Bringing Video to the Classroom

Video courtesy of the Instructional Video Module team in New York.

Incorporating instructional videos into the classroom as a supplement for teaching can have several benefits on student learning. Commonly called Blended Learning or the Flipped Classroom model, using media in this way allows students to review course content at their own convenience, participate in the learning process and digest the content at their own pace with the ability to control the speed in which they learn, repeat parts they find unclear and watch anywhere (connection permitting). It’s important to note that video is not meant to replace class lectures, but to provide a way for students to refer back to content they may have found unclear or to review concepts prior to discussing them in class.

A recent study by SAGE explored how students engage with instructional videos and how they incorporate them into their learning. Their study, entitled “Great Expectations: Students and Video in Higher Education,” surveyed and interviewed 1,673 students and found that:

  • 68% students watch videos as part of their classroom based learning and
  • 79% will watch videos voluntarily in order to get better insight on the subject matter or to gain a clearer understanding of necessary steps to complete a given task1

The principle behind video in the classroom is not to simply take what content would be taught in a physical environment and repeat written words as spoken text on camera, but to create a short, engaging, visual element that combines a variety of multimedia tools in order to get to the main point of discussion. Keeping the video personable and relaxed allows the student to relate more to what is being discussed whilst being simple yet effective. Outlining and working towards a learning objective gives the videos a clear purpose and context and enhances the teaching and learning experience for both the faculty member and students.

The SAGE study also found that students were most interested in the videos that featured a charismatic or compelling speaker who was “animated, easy to understand, and has a genuine interest for the subject she or he was discussing. They also liked the videos to contain real-life examples, to offer something new and to include additional animations, ranging from charts and graphs to sample medical procedures.”2

Videos can support classroom-based learning in three ways:

  • Students can review core concepts prior to class so that class time is spent going over unclear topics or ideas
  • Videos can be viewed after the class to consolidate and reinforce the learning that took place
  • Videos can serve as an alternative to the class for teaching basic principles or “how-to” instruction that does not require face-to-face contact or discussion, thus freeing up classroom time.

The Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) can help you incorporate video into your teaching. We can support you in your need to create short, stimulating and engaging videos using a variety of tools. We can consult with you on best practises, the various options available to you and assist in making the video with you so that you have a final product ready to deliver to your students. All you need to do is come with the idea and the materials you wish to use such as images, presentations and audio files.

Here are a few examples of what has been created by the CDS.

How to combine a PowerPoint Presentation

Record your Computer Screen

Demonstrating an Item

 How to Simulate a White Board

Using MediaSite



1 ScienceDaily. “How do students use video in higher education?.” ScienceDaily, 8 December 2015. <>.  The full report by Sage can be reviewed at:

2 Ibid.