Numerous studies have shown that the incorporation of video within teaching practice conveys a range of learning benefits. A review of 53 peer-reviewed pedagogical video articles by Kay (2012) found that increased student learning performance, study habits, control over learning, and improved attitudes, followed using videos within teaching. Additionally, Stockwell et al. (2015) found a positive correlation between video assignments and both attendance and assessment satisfaction.
Videos can also be used to address accessibility issues such as geographical restrictions, and various learning needs and preferences can be met with video captions. Other benefits include using data analytics to improve teaching practice and increasing efficiency opportunities through the reuse of videos.
Different types of videos you may consider creating
There are many different types of videos that you can incorporate within your FLO site including:
- lecture or presentation recordings for pre-recording lectures or presentations in lieu of face to face delivery, or for recording live presentations given by special guests outside of scheduled lecture times
- instructional videos can be an effective way to communicate things such as assessment directives, administration and skill-based procedures
- recording student presentations and performances by both teachers and students which provides opportunities for reflection and analysis
- introductions and check ins to welcome students to a new topic, or to introduce and touch base on new modules, weeks, assessments, or major activities
- revision summaries can direct students to key learning elements
- role plays, case studies, interviews and simulations can allow students to examine content from different perspectives and in different contexts
- videos that incite discussion or increasing engagement
- providing feedback or actively responding which can be prepared for the collective group or individually, in response to questions, requests, assessments or instructional tasks
Considerations around creating videos for use in teaching
It is important to consider what function the video will perform. Video functionality is derived from an additional subset of considerations, which delves into questions such as:
- is the video intended to be an object of study itself or is it a resource for enhancing learning?
- is the video created by the teacher or is it created by the student?
- will the video be used to build background or to provide elaboration?
- is the video concerned with delivering content for active learning, or is it related to procedural matters that need to be followed?
- will the video contain information that needs to be fed forwards for knowledge or skill acquisition, or is it concerned with providing feedback?
- will the video be used for a single instance or will it be reusable?
The collective consideration of these various aspects may be useful for ascertaining the purpose of the video, which is a fundamental element for creating an effective and purposeful resource.
What needs to be included within a video?
Given that educational videos may have such a diverse range of applications, there is no singular list that outlines all required elements. However, there are certain features that are common to video good practice:
Provide a brief description that outlines the video – keep the description generic but meaningful. For example if you have created a case study video for a particular topic but understand that it could potentially be used elsewhere, it would be important to describe what the case study is about but not make reference to any particular learning task.
Provide instructions on what students are expected to do with the video – for example can it be used for revision, do students need to pause and ponder, or should students be looking for key elements that may be present or absent? This may be included within the video or placed elsewhere in FLO.
Ensure language choices and content genre are age and knowledge appropriate – if you plan on using your video across multiple year levels or programs, make sure that language and concepts are suitably transferable.
Ensure video length is appropriate – Ultimately, video length needs to reflect and be compatible with its purpose. Numerous studies cite five minutes as the optimal length for a video, analysis of the literature reveals that this pertains to MOOC’s (Guo et al. 2014), may reflect poor research methodology (Doolittle et al. 2015; Pi & Hong 2016) or may not easily apply to the academic content (Lawlor & Donnelly, 2010). Consideration of the positive correlation of upload/ download times with bandwidth, as well as average adult concentration spans, does however provide evidence of the benefit of producing numerous shorter videos, rather than one long video.
Brame (2016) argues that the following four approaches are also useful pedagogical considerations when creating effective educational videos as they complement cognitive load (the components of memory) capacity:
- Signalling – incorporating cues that signal key messages
- Segmenting – breaking up a larger presentation into distinctive and digestible chunks
- Weeding – removing unnecessary information from learning resources
- Matching modality – presenting information in multiple sensory modalities, such as text with video (Dello Stritto & Linder, 2017)
In addition to managing cognitive load, Brame also contends that using videos effectively for learning is premised on optimising student engagement and bolstering active learning.
Using videos for your topic sites can have significant benefits for equity of access, the learning experiences and outcomes of your students. However, using videos effectively for learning requires an understanding of the purpose of the video, as well as the incorporation of key components.