Video is fast becoming a popular way to reach learners in new ways. Whether providing recorded lectures to students taking online courses, or using them to get students further before they attend a lab session, video provides another avenue to engaging students.

In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, contributors Erping Zhu and Matthew Kaplan write that video can be used as a way to catalog your course lectures, demonstrate a concept to students, and reach online learners. Allowing students to access information asynchronously gives them the opportunity to revisit concepts when they struggle or when they need to review for assessment. Additionally, using video for course instruction opens up the possibility of allowing students to view videos hosted by “guest lecturