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How Video is Changing Master’s Programs

Person watching a video on a tablet

February 17, 2017

By: Jeff Campbell

 “Present a great idea in 18 minutes or less.” This simple yet profound format has helped TED Talks amass an audience of millions around the world, surpassing the 1 billion view mark in 2012 and still going stronger than ever.

If you have ever watched a TED Talk online, you likely gained some combination of inspiration and information—two elements that we, too, seek to provide students in the San Diego State University Hospitality & Tourism (HTM) Master’s Program. Channeling our admiration for the prolific and accessible nature of TED Talks, we’ve incorporated video content into virtually every aspect of our curriculum. What does that mean for students?

Greater Flexibility

The classroom of the future is online, on your schedule. Video lectures allow us to offer a primarily remote setting, without sacrificing the value of putting a face to a name. The HTM Master’s Program is designed specifically for working professionals to be able to complete the coursework at a manageable pace, with milestones to stay on track. If you value your time, you will appreciate saving countless hours and scheduling headaches by not having to travel to and from a physical classroom.

Phenomenal Guest Lecturers

Getting an esteemed business figure to give a video presentation is a lot easier than asking them to visit in person. One of the things students love most about our program is that we engage some of the most successful leaders in hospitality and tourism to give our own version of TED Talks online; some even choose to present live! For a small sampling of recent HTM Master’s Program guest lectures, click here.

Shorter Lessons

We’ve adopted a loose “18-minute rule” of our own for faculty lectures. Most video lessons run 15-20 minutes, compared to the standard class lengths of 45 minutes, 60 minutes, or even several hours that many people struggle to stay focused—or, let’s be honest, awake—during. In the four HTM Master’s cohorts I’ve taught, my lectures have gotten significantly shorter as I continue to find new opportunities to turn to video as the medium of choice.

Less Writing

Writing will always be a sizable component of any master’s program, but for many people, having to put thoughts into written sentences and paragraphs becomes a barrier, or worse, a demotivator. We’re using a program called YouSeeU to assign students a question, to which they respond in a short video clip—it’s almost like having a board meeting in place of a standardized test.

We also incorporate a video component into our Capstone Project, where students design and implement an organizational change initiative showcasing their applied skills and knowledge to their current employer. The Capstone Project replaces a traditional thesis or dissertation. Some of our students’ projects are so impactful that we invite them to use their video presentations as guest lectures in later cohorts.

More Collaboration

The unsung benefit of any master’s program is the bridge to like-minded peers, professors, alumni, and mentors who all share similar passions. At SDSU, we’re using video capabilities to enable students to have an open dialogue among each other and with faculty, from all corners of the globe. Is the HTM Master’s Program for you? Let’s find out!

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