Using Video in the Classroom

It’s always fun to break up lecture time with video. Even if the video is dry and boring. Perhaps it’s just the change of pace that makes video time more exciting.

So, you recognize the “excitement” that video can bring to your classroom, but how to “bring it”? Here are a few ways to directly or indirectly use video in your classroom.

Record your lectures. Post them on your content management site as is or edit them to display the highlights of each lecture. For students that miss a class or simply missed a point during the lecture, they can experience it all over again through your video.

Go on field trips. Whether you bring your class or not, your students can learn from the trips you take. Incredibly informative videos can be made about the experiences you have and the things you see while visiting someplace new (or old, for that matter). An operations professor might visit a distribution company, an architecture professor might visit a Gothic-style cathedral, an education professor might visit the classrooms of different elementary schools to study student behavior. What you capture in these places can give your students an insight into your own experiences and a fun new way to learn.

Use clips from movies and the Internet. This one is a given, but can be hard to act on. My marketing and management professors loved to use movie clips from business-related movies. The students loved them. Why? Because it was fun to see how certain situations played out in “real life”. It helped, I’m sure, that many of the movies presented were ones that students had seen before or really liked, which made remembering the reason we watched the clip during class in the first place easier.

Create your own video library. Even if you don’t watch any videos in class, a collection of videos kept on your content management site or YouTube page can be a great learning tool for your students. I think it’s safe to say that students are a bit more willing to watch a few video clips than they are to read a 15 page scholarly journal article. That being said, if they are aware of short videos or clips that will help them to better understand course content, why wouldn’t they take a few minutes to check them out? After all, the student only needs to look, listen, and click play.

Check out this great example of an educational video from CommonCraft.