Chunk-a Chunk-a Burning Love for Knowledge

FIU Online’s monthly Instructor Webinar series explores relevant instructional strategies and effective uses of technology for the online environment. The latest instructor webinar details how an instructional designer and faculty member worked together to compose short lecture videos presenting complex concepts in an engineering course. 

Instant Replay: Chunk-a Chunk-a Burning Love for Knowledge

Presenters, Dr. Lili Steiner, FIU Online instructional designer and Dr. Carmen Muller-Karger, mechanical and materials engineering instructor at Florida International University, explore their collaboration in designing a more functional course through the integration of short narrated lecture videos. If you missed the webinar, you can view the recording or check out some key takeaways from the webinar below.

The ADDIE Model and Backward Design Model

Two models can assist instructors and designers in creating a more functional course that will promote student understanding of the complex topics in less time. The ADDIE model is an overview of how the designer and instructor work together throughout the design process. This model allows for refinement of material in a course at any time through consistent evaluation. 

The backward design model provides a pathway for tackling the new design of a course. This model considers the desired outcomes for students,and plans assessments and learning activities according to desired results.

Image of ADDIE Model

Implementing the Backward Design Model for Short Lecture Videos

The backward design model serves as the blueprint for a functional course. Steiner highlights the significance of starting with the desired outcomes of the course. To determine the outcomes of the course, instructors look at creating course and module level objectives using action verbs such as evaluate, review, solve, etc. Instructors cannot know if students achieved the desired outcomes if there is no way to evaluate the outcomes. Action verbs allow the outcomes to become measurable.  

Once the outcomes are outlined, the next step in the model asks instructors to detail how they plan to determine whether or not students are comfortable with course concepts by means of assignments and assessments. Ideally, assignments and assessments align with the course and module level objectives. They will serve as a way for instructors to evaluate students’ understanding. Corresponding rubrics for assessments in a course can help familiarize students with what they should pay attention to in preparation for an assessment. Given the difficulty of her engineering course, Dr. Muller-Karger describes the importance of providing her students with rubrics for all their assessments. 

The last step of the backward model looks at the learning activities of a course. Students engage with learning activities in preparation for assignments and assessments. 

Image of Backward Design Model

Mapping It Out

Course maps are a great way to organize the backward design model and create sound alignment between course and module level objectives, assessments, and learning activities.

Image of alignment between outcomes, assessments, and activites

Picture Perfect Short Lecture Videos

Steiner explains that short educational films have been used in the classroom since the 1960s.  Today, instructors can create short lecture videos using a variety of tools and applications at little to no cost. Most of these tools are present on Windows and Apple devices. Steiner and Dr. Muller-Karger used the program Explain Everything and the FIU’s Learning Glass to create their videos. Dr. Muller-Karger visited the FIU Online Multimedia studio and presented her lessons using the Learning Glass. The FIU Online Multimedia team formatted her videos and provided her with a link to use within her course. To learn more about the FIU Online Multimedia studio and the Learning Glass, please visit FIU Online Multimedia.

It is important to keep these videos between 3-15 mins long and they should only describe a single course concept. “Chunking” through the use of short lecture videos, allows instructors to summarize and reinforce the most important information. A high level of student engagement is maintained because the information is condensed and presented for only a short period of time. 

Available Tools to Create Short Lecture Videos

Short lecture videos can be created easily, using tools such as:

  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint Recording: record the slide show and export the PowerPoint to MP4
  • Zoom Recording on Canvas
  • Screencastify through the Chrome browser extension
Instructor Webinars

Future Instructor Webinars

Be on the lookout for FIU Online’s future webinars on additional strategies for effective online teaching. If you have any ideas for future webinar topics, we’d love to hear them. Contact Christina Schettini ( to share your ideas for future webinar topics.

Read some of our other instructor webinar instant replay articles:

Brianna was an Instructional Design Assistant with FIU Online. She specializes in creating an engaging and innovative learning environment. She graduated from FIU with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2017 and is currently completing her Master of Science in Conflict Analysis & Resolution.

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