“Microlectures” are short video pieces that attempt to convey key subject matter in an extremely short time span, as short as 60 seconds but usually in the 2-5 minute range. The focus is on giving attention to a particular concept of point. They can be recorded as audio or video pieces for repeated playback by students. Proponents of microlectures say that these are a more realistic representation of college student attention spans and work well when teamed with an assignment or discussion activities. Video microlectures are becoming a popular tool in online courses. Critics of microlecture maintain that the format in not suitable for complex topics that require larger amounts of framing, explanation, or analysis.

Fred Zinn’s Microlecture on Meaningful Images:


Click the Image to Play Video

Example: 90 Second Microlecture on Voice in Writing from San Juan College:

Link: Chronicle of higher Ed – These Lectures Are Gone in 60 Seconds

The Microlecture Process
byDavid Penrose course designer for SunGard Higher Education:

1. List the key concepts you are trying to convey in the 60-minute lecture. That series of phrases will form the core of your microlecture.

2. Write a 15 to 30-second introduction and conclusion. They will provide context for your key concepts.

3. Record these three elements using a microphone and Web camera. If you want to produce an audio-only lecture, no Webcam is necessary. The finished product should be 60 seconds to three minutes long.

4. Design an assignment to follow the lecture that will direct students to readings or activities that allow them to explore the key concepts. Combined with a written assignment, that should allow students to learn the material.

5. Upload the video and assignment to your course-management software.

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