08.12.2020, by Prof. Dr. Annegret Weng

The two Corona semesters have increased the demand for high-quality e-learning material. In this context, two projects are of interest that I was able to implement with professional and financial support from the Didactics Center.

Animated video tutorials generated with software such as videoscribe or vyond are very popular on YouTube. They seem more lively, sound and video tracks are better matched and the support of drawings make them more attractive to viewers. They also look more professional than, say, videos handwritten on a tablet by recording the screen. Videoscribe has vivid tutorials that were also created with the software itself. In this way, you can get a lot of ideas and inspiration for your own work right from the start.

So far, they are rarely used in teaching, because the effort for this is significantly higher than for the dubbing of PowerPoint slides. In the summer semester 2019, videos were initially created in an E-PULS project for the lecture "Introduction to Financial Mathematics", which is offered at the HfT in various courses (e.g. mathematics, business administration, infrastructure management and industrial engineering). In the summer semester 2020, for example, these were used for a financial mathematics lecture organised according to the inverted classroom concept in the Infrastructure Management degree programme.

Motivated by this success, we have now also developed animated videos for the lecture "Actuarial Mathematics 1" in the Bachelor of Mathematics course. These cover material on life insurance mathematics, which has not yet been covered at all on youtube, for example, so that the videos created are actually also interesting for career starters in the insurance environment.

At the beginning, of course, we had to choose a software. For this purpose, we looked at various products and decided on videoscribe. The Didactics Center has acquired a license for it, which is currently still active, so that interested teachers can ask here if they are planning a similar project. The contact person at the Didactics Center is Ms. Heintz-Cuscianna e-learning(at)hft-stuttgart.de.

The creation is of course quite time-consuming. For the financial mathematics videos, a student assistant was financed from the E-PULS project, for the actuarial mathematics videos, two student assistant contracts were concluded for 2 months each. We then first created a script (i.e. a kind of screenplay) for all videos. Sound and video tracks were created separately and coordinated with each other. For the editing of the audio track, the freely available software audacity was also used. Although several people were involved in the project, the soundtrack was recorded by only one person in order to achieve a uniform sound image. Likewise, a uniform intro and outro were determined (see screenshot). At the end, a quality assurance is necessary. Of course, the videos are not just for a single lecture, but can be used for several years. Adjustments to the video track with this method can be made relatively easily after the fact.