P438: Using lightboards to create immersive video lectures by 3D blending of instructor and virtual chemical imagery
Video lecture formats typically fall into two categories: 1) instructors standing in front of white boards or screens, lecturing in their face-to-face style, or 2) screen recordings that cut visual representation of the instructor entirely out of the picture. Both styles have intrinsic limitations. Neither has an ability to integrate and mix 3D representations of chemicals, reactions, etc. with images of the potentially influential instructor. These methods fail to position the chemistry between the instructor and the students. An instructor standing before a PowerPoint positions the chemistry behind the instructor, whereas removing the image of the instructor depersonalizes and dilutes the potential impact an effective instructor might have on student learning. In this paper I discuss building and employing a “light board” for creating online chemistry lecture content. The board I describe is a glass plate positioned between the instructor and a video camera. The glass plate is edge-lit by a series of LEDs, and when written on by fluorescent wet-erase markers gives the visual impression that chemistry is floating between the student and instructor. The instructor can face the student audience continuously while the chemistry is being shared. With practice the instructor can describe and mark up models, animations, and complex representations added in post-production. While the equipment and techniques I explain are more commonly employed by the entertainment industry, they are not excessively complex, expensive, or difficult to learn. They alleviate problems with currently available methods and add a new dimension to video-based instruction.