Monday, September 29, 2008

Student Difficulties with "Reflexiones Orales"

(image from

As Marcos noted in one of the earlier blog posts, the SPAN 232 students did a wonderful job with their "reflexiones escritas." They wrote insightful and rich reflections on what they were learning or about to learn.

Something different happened for the "reflexiones orales."

Students have to talk into a webcam for 5 minutes about the assigned topic, record their reflection, then upload it to YouTube to share with their TA.

Some students did a great job and did everything on time.

Many students didn't even follow the directions to invite their TA on YouTube so that they could share the video with them. Those students will get a "0". But that would have been so easy to avoid.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Students, if you read this and want to share why this seems to be so difficult for some students to do, please leave a comment.

My only thought is that this is totally new for many students and that the "unknown" is difficult for them. Otherwise, I'm really stumped on this.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. My difficulty had to do with upload times for the video. I have a job off campus, am the VP of a volunteer organization, am applying to medical school, AND am training for the marathon. I recorded the video on Friday after class but could not commit the time to upload it until Sunday evening at which point it took several hours to upload. I personally like the idea brought up in my discussion section of presenting our reflexiones in person to our TAs. Another idea I had while recording which will eliminate some of the time commitment and technical difficulty is the use of SKYPE rather than YouTube.

  3. I am a mac user and knew that it would be somewhat different trying to record a video and upload it to youtube than what others would be doing. Therefore, I did do the test video and am extremely happy I did. I ended up having to figure out what program I had to use and then how to change the format of my video to be able to have youtube accept it. I did not have any real problems with uploading my video for the assignment. The only problem I had was with the issue of length. My first video exceeded the limit and I had to rerecord the video, but because I did it on wednesday, it wasn't that big of a deal and the 2nd time i tried uploading my video, it worked and youtube processed it within an hour or so.

    I think the use of youtube is a new approach for a class and could be really beneficial. There are always going to be technical glitches and that's why you should try getting your stuff done as soon as possible so you are able to deal with these glitches before the deadline passes.

  4. I did not have any real problem with uploading my video because I borrowed a webcam my roommate bought and was able to use that and direct my reflexion oral directly to youtube after creating the video. I understand why some people may have had troubles, but I think it is kind of a shame that this opportunity has become such a problem.

  5. The hardest part for me was making sure my video got uploaded in time. My computer went hours saying it was processing the video to be uploaded before it actually was. This caused for an unexpected delay in how much ahead of time i had to plan to upload the video.

  6. I was successfully able to upload the test video to youtube and therefore thought that I would not have a problem with the diario digital 1. After recording my video for the first time, I uploaded it from my own mac and it displayed file too small. I re-recorded my video using my roommates mac and was able to upload it after almost 12 hours. This seemed to be the major problem with many people. I would have gone to FLB to upload but I was very self-conscious considering the computer is in a corner of the lab but other students can hear and watch you. I like the idea of recording videos but many of us have never used youtube before. Perhaps if we could find another site that would allow videos to be uploaded and private would be a better suggestion although I don't know what that is at this time.

  7. I work in the Housing Computer labs helping people with various computer problems, so I can understand how people struggled with this assignment.

    I'm sure most people's problems came with uploading the video, because most videos were probably over 100mb if they were recorded on a digital camera.

    If I didn't know I needed to find a program to compress the video, I probably would've tried uploading it, then wondering why it is still uploading hours later....

    Even people who had no problems with the trial video could've easily had problems with this one due to the file size.

    Using Youtube is a great idea, but I think students need instructions on how to compress a video in the future.

  8. Great suggestions and comments. Thanks to all. Please keep posting.

    About compressing, Brent
    Our website had a link

    I guess we'll need to consider the compression thing and if we want to keep this assignment, prepare an orientation for students to attend.


  9. I managed recording and setup of youtube without issue--the instructions were very helpful in that respect--and for my upload (about two seconds short of 101MB) I just let it load whilst I did other things about my room. My only issue was getting my friend invite accepted because I waited until after Thursday night (Saturday afternoon), and that was my fault.

  10. I really didnt have any problems. The only difference with my videos are that i am using my digital camera to record my reflexiones orales because i do not have a webcam and that seems to be working just fine. So just to keep that in mind you really dont need a webcam if your digital camera can record sound and video.

  11. I do not think that this reflexion is difficult. I think that the instructions given to us where a little confusing because the set up in the instructions where some what different from youtube. I think that if we had a day where we could have done it in class and upload the introduction video then the student would not be having this problems. Other than that I think that it is not that difficult and I really enjoy the reflexions. I do not believe that I had any real problems and am sure if people did the introduction video no body should had much problems either. Well I know that I did not spend my money for nothing so I will continue turning in my oral video.

  12. I agree with the previous anonymous post about having a day in class where we could do the practice post. Having never used youtube before, I recorded the video just fine but then had problems in the following steps. I read the step by step guide and watched the instructor videos, but I think I was just unfamiliar with the site. I kept on thinking my friend requests had been sent, then would come back to it days later to check, get a bit further, try another practice video...overall, I think I went around and around in circles thinking I was fixing the problem when really I was still at square one.

  13. one more thing from my previous post...I just listened to Professor's video post and wanted to comment that I love the idea of doing the video posts. Even though I'm someone who is horribly uncomfortable with my spanish speaking skills and it definitely took me a very long time to prepare for the video, I was really looking forward to these videos as a challenge and a great way to get feedback for improvements. I truly hope changes can be made so future 232 students can participate. I'm sorry for the hassle we've caused for our instructors

  14. The only problem I had was the upload time for my video. I recorded it with plenty of time but since I'm unfamiliar with YouTube I didn't know it would take so long! Other than that I think it ran pretty smoothly. I agree that a test video in class would be a good idea as long as it didn't take up too much class time of course. Also, maybe I just missed it but it would have been nice to know that you had to friend your TA, and they had to accept, in order to have them see your video. That frustrated me because I didn't quite get that. Maybe that's just my non-tech-savvy side coming out....

  15. I had no problems with it at all.