to include this slide in the link   below in case you'd like to use it for your own  applications finally i tend to use sound effects   mainly because i feel that that ends up adding  an extra dimension to grab students attention   so this is a slide where i was talking about one  of my colleagues harvey lodesh who is a professor   at the mit whitehead institute harvey's story is  an amazing one and as soon as i heard it i said   that i want to be like harvey lodesch because it  turns out that he did some work in the 1980s that   developed a drug for a rare disease called gaucher  syndrome which ultimately his grandson developed   completely unknown to him at the time when he was  developing it and so his grandson is doing just   fine thanks to the drug that grandpa helped to  develop two decades before he was born and so this   is an example where you can do well by doing good  and to make that point i use a little animation i know it's kind of cheesy but what can i tell you  it's something that i think students respond to   okay let's talk about zoom now you might think  that this is the most important part of the   discussion but it's not because we've done all  the hard work already in putting together all the   different components that make up a lecture  composing it into a scene in obs and having   obs stream it into zoom using obs you will never  ever have to share your screen again now there's   nothing wrong with sharing your screen in fact i  use it all the time for smaller meetings and zoom   but when you're trying to deliver this to a  class of 90 students and you've got other things   going on like the chat window and people raising  blue hands and so on it turns out that zoom can   sometimes get overloaded and sharing your screen  does have some glitches and delays never mind   the delays that you create by you know  fiddling with your mouse and looking for   oh should i share this screen i'm sorry the wrong  screen let me switch and share this other screen   these delays again they cause students to lose  attention and focus so this is especially useful   when you're sharing videos because the way  that obs works is to put together all of these   elements onto your computer and then to stream  that into zoom so what zoom is seeing is just   one video stream and so here's an example where if  i have a video clip that i want to play here's a   video clip of a clinical trial for a patient  that is treated with a single gene therapy   you'll see that it is an incredibly smooth  video and now i can control the volume   using my go lxr and raise it if i want  to double the voiceover and then lower   the volume so that i can talk over it and  describe what's going on in this video clip do you see how smooth that video was if you're  doing that through share screen even when you   click on the optimize for video sharing it's much  more jumpy and occasionally it will freeze whereas   with obs as long as it shows up properly on your  computer it will show up very smoothly in zoom   also in zoom i do use polls often because  remember i'm trying to increase interaction   with the students so for any given lecture i'll  have three or four polls where i'm asking students   specific questions and then showing the results to  the rest of the class which they often find really   interesting i'll use breakout rooms as well  to allow students to interact with each other   one of the really nice features  about zoom is that you can pre-assign   breakout rooms why would you want to do that  well one of the things that i was trying to   achieve in my course was to get as many students  to meet as many other students as possible and   so every week i would have breakout rooms  that were different from the previous week   so that i knew for a fact that they were getting  random interactions that they didn't have before   the only drawback with zoom is that for each zoom  session you can only have one pre-assigned set   of breakout rooms you can't do two different  pre-assignments it would be wonderful if they   did that but from a software perspective i gather  it's quite hard now these next two components are   probably the most important and that is the use of  blue hands for students who want to ask questions   and then to encourage the use of the chat window  so that students can interact with each other   in both these cases the ta's role is critical  because when you're lecturing online you're   not able to monitor these two things and the  ta can and be able to bring to your attention   things that are warranted now i want to emphasize  in particular the use of the chat window because   i have to tell you that when i first came across  it i was really surprised in fact i thought it   was kind of rude that while i was lecturing  students are chatting with each other and   i began to realize that actually not only was it  not rude but it was actually important that they   do that that you encourage them to do that let me  give you an example so here's an image from one   of my zoom classes where the chat window is given  below and i was talking about a particular concept   in the drug industry and it involved a particular  entity known as a pbm pharmacy benefit manager   and it turns out that i hadn't defined the term  even though i used it so in the chat window   student number one writes what's pbm now i'm not  watching this chat window because i'm lecturing   and so this is going on completely outside of  my engagement student number two writes back in   