Trailers? Trailers!

One of the things a lot of the technology coaches have been working on through the summer is helping faculties and their members produce trailers for their courses and programs.

A trailer? Why would you do that?

The simple truth is that students, either current or prospective, often don’t have time to read through the stack of paper they get at the beginning of the semester. Calendar entries are couched in the vocabulary of experts in a particular area – there’s no real effort to explain to somebody who doesn’t know anything about the field yet what a particular course or program is all about.

Enter the trailer

The solution a lot of post-secondaries have hit upon is to produce a course trailer – a short video which explains what the course is all about to people just starting the course or who are starting to think about it.

Think about how movie studios advertise their films to the public – they’re able to produce 30-second “spots” which are incisive, informative, and (hopefully) capture the spirit and plot of the film to encourage the audience to go see the entire work once it’s released. This is the educational equivalent.

There are a lot of course trailers out there already – here are a couple of my favourites:

At the University of Calgary

I spent part of my summer working with my colleagues, Haboun Bair and Ykje Piera getting people onto the course trailer bandwagon. We’ve done two mini-workshops with the Learning Technologies Coaches to show them how to make them, as well as another one with faculty members here at the Taylor Institute. We’re likely to hold more as we go.

We’ve also had two course trailers finished and released. While they’re not posted for public consumption yet, the reception has been really good. We’re looking forward to seeing where people run with this project.