Effectively Using Video in Teaching

Effectively Using Videos in the College Classroom

Full-length videos and video clips can be very useful in teaching. However, it is important to consider ahead of time what you hope your students will learn from the videos. You will also need to plan out how you will help the students learn, and how you will know whether they have done so. In planning to use video, consider the following three distinct phases:

  • Phase 1: Provide questions (prompts) that focus your students on what you believe is important in the video. Consider why you are having them watch the video, and what you hope they will learn from watching it. You can list the prompts on the board or on a worksheet that you hand out in class or post online before class. You can have students write down their answers or submit them using electronic resources (see below for ideas). 
  • Phase 2: Watch the video as a class. Don’t be afraid to stop the video to point out something important if you think it will be useful to the students. Model the engagement with the video that you desire from your students.
  • Phase 3: Debrief as a class or in small groups about the students’ answers to the prompts you gave them. Make sure that they have achieved your goals for having them watch the video.

Electronic Options for Collecting Observations/Answers

You can have students submit their observations and answers in real time using Twitter and similar social-networking services.

  • Give students a prompt prior to starting the video clip and then have them live-tweet their responses during the video with a hashtag and your class number. For more ideas on using Twitter in the classroom, see Inside Higher Ed: Teaching with Twitter
  • Two similar websites that provide more privacy than Twitter include Socrative and Poll Everywhere. Both can be used to collect students’ responses via computers, tablets, or text messages. Try them out to see what works best for you, or contact a consultant at CITL.

Synthesis Activity

Here's an activity to help you better experience how to effectively use video clips in your classroom. Put yourself into the role of student and watch the video clips on the Effective Classroom Management page. Use the following prompts to guide your thinking while you watch.

  • What are important contexts of this instructor's class (size, demographics, content, skills)?
  • What is particularly difficult for students about the instructor's discipline?
  • What methods does the instructor use to promote students' learning?
  • How does the instructor negotiate the balance between being authoritative and being approachable?
  • List 2-3 words that describe each person’s style of classroom management.
  • Write 2-3 sentences comparing/contrasting the different speakers’ viewpoints about classroom management.

Alternatively, you can download and use this Word worksheet or PDF worksheet to complete as you watch the video clips. You can modify the worksheet and the prompts to suit your own classes.

For More Help or Information

Contact CITL to meet with a consultant.