the chat window pharmacy benefit manager student  number three provides a little bit more context   cvs express scripts those are examples of pbms the  ta then weighs in and puts a link to the wikipedia   definition of the pharmacy benefit manager and  then student number four who actually has some   experience consulting for pbms writes often the  middleman between your insurance plan and the   drug companies and student number one says thanks  the amazing thing is that this entire interaction   took place over the course of 29 seconds think  about that and what it means for learning   imagine a live class where this student is  sitting in the room listening to me talk   i didn't define this term and so now he's confused  and maybe he can talk to the student to the left   or the right of him but if they don't know then  he's out of luck so he's sitting in the class   kind of confused not sure what i'm saying trying  to figure out from the context what a pbm is   but feeling a little irritated or perhaps  intimidated and not wanting to stop the   class for something as as trivial as this even  though in fact it's not at all trivial it's quite   important that he knows what a pbm is and why i'm  using it in the context that i am in this case   in 29 seconds he has his answer and he's not  confused anymore in fact he can appreciate now   why i'm using that example in the remaining  time that i have to lecture about it   so once i understood the power of the chat window  i actively encourage my students to use it and in   fact i will ignore it myself because at one point  i actually tried to answer a question that was in   the chat window while i'm talking and i realized  that the student actually felt a little bit   intimidated because he didn't want me to  stop my lecture in order to answer him he   was actually looking for help from his students  some amazingly interesting and important ideas   are expressed in the chat window from one student  another and you know i have to tell you that this   came out of the gaming community i'm sure in terms  of interactions among gamers as they live streamed   and very often as instructors you know we have  very rigid views about what proper protocol   and behavior are and i realize that you know when  we think about what an ideal student is a student   that's paying attention hands folded focusing  on the lecture whereas other students may be   distracted and thinking about lots of things it  turns out that this kind of a technology platform   enables those students who might  get distracted because either they   get it and they're bored or because they are  confused and the teacher is not helping them   using this platform they can be engaged in ways  that we can't easily do in a traditional setting   in fact i'll go even beyond this to make  a conjecture from a learning perspective   what we think of as deficits and disorders with  various kinds of individual behavior differences   maybe with the right kind of technology deficits  and disorders become strengths now i'm no expert   in learning disabilities but having  experienced that myself when i was growing up   i can tell you that there are all sorts of  innovations that are occurring today that can   actually turn those deficits and disabilities into  advantages okay let's talk about class logistics   as i mentioned i taught on thursdays from  six to nine pm and so here's an example   of the typical schedule that i would have i  usually begin about an hour before class time   and i start by rebooting my computer so that  it's in a clean state and then launch all the   various different software applications that  i'm going to be using for class on that day   including zoom now it's particularly important to  start zoom early because it does crash on occasion   and it's better to find out early rather than  just a few minutes before it time for lecture   and so once i start all of those  things i begin going through my lecture   making sure that everything is prepared  all of the effects are working and so on   and during that process i have a splash page on  zoom in case any of the students sign in early   and the splash page has the name of the course and  also has a countdown timer much like the gamers   use when they're about to do a live stream  just to build anticipation and drama i guess   so this is what my splash page looked like  it's got the name of the course the date and   a countdown in terms of minutes and seconds to  class time and usually when i have this page up   i'll actually play some music just  to keep things light and interesting you know one of the advantages of having a go  xlr is you can actually control the audio to   your different inputs so i've actually just  reduced the audio to this music so that i   can speak over it and you know in case we have  guest speakers in class that come a bit early   and they're wondering why they're hearing this  music i can break it down and say hi to them   and typically what i do is to choose a song right  before class begins that's particularly upbeat   just to get the mood going and that really allows  me to change the mood of the class to make it   somewhat more dynamic and exciting and so you know  as we get closer to class time the music begins   to end and as it ends i will then transition  to class and it'll look something like this and uh and then i start with some introductory  remarks and of course the music uh gets turned   down and then we begin our class so that's the  process that i use