Here’s the story. Mr. Big Food is teaching two sections of Business Ethics this semester. It’s a service course. It’s not his area of expertise, but he’s good at it and he likes it, so he does it so that the junior faculty don’t have to. The students are mostly junior and senior business majors, with a couple of philosophy majors thrown in.
Mr. Big Food’s way of teaching business ethics divides the semester in two. First, they do some case study work (think Exxon Valdez or on the flip side, Birkenstock’s company model). The second part of the semester is devoted to decision theory– probability including Bayes, value, utility, etc. This is the fun stuff!
Classes started on Monday. Mr. Big Food is an excellent teacher but also a practical and not overly feel-good sort of guy. So he figured out how he was going to conduct class from his farm table desk back in the Bunkhouse without too terribly much fuss, but still be totally available for his students. (We even double checked his Skype abilities.) The first day went very well. Lots of discussion on the Canvas board. However, many of the students asked if there was a way for him to video the step-by-step problem solving.
This was an understandable request. Unless you happen to be someone who grasped the concept of negative integers before you turned four, seeing e.g., a Bayes Theorem problem worked out on the board is useful.
So when Mr. Big Food returned home from work– walked from the Bunkhouse into the Big House– he mentioned this to me and asked if we had a video camera.
This was funny to me because, as you can imagine, we have several iterations of video cameras laying around just in case we need a
crappy old video camera. But I simply replied, “Yes. There’s one in my pocket.”
Annnnd… we’re off!
Except that what I know about posting videos to Canvas is considerably less than what I know about using a
crappy old video camera. And the J-Man no longer lives here.
It is called a learning curve.
I learned one cannot capture a seven minute mov. file weighing in at about 700+Mb and expect to just lickedysplit upload it to Canvas!
I learned post-processing.
I learned “trim” in QuickTime was my friend.
I learned Handbrake is my newest friend. (Much to my delight, I discovered that I already have VLC which one must have if one wants Handbrake to function.)
I learned that Canvas cannot handle even a 20Mb mp4 file at 4 o’clock in the afternoon when all of the students are awake and on Canvas.
I learned, this morning at about 7 o’clock, that there’s a freaking limit to the total size of files that a professor can post on a Canvas site. A limit. Go figure.
I learned that YouTube stalls more than one would think. And it’s not just me. I consulted the internet and discovered there are a number of YouTube channels devoted to YouTube failures.
I also learned, during the first part of today’s video sessions, that Mr. Big Food is pretty good about keeping segments shorter rather than longer so I will not need to do so much post-processing.
I also want to comment that The Daughters were extremely helpful during this post-processing learning. We’re all in this together. There is some sweet family history associated with the chalk board, by the way.
Stay well and think about Bayes. Really quite fascinating stuff. Mr. Big Food gets positively excited sharing with his students how cool it is!