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Debra Smith
February 11, 2013 : Ohio University Lancaster Assistant Professor Creates Videos for Interactive Textbook
- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager

Lancaster – Students all over the country will be hearing the voice of Ohio University Lancaster Assistant Professor of Health Technology Debra Smith. That's because Smith recently narrated and produced 27 videos that are an interactive part of the 13th edition of the textbook "Access to Health."


"I was hired to create the videos and worked on them at my kitchen table," said Smith. "I worked with Erin Strathmann at Pearson, the book publisher, in choosing the images in the text that we would use as the focal points of each chapter."


The videos are about three minutes each. The idea behind the videos is to make a tricky concept easy to understand.


"I was required to write the storyboards that included the script, the images and the directions for each image change in the video," said Smith. "I was asked to have an image change every 2.5 seconds or less."


Smith's work is referred to as the "video tutor" portion of the text. The book references one video tutor per chapter with quick response or QR codes. Students simply scan the code with a reader on their phone and view the video.


"Any device that can scan a QR code can view the video. The QR codes are published in the text," said Smith. "They are all listed together in the front of the text and are available beside each of the images in the text that were used as the focal points of the video."


"With all the technology available, the way students learn is changing," said Lancaster Campus Associate Dean Paul Abraham. "It's great that one of our faculty members is on the cutting edge of using this new technology in higher education."


While students can access the videos in the traditional text, the video segments also can be found in the electronic version.


"You can also access the videos by buying the e-text and moving the mouse over the images," said Smith. "The videos pop up and give the viewer an option to play them."


Smith worked on the project for 10 months. Even though the videos are short, it took a great deal of time and energy to get them right.


"It was a great learning experience," said Smith. "And I think the students who use the text will get a lot out of them. Hopefully, they'll understand the subject matter in a new and interesting way."