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Using video for teaching

Designing and planning video content, including video styles and techniques

Using video for teaching and learning

Video technologies can help us create inclusive, engaging and authentic learning experiences for students, whether these are live or on-demand. For  example, you might use Zoom to bring students together to participate in interactive and collaborative activities in classes and seminars. Alternatively you might create short, chunked videos to animate and explain concepts, and to demonstrate to students how they might tackle a task or problem. Perhaps you wish to provide personalised video feedback on student assessments, or record video blogs to help guide and keep students on track
throughout trimester.

Video is a great way to build educator presence and help your students feel more connected to you and to the unit. And you don’t need to create highly polished, studio-quality videos for them to be effective and engaging. As with any technology however, it is important to consider what you want to achieve and the best way to achieve your goal.

Using video for classes and seminars

Zoom is Deakin’s recommended platform for online classes and seminars. You can find out more about using Zoom for your classes and seminars on the Digital Learning Training Resources SharePoint site – this site includes user guides, hints for making your online classes and seminars inclusive and engaging, and guides for using Zoom to connect online students with your on-campus classroom.

Creating videos to communicate or demonstrate concepts

The process of making videos can be quite simple, but it does require some planning. Whether you are creating video content on your own or with a production team, make sure you have a plan of what is required in the video, and the objectives you would like to cover. This will make the process much easier and the final result more professional.

Watch ‘Planning your video’ for tips to help make the production process easier.

Quick tips for using video in teaching and learning

If you’re not sure where to begin, use the tips below to start creating engaging video content for your students.

Work through it

Use video to model for students how you would tackle a problem or task – talking through your process or approach, while demonstrating how you actually do this breaks down the process and allows students to see the steps they need to take to solve a problem.

Take a pause

When creating demonstration videos of worked examples, suggest that students attempt each step themselves before moving on to the next section of the video. This encourages students to reflect on the advice given and apply it to their own work.

Keep it simple

Don’t worry about making the video look too formal or fancy. Videos produced with a more personal feel in an informal setting, with lots of eye-contact and enthusiasm can be more engaging than high-fidelity studio recordings. Sketching out or doodling mind maps and processes – the ‘back of the envelope’ explanation or diagram – can be as engaging and effective for learning as high-production videos and screencasts.

Keep pace but don’t race

There is no need to slow down the pace of your speech for the camera. Slowing down risks sounding artificial and losing your enthusiasm for the topic.

Make it accessible

Captions and transcripts make videos more accessible for students with hearing difficulties, those who speak English as an additional language, and anyone with a slow internet connection. Turn on live-transcription in your live class or seminar, and include a transcript and captions for your video when you post it to the unit site.

Put it in context

Creating a weekly or fortnightly video – to give students an overview of upcoming content and how it relates to what they have learned already – is a great way to build your presence as a teacher. It can also help students integrate their knowledge and relate it to their own circumstances and goals.

Keep it brief

Research shows that students rarely watch more than six minutes of a video, and are most likely to watch videos that are no longer than three minutes (Guo et al 2014). Think about the purpose of the video – if you ‘need’ to make a longer video, make sure you split it into chapters so students can skip ahead to sections of interest, or make a series of short videos and create a playlist so students can easily access related videos.

Check their understanding

Include some quiz questions after the video – you could use H5P for this.  Quiz questions encourage active learning by creating opportunities for students to interact and engage with video content. Use these to as a way for students to check their understanding and gain feedback before they progress to the next section of content – if they don’t quite get it yet, they can re-watch the video or look at the additional resources you’ve provided. You can also use quizzes to prompt students to work through examples themselves.

Let them get creative

Why not try using video in your assessments? Creating videos themselves helps students retain information, develop their communication and digital literacy skills, allows them to get creative, and can increase engagement (Green& Crespi 2012). Sharing videos with the rest of the class exposes students to different perspectives and can allow students studying online to ‘put a face to the name’.

Evaluate and iterate

Ask students for feedback on your videos – what do they like about the videos? Are you achieving your objectives? What doesn’t quite work? What else would they like you to try? If you aren’t sure how to conduct your evaluation, have a chat to your faculty Learning Innovation team.

Ask for input

Ask students whether there are any concepts that are unclear and invite them to submit questions on these or other topics they would like to know more about. Film yourself explaining these and answering students’ questions.

Greene, H., & Crespi, C. (2012). The value of student-created videos in the college classroom – An exploratory study in Marketing and Accounting. International Journal of Arts & Sciences, 5(1), 273–283.

Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014). How video production affects student engagement: an empirical study of MOOC videos. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the first ACM conference on Learning @ scale conference, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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