Skip to Main Content
MCPHS Library Logo

Center for Teaching & Learning: Developing Course Content

Supporting the MCPHS faculty and staff in their commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and learning

Should I Use TED Talks?

TED Talks can be exciting, fun, and engaging. Are they instructional? Learn more about the purpose of a TED talk so you can evaluate its place in your course.

Should TED Talks Be Teaching Us Something? Short journal article identifies differences between classroom lecture and TED Talks. Offers suggestions on using TED Talks in your class as a starting point for instruction. Provides some critical views on TED Talks as instructional content.

Top 10 Smart Alternatives to TED Talks  Read this article for details on what each of these options for talks offers. You'll want to explore these and discover what may work for your classes.  List includes:

  1. Big Think
  2. Talks at Google
  3. PopTech
  4. IdeaCity
  5. The Veritas Forum
  6. PechaKucha
  7. The Gel Conference
  8. Ignite
  9. The Moth
  10. 99U

Engaging Instructional Content

If you'd like to expand your instructional content and add materials that meet a wider range of learning needs, support creativity, and are engaging, read through this list of ideas. Bonus: Think about these for student assignments too!

Add expertise and invite "guest speakers".

  • Movies
  • Documentaries
  • Animation ((illustrated and narrated, explanations))
  • Recorded lectures (Flip you class with these)
  • Virtual reality (not quite a video)

Contextualize concepts. 

  • Real-world examples
  • Illustrated examples
  • Visual analogies
  • Demonstrations
  • Think-Alouds
  • Concept maps

Add audio.

  • Podcasts
  • Songs
  • Conversations
  • Interviews
  • Audio books
  • Music

Explain complex concepts.

  • Slideshows
  • Infographics
  • Diagrams
  • Charts
  • Graphic novels
  • Mind maps
  • Timelines
  • Illustrations

The Importance of Faculty & Student Introductions

Meeting your students and getting to know them is a first step in creating a trusting learning environment. Creating a community starts with everyone. Learn more about the many ways to facilitate this.

How To Make the Most of a Video Introduction for an Online Course

Learn why you should record an introduction for your online course and tips on creating a simple script. This short post provides evidence-based rationale:

  • Increased instructor presence
  • Improved perceptions of course efficacy

Tip: Suggest your students record their introductions. This works for online and classroom settings. Think about it, in the classroom you may not go around the room and ask students to introduce themselves (time is precious). So, why not use your online course shell's discussion forums for the introductions?

Scripting for Lectures and Videos

Writing for the Ear

Some presentations just seem to flow. They're easy to follow and listen to. Then there are the presentations that sound stiff and awkward. Written communication is different from oral communication. What is acceptable and appropriate in writing, may carry a different feel and be difficult to understand when spoken. Writing for the ear is writing intentionally for the spoken word.  With some guidance, you can learn how to improve your lectures, visit the resources below and learn how to write for the ear.

5 Ways to Write for the Ear, Not for the Eye

Make your recorded presentations more engaging. Aim for a more natural manner of speaking. Warmer tones and a conversational style work best. Learn more about the five tips below by visiting the media training site.

  1. Use short words
  2. Use short sentences
  3. Use everyday words
  4. Use contractions
  5. Speak them aloud (when drafting)

 Your Ears Are Stupid: My Top Ten Tips When Writing for the Ear

10 tips to add a conversational tone to your presentations. This is not a dumbing-down of information. The purpose is good communication - that the message you intend is the one that is received. This article includes examples for each tip.

Effective Instructional Videos and Presentations

Your lectures are not just "PowerPoints". They are multimedia presentations for learning. Why does this matter? When you reconsider these recordings as multimedia, you open the door to theory-based approaches. 

More Resources!

Connect with the MCPHS Libraries via Social Media: Instagram