December 4, 2013, by Helen Whitehead

Advent calendar #4: On becoming a MOOC video star!

In preparation for the MOOC Sustainability, Society and You, a series of short films were shot in the University’s Cripps Hall House as mentioned by Sarah in her previous post ‘The award for ‘one-take wonder’ goes to…’ My role was to interview a number of the guests and tour the house picking up on what to and what not to do when seeking to live sustainably.

The week’s filming was a great fun start to my MOOC involvement.

Currently in my third year of a Sustainable Energy Technology PhD I joined the MOOC team as a course facilitator in the summer. Expecting to get involved in forum discussions and peer to peer reviews I was surprised when Sarah invited me to take part in the filming. The process was great fun and a welcome break from the endless computer simulations I was running at the time.

My first task was when I was ‘encouraged’ to ‘prepare’ my jumper to be fitted with a clip-on microphone. Not aware of the clothing demands of filming I had worn a jumper without a significant collar making the attachment of the microphone challenging. Our ‘innovative’ solution instead required me to punch a hole in the breast pocket allowing the microphone wire to discreetly trail under the jumper. The sacrifice worked and with the aid of a cardboard support I was ready for show business!

My second task was my housing tour. Without script I was invited into the utility room, kitchen and bedroom to discuss the sustainable choices we can make in a typical 1950s UK dwelling. Despite the occasional accidental comment, we wrapped up the day with the 4th take ‘Goodbye’ to camera.

Watching back the video now it’s amazing how a day’s work gets edited into a three-minute piece! Nevertheless, it was a thoroughly interesting experience and great fun working with all our MOOC celebrities, not least the fantastic Sarah Speight.

Many thanks to her and all the team involved for giving my three minutes of fame!

PS. No radio stars were killed in the making of the MOOC videos.

Written by Thom Whiffen

Sustainability, Society and You is available via FutureLearn from January 6th next year.

Posted in Advent calendarMOOC TeamStudent experienceVideo