WESTWOOD, CA — Struggling to engage his students in yet another lecture, History professor Vincent Hall implemented a new teaching method early this quarter incorporating the popular video-sharing app Vine. Vine allows users to film and share 6 second videos that play on an infinite loop. Hall says he turned to Vine after exhausting all other alternatives.
“Outside of Vine, nothing would get through to the students. I tried everything: PowerPoint slides, PowerPoint slides with transitions, PowerPoint slides with sound effects, even PowerPoint slides with clip art. Everything. Nothing grabbed the students’ attention until Vine.”
Hall stated that he first saw the potential of Vine as a teaching tool after learning of its popularity amongst young people. “Vine enables me to reach out to my students through a medium where they are most present. These kids, they’re never paying attention in class because they’re always staring down at their phones. I can only actually recognize any of them by scalp. And since they refuse to look away from their phones, I decided to move the lecture material there.”
Each of Hall’s 1 hour 15 minute lectures is broken down into 750 individual 6-second increments which are recorded and then shared as Vines with his students. When asked whether receiving such a massive amount of Vines at once was bothersome, 2nd year History major Tanya Fleming replied, “I don’t mind much. It just means I have to scroll a little farther to see a cat twerking on a chandelier.”
The new lecturing system has resulted in a significantly higher participation rate as the number of student responses in lecture has risen. “I used to ask questions to try to engage the students,” said Hall. “But the only students who ever raised their hands were the ones who were stretching or the ones who were getting arrested. With Vine though, I’ve received at least 4 intentional student comments.” Such comments included “#DullAsHell”, “Follow me back”, and “First!”
Hall believes the success of Vine as a teaching tool lies in its repetitive, short format. “Repetition is a proven learning technique, and with Vine, the lecture material is reinforced every time the video loops. Students can watch a lecture part over and over again until they understand the concept or until they get too fed up with how incompetent of a professor I am and throw their phone at the wall.”
The fact that Vines are only 6 seconds long lends itself well to the minute attention spans of the current generation. Students in Hall’s courses have expressed thankfulness for the shortened lecture segments. “Before Professor Hall started Vining our class, I couldn’t sit through 5 minutes of his lecture without my mind drifting off,” stated 1st year Anthropology major Bruno Tacoma. “Ever since he started using Vine, though, I’ve been completely…Is it too hot to be wearing sleeves?”
Following the success of Vine in reconnecting with his students, Hall says he plans to try to integrate other popular apps into his teaching method. Right now, he is working on creating Tinder accounts for each of the questions on his final examination. Students will swipe right if true and swipe left if false. Said Hall: “If you wake up the next morning lying in bed next to a False, you done fucked up.”