The CMB network met on Friday, January 29, 2021, to showcase the work of  CMB members who received honoraria last Summer as part of our Media Competency/Best Practices and Curricular Development Project.

Presenters shared demonstrations and lessons learned from:

  • Creating new online course modules
  • New forms of public outreach
  • Online labs, activities, data analysis
  • Podcasting
  • Video production


Greg Downey, Shinobu Kitayama, Hakwan Lau, Daniel Lende, Tanya Luhrmann, Chikako Ozawa-de Silva, Sally Seraphin, Jeffrey Snodgrass, Dietrich Stout, and Tawni Tidwell.


ANT 331 – Spring 2021-Syllabus-Final 01-15-2021 (Chikako Ozawa-de Silva)

Consciousness: Hard and “Soft” Problems Video (Hawkan Lau)

Neuroanthropology / YouTube Channel Video Resource (Greg Downey)



  1. Microphone (e.g., Samson Media, Blue Yeti)
  2. External video camera
  3. Software/apps
  4. Video: Camtasia, Kaltura, Screencast-O-Matic, Voice Thread
  5. Audio: Audacity
  6. Graphic representation: Apple iBook and Keynote; Adobe InDesign and Acrobat (PDF); PowerPoint
  7. Google products where students can provide comments

Technical considerations

  1. Moving from in-person to virtual format requires significant time investment
  2. Background noises are easily picked up in recording
  3. Turn mobile phone sideways (landscape orientation) when recording
  4. Direct to camera works well – stare right at the barrel of the camera
  5. Accessibility: Internet failures and bandwidth
  6. A professional video editor can help increase production value of videos

Teaching considerations

  1. Include a synchronous segment, if possible.
  2. Recordings prompt self-awareness of presentation/lecturing style
  3. Online teaching strips away social feedback from an audience (talk to a computer screen)
  4. Provide feedback to students
  5. Decolonizing and diversifying course materials (facilitates student engagement) and, more generally, disciplines themselves
  6. Use of videos created from other people, in addition to one’s own, can increase representation of voices

Student engagement

  1. 8-15 minutes is ideal length for videos (25 minutes max)
  2. Lecturer on a screen maintains students’ attention
  3. Synchronous content is important (e.g., collaborative group projects/activities) to include amidst the asynchronous content and format of courses taught online
  4. Bring in themes of the course explicitly or focused lecture
  5. Add multimedia to audio lecture recordings such as music (helpful for long lectures)
  6. Actively solicit feedback from as many students in the course as is practically possible


  1. Zoom: collect research data from participants doing online tasks
  2. Visual Anthropac (for analyzing free-list data)
  3. Google products: for example, Google Forms to collect data using surveys; Google Docs

Public Outreach/Social Media

  1. The social media landscape has changed considerably from its beginnings. As a consequence, simultaneous academic and public engagement and impact as well as amplification of voices is much more difficult.
  2. An academic public approach to social media has to be integrated, focused, and time limited.
  3. There remains a lack of translation of basic science for greater societal benefit.
  4. Engaging those outside of one’s own discipline and outside of the academy increases diversity of voices and audiences reached via social media and elsewhere.