to get the class started and   once we begin shortly after the start i'll ask  the students to go into the breakout rooms they're   assigned just for a five minute meet and greet  session because uh they generally don't know   each other since i'm using these breakout rooms to  introduce them to new people in the class that's   the networking part of my goal and then they come  back after the five minute meet and greet we do   some more lectures i'll do some polls to get them  interacting again encourage them to use the chat   window and then we'll put them into a breakout  room for the exercise which is usually a 10 or   15 minute period where they're actually working  on a particular problem sometime during the three   hours we'll take a 10 minute break usually around  the middle although it depends upon the guest   speakers schedules we typically have guest  speakers during the second half of class and the   idea there is to be able to have them get exposed  to industry experts as well as lectures from me   we all always have students introduce the speakers  and moderate the discussion again to get them to   be engaged and to interact with each other and  with the speakers and then we end promptly at 8 55   pm now i typically give them a five minute break  at that point and then i'll change the setting and   talk with them informally kind of like an after  class session and you know the setting that i use   is a different background that provides a little  bit more of a relaxed atmosphere i'll take off my   jacket and tie and and it will seem much more  casual than the kind of lecture format that we   typically use and that usually happens for about  a half an hour and at that point we say goodnight   so that's how class works and the idea again  is to try to keep it as dynamic and as engaged   as possible the one thing that i want to emphasize  is that it's really important to provide the   students with a schedule like this so typically  before every lecture i'll give them a much more   detailed schedule about exactly when we're going  to have the break when the speakers will come in   we'll start and finish and so on and it is really  important to stay on schedule mainly because   people are all in various different time zones  they're at home or they're at school in a room   that's being used by others to view this and they  need to understand exactly when the breaks are   and when various different activities are going  to happen and so the more you can stay on schedule   the more they can actually plan around these  various different activities and one more thing   you have to know about is a checklist there are so  many different things that have to happen before   an online lecture you will not remember all of  them and even if you do you will not necessarily   remember the order in which those things need to  be done let me give you an example i discovered   much to my disappointment and frustration that  the order in which you launch zoom turn on your   computer launch obs powerpoint and the other  software packages that order actually matters so   if for example you switch on your camera after  you turn your computer on and after you start   zoom and obs that can sometimes lead to crashes so  i've learned you have to turn on the camera first   then start your computer then launch obs first and  launch it in administrative mode and then launch   zoom and the other applications for whatever  reason on my system this is what needs to happen   so i put it in a list so this is my checklist  it's not going to be the same as yours but you'll   definitely want to have one well we've covered a  lot of material in this video and i want to thank   you for sticking with me to this point we've done  it at a fairly high level so you might not be able   to apply all of the things that we've covered but  that's one of the reasons why sean brian and i put   together this research article to describe how we  use our technologies in various different contexts   in fact we provide three case studies that come  from the three courses that each of us taught   brian taught a large undergraduate statistics  course shawn taught a mid-sized mba course in   operations management and i taught my class of  healthcare finance of 90 students so if you want   to learn more about how we use our respective  technologies in those contexts you'll definitely   want to take a look at this paper as well as the  videos that each of us have produced down below   finally i want to tell you that this is a  very long process it's a lot of work but it's   incredibly rewarding for those of you who really  care about your teaching this is a really exciting   opportunity to change the way we deliver  our content in an atmosphere that really   uses technology to its fullest as i mentioned  earlier i think i'm going to be using some of   these concepts when we go back to in-person  teaching and i'm not quite sure how to do that yet   but i do know that i will not look at teaching  the same way now that i've had this experience i   wish you good luck with your online teaching and  until next time thank you so much for watching was baby you are using there's no fixing what's been  broken this ain't the first time walking down the street the  rain is pouring down but my feet the mirror i can see there's no fixing what's been  broken this ain't the first time this ain't the first time i'll leave it all behind i this ain't the first time till i'm fine you

2021-01-25 10:54

Show Video

Other news