3 Lightboard Instructional Video

Jennifer Kopczinski


Title of the activity:

Lightboard course orientation video


Number of people involved:

The lightboard video was used in lieu of a written or other video-based course introduction/orientation. The video was designed to be watched by the entire class in ADED 1P31 (approximately 30 students). The production of videos included the instructor and a production team (approximately 1-2 staff members) from Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI).


Amount of time scheduled for the activity:

The video itself was approximately 8 minutes in length.


Program/Class the plan was used for:

ADED 1P31 – Learning for Success



  1. The use of the lightboard was coordinated and scheduled through CPI. CPI staff arranged the production facility and provided the filming and audio equipment, along with the lightboard itself. The footage took approximately 30 minutes to film (including set-up and multiple takes).
  2. The CPI staff members completed the post-production editing and rendering necessary for the video to be useable. This involved adjustments to the colour/exposure (to reduce glare from the lightboard surface) and flipping the image so that the words/images on the lightboard did not appear backward to the viewer. Approximately 3-5 business days were allocated to post-production.
  3. The finalized video was uploaded to YouTube and embedded in the Overview area of the Sakai site for ADED 1P31. The video was also embedded in an announcement that was emailed to the entire class the week prior to the course starting.


Example of activity:


The orientation video contained an overview of the course topics and their relationship to the overarching goals of the course. Additionally, the learning activities and assessments were mapped onto the course goals.


Connections to the literature:

The use of the lightboard as a medium for online teaching supports two fundamental pedagogical principles: metacognitive skill development and instructor presence in an online environment.


How students organize information can impact both their experience of learning and how they apply what they have learned. Those with experience in a domain (such as instructors) have rich and meaningful knowledge structures which support learning and performance whereas students are still developing these cognitive knowledge networks. According to Ambrose et al. “when students are provided with an organizational structure in which to fit new knowledge, they learn more effectively and efficiently than when they are left to deduce this conceptual structure for themselves” (2010, p. 53). The lightboard provides a medium through which these organizational structures can be made apparent to students in a visual medium.  Additionally, this medium allows the instructor to actively construct the knowledge organization structure, demonstrating to students the interconnections between ideas and building the structure as they go. Rather than presenting such a structure to students as a static artifact, the act of constructing it makes explicit the metacognitive processes underpinning the structure. This is especially important as the learning outcomes for ADED 1P31 focus on students developing metacognitive skills to approach their academic studies.  In this sense, the lightboard is not only facilitating the process of making explicit the organizational structures that underpin the course topics and concepts, but in and of itself is a model of a metacognitive skill. While I elected to use the lightboard to demonstrate the connections between the concepts that will be covered for the entire course, it could also be used for a particular topic or lesson.


One could argue that these outcomes could be achieved through screen-capture software of through filming the instructor at a whiteboard.  While this is true, the lightboard provides the added value of supporting instructor presence in an online learning environment.  Social presence has been associated with students’ cognitive presence in online learning (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000). Providing students with the opportunity to visibly see their instructor (rather than read text written by the instructor or listen to their voice through audio recordings), creates a more meaningful connection to the learning which has been associated with student retention (Boston et al., 2009), learning satisfaction (Hostetter & Busch, 2006) and perceived learning success (Richardson & Swan, 2003).


Ways in which the plan addresses democratization or justice:

The lightboard provides a platform that replicates an in-class learning experience for those students who may encounter barriers to participating in this learning format including student parents, students with full-time employment, students with medical challenges, or students who are living at a distance from the institution.


Variations of the activity:

The lightboard can be used as a medium to provide almost any content through active construction that simulates learning in a face-to-face environment.


How to build the activity in SAKAI:  

Once the video is uploaded to YouTube it can be embedded into various features of Sakai (e.g. Lessons, Announcements, Overview).


Other technology needed for the plan:

  • Lightboard (available through CPI)
  • Filming equipment
  • Audio recording equipment (portable microphone)
  • Video editing software




Ambrose, S. A., Lovett, M., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., & Norman, M. K. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.


Boston, W., Diaz, S., Gibson, A., Ice, P., Richardson, J., & Swan, K. (2009). An exploration of the relationship between indicators of the Community of Inquiry framework and retention in online programs. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(3), 67-83.


Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education model. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.


Hostetter, C., & Busch, M. (2006). Measuring up online: The relationship between social presence and student learning satisfaction. Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6(2), 1-12.


Richardson, J. C., & Swan, K. (2003). Examining social presence in online courses in relation to students’ perceived learning and satisfaction. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 7(1), 68-88.