Director/producer John Yaworsky recently completed one of the biggest homework assignments of his life: 1,000 video pieces for Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities.
“I learned a lot,” says the owner of Wilmette’s Nimble Digital Media.
Over a span of 33 months, Yaworsky and his team provided strategy and created online content to supplement 70 graduate level digital courses at both of the elite Eastern institutions. Among the subjects they covered were technology management, ethics, sports industry management and real estate.
Many of the videos were “digestible” segments of traditionally longer classes.
“Rather than do one sixty-minute video, we’d do seven or eight shorter videos,” Yaworsky explains. “A lot of students were watching on their smart phones.”
Under the guidance of instructional designers that Yaworsky compares to creative directors, the Nimble team combined high production values, multiple camera shoots, on-location footage and custom graphics to render the educational experience “hugely compelling.”
“I made subject matter experts look like they were on 60 Minutes instead of in front of a white wall,” he says. “It’s not unlike putting together spots.”
The subject matter experts included corporate executives, government scientists and high-ranking health officials who are able to share their wisdom with students on video because it requires less time than traditional teaching.
“I worked Chief Technology Officer of the White House and Head of the World Bank,” Yaworsky says. “These people are busy, but they want to teach.”
Rhed Pixel of Falls Church, VA handled on-location filming at Georgetown’s DC campus and Johns Hopkins’ Baltimore campus, in addition to shooting significant studio footage. Chicago’s First Run Communications handled supplemental b-roll, interview and role-playing footage back in the Windy City.
Although production ended in November, Yaworsky still remembers an ironic lesson that he learned along the way. “I was flying to DC and Baltimore constantly,” he says. “It’s easier than getting to Naperville.”
Oak Park’s Motion Post and Chicago’s Daily Planet Ltd did the graphics and editing.
After sorting through and cutting all the footage, Yaworsky says that he and the post-production vendors feel smarter. “We took deep dives into things we didn’t know about and came away as if we had audited these courses.”
When combined with a dose of old-school schooling, he continues, the digital media finds a “sweet spot” known as “blended learning,” and this is where the most effective learning takes place.
“Before this experience, I used to say video is the answer,” he explains. “Now, I say it’s high quality media courses supplemented by traditional education.”
But the students themselves will take the real test. Their scholastic performance will determine how effectively the videos achieve the goal of optimizing their success.
Or, as Yaworsky likes to put it: “Did they get a C or did they get an A?”
University policy prohibits sharing course videos, but other projects completed by Nimble Digital Media can be viewed here. Nimble Digital Media is an award-winning production company based in Wilmette, IL focusing on high quality media content production for corporate and not-for-profit organizations.