10 ways video can be used effectively in teaching and learning

National Digital Learning Week runs from 15-19 May 2017 and celebrates the benefits of digital technology. Jon Walmsley, Senior Media Advisor at the University of Derby, provides 10 ways video can be used to enhance learning and teaching.

Video can be an incredibly powerful tool for conveying ideas and information. For many, YouTube has become the first point of reference for instruction – whether its how to complete a tax return or how to build a soda bottle rocket. While most of us are comfortable with video being utilised in an educational context, we must consider if we are making the most of video as a teaching medium and maximising the benefits as learning practitioners.

When used to its best advantage, educational video content is a catalyst for academic debate and a vital method to convey ideas and theories. It can also:

  • Bring real world experiences into the classroom
  • Personalise the education experience in unique ways
  • Impart employability and digital learning skills vital for the 21st century workplace
  • Support students throughout their learning journey

Here’s 10 ways in which video can be utilised effectively in learning and teaching:

1. Instructional video

Instructional videosVideo is ideally suited to showing practical demonstrations of a task or theory. There is a long history of this type of content being used within education as it suits students with a range of preferred learning styles. The success of this kind of video to explain both basic and complex concepts is evident by the numerous popular examples on YouTube.

2. Videos with experts

Teaching can be augmented with real world context by interviewing specialists in the field. These interviews – sometimes referred to as talking heads – can be used to deliver teaching content. It can also assist students in seeing how theory applies to real life or to engage students in debating key issues.

3. Recording lectures

Recording lectures creates an extremely valuable resource for students. Contrary to some fears, it doesn’t usually impact negatively on attendance. As students assimilate information at different rates, it allows them to revisit complicated parts at their own pace. It particularly supports students who may struggle with note-taking, like those with learning difficulties such as Dyslexia.

4. Broadcast TV or Radio programmes (or even YouTube!)

Broadcast TV or Radio programmes (or even YouTube!)There is a wealth of existing video content which can be used to support teaching. Clips from broadcast television content or videos available on sites such as YouTube, can support teaching and learning and create a welcome change in dynamic during a lecture or text-based online learning experience. However, be aware that even though the owner has shared the content online, they may also remove the content without warning!

5. Case studies and scenarios

Case studies and scenarios

A case study or scenario can give students an engaging context as the framework for an assignment. Furthermore, recorded role-plays or dramatized sequences can assist in delivering a more authentic learning experience. It gives students the opportunity to analyse situations, make recommendations or identify good/bad practice.

6. Recordings to encourage reflection on performance

Recording students as they engage in vocational activities or deliver presentations, can be an effective way for students to reflect on and assess their own performance. These videos could also be circulated for peer review, to broaden the analysis.

7. Module introductions

An effective and engaging method of introducing a topic to students, is to film a module introduction. You need to identify the key areas to be covered and the learning outcomes in the video. This is more personal than a written introduction and may be more easily digested by students who prefer to receive information in digital format.

8. Revision summaries

Similar to module introductions, these are easy to capture on any device which is equipped with a camera and microphone. They can be invaluable to assist students in what can be an extremely stressful time in their learning journey. They can also help to stimulate further reading and assist students in focussing on key areas of study.

9. Videos to encourage discussion or increase engagement 

Video can be a really effective method of getting engagement or provoking a reaction. Communicating views from extreme ends of the spectrum can ignite a debate or add valuable real-world context to a piece of learning.

10. Video based assignments

Producing video content as part of an assignment provides an effective medium for students to demonstrate their understanding of learned concepts and ideas. It also allows them to broaden their skillset by developing digital capabilities that will be of great value in the graduate employment market.

For further press information please contact the Corporate Communications Team on 01332 591891, pressoffice@derby.ac.uk or @derbyunipress

Join the conversation

  • Jack Koumi

    Good ideas Jon. Overlap with those in Part 1 of my recent MOOC, which I will be summarising in the first of two pre-conference workshops on 20th September in Naples.
    ICEM conference, Digital Universities in the MOOC Era: Redesigning Higher Education, 20-22 Sep 2017. Venue: Bay of Naples
    AND on 20 Sep, my two-part Workshop: Achieving the Pedagogic Potential of Video – in MOOCs.
    The workshop is based on Parts 1 and 2 of my MOOC: What and How to Teach with Video, run on the EMMA platform in January 2017.
    In Part 1, the MOOC uses 42 video clips to exemplify 33 Powerful Teaching/Learning Roles in four domains: Cognitive, Experiential, Affective, Skills.
    Here’s a relevant section of the handout for part 1.
    APPENDIX 2. Video Formats exploiting the power of video (Not just Talking Head)
    1. physical models, constructed to represent objects or concepts (homunculus)
    2. animation/diagrammatic build-up/composite images
    3. presenter full screen or picture-in-picture or voice-over (narrating). (Me on screen)
    4. presenter plus green screen (Fred with green screen of frog – in Unit 2)
    5. two presenters (Fred with green screen of frog, Geoff with diagrammatic build-up)
    6. on location (Experiential Domain)
    7. demonstration/dramatic enactment (darts players in Unit 3, carpenter demonstration)
    8. screencast (e.g. the teacher showing how to navigate on a website – I didn’t have an example in my MOOC)
    9. tablet capture (no example in the MOOC).
    NOTE. writing onto prepared slide better than Khan style, which is onto blank background.

    BTW. If a video switches between two or more of these formats – which you have seen in my MOOC – then at each switch the viewer gets re-engaged. Hence longer videos can sustain viewers’ engagement if you vary the format.

    In Part 2, a further 39 clips illustrate 30 Design Principles in 8 categories: Hook, Signpost, Engage, Activate, Sensitise, Elucidate, Reinforce, Consolidate.
    To date, there has never been any other course that meticulously covers these two fields. You can challenge this claim by coming to the workshop: detractors welcome!
    I’ll introduce and play some of the 12 MOOC videos and stop after each to ask and answer questions and to initiate discussion – mimicking the interactivity in the MOOC.
    In Part 1, you’ll will gain a robust understanding of the teaching/learning roles that video is potentially good at achieving, due to its distinctive presentational attributes. In Part 2, screenwriting in small groups, you’ll implement design principles that are essential to achieve the potential of video’s teaching/learning roles.
    For a taste of the Workshop, here’s a link to a DropBox folder containing 2 of the 12 MOOC videos plus 3 related handouts. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3rg3t6i91ksoznn/AABjh0TozLaeoBp-ovC5Baa4a?dl=0
    L1 U1 is the first video in Lesson 1 of the MOOC. Handout 1 summarises Lesson 1. L2 U1 is the first video in Lesson 2. Handout 2 summarises Lesson 2. Handout 3 describes the Screenwriting Assignment.
    The Licence for use of the above videos is
    CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs)
    The terms of this licence, are here https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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