This week I made a short video on how to create a resource histogram in Excel. Nothing unusual about this video except that I recorded it about a hour before students in a IT Project Management tutorial were about to take on the task of creating a resource histogram. Weekly tutorials for this class are marked and the work must be done during the one-hour session. It's a bit like an open book test. This works wonders for attendance! At a guess there is 90% plus attendance (85 students) at every tutorial - the 0900 lecture (which is not marked) the next day is a bit different, in this week's class it started out with just 13 students.
Helping students out in a tutorial can be hard work in a full computer lab. I usually go over the subject of each tutorial in the previous lecture, but since the majority of the class do not go to the lecture I often found myself explaining things again in the tutorial to those who were absent (and who also don't read the notes beforehand). So a short video is a good way to explain the work to be done. I see many students starting the tutorial by watching my video. Many pause and rewind as they complete the tutorial task at the same time.
While it is annoying that so many students choose not to come to my class, I can be satisfied that they learn a lot in the tutorial. My sense of it is that students like having weekly tutorials that are marked instead of assignments or projects, I will be conducting a survey to check out their attitudes to both the module and the method of assessment at the end of the semester.