Martin Compton (Arena Centre)

Asynchronous Submission

In a video of around eight minutes I will present four arguments which represent the four biggest and ongoing debates about online teaching I have dealt with this year, very much from my perspective. I hope they will act as provocations for debate with the ‘change my mind’ challenge.
1. Why live lectures are rarely the best option
2. Why our intuitions about video length are often wrong
3. Cameras off or cameras on? Why this misses the point
4. Why compassion and community building must usurp the preeminence of ‘content’


In the video below (9m38s) I present four interrelated arguments about teaching online. In my view these represent four of the biggest and ongoing debates about online teaching in terms of lecturer agency. They are, in other words, things we can all do something about, if we agree there is a need to change practices. These provocations are designed to challenge thinking and stimulate debate. I start with the ‘change my mind’ challenge because I am aware that I am as likely as anyone to have biases moulded by my experiences and disciplinary expertise. After the video is a link to a very short (3 mins) Mentimeter poll.

Please note: The video contains frequent ‘quick cuts’. If you prefer a simple, talking head version, please use this link. Transcript is available here. 

Please follow this link to a Mentimeter poll to have your say on each of these four arguments. UCL staff can also use the comments on this blog post. If you prefer to use a mobile device to access the poll scan the code below or go to and use the code: 2447 4966

To see all other responses to the poll please click here.


Referred to in argument 2: Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014, March). How video production affects student engagement: An empirical study of MOOC videos. In Proceedings of the first ACM conference on Learning@ scale conference (pp. 41-50).

For a longer argument on video length by me, see this post on ALT blog.

2 Replies to “4 mini polemics about student engagement and online teaching: can you change my mind?”

  1. Thank you. Loved the pace nature of this presentation and the videos. It was engaging from that perspective and also because you tackled some issues that have bothered me since learning moved online.

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