Do we use videos effectively for teaching and learning?

OPINION: Dr. Debbie Charter

Lecturer in Higher Education – CILT

Are we using videos to their best capability for student learning? Consider four different video methods:

  • video in multimedia teaching
  • video case studies
  • video self-reflection
  • video discussion with professors and peers.

These methods either engage students in learning or encourage different ways of learning, but are not always used effectively within a topic.


So, what supports and barriers restrict the use of videos?


Academics are not always comfortable with using technology, sometimes impacting on their ability to use a range of different video methods to support student learning. A variety of videos are accessible through the internet for use in class. However, there is an increasing requirement to produce our own, more closely aligned with the learning outcomes. Although we often observe the sharp, shiny 3-minute video that can be engaging to a student, the time taken to produce such a video is not always appreciated.

Think about the following:

  • Will your students prefer a polished production, or is it the content of the video that they are more interested in?
  • Does it depend on the purpose of the video?

Self-reflection, discussions with professors and peers, or case-study videos don’t need to be high quality to be effective. However, multimedia videos may require some extra post-production editing.

The use of technology in teaching is often associated with those supports available to the academic, especially for academics who lack the confidence or skills to embrace the latest technology, including the use of videos. Either a dedicated support person or a supportive colleague can increase effective technology use in a topic. Nonetheless, course workload can heavily impact on the amount of technology integrated into a topic. Delivery format also dictates how much technology is used and whether videos are a part of that.

We are currently looking at how to make our teaching more efficient, and incorporating technology can help with that. Developing online topics, redeveloping face-to-face topics or creating blended topics are time-consuming activities that institutions do not always provide sufficient time for. Although academics are encouraged to embrace new technologies, without the necessary time and support structures in place, it can be difficult to develop or integrate new techniques into topics.

The main findings of the paper by Christ et al., (2017), investigating the use of videos specifically in teacher education have four main recommendations:

  1. encourage teacher educators to use video more often
  2. urge use of multiple video methods
  3. provide effective supports
  4. lighten course load.

I believe these recommendations would apply across all disciplines and Colleges. How well is your College supporting your use of video in teaching?

At Flinders, workshops are available that can support academics in the use of videos and other forms of technology in topics. There are also workshops tailored around developing fully online topics and blended topics.


Full paper by T. Christ, P Arya, MM Chiu. (2017) Video use in teacher education: An international survey of practices. Teaching and Teacher Education 63:22-35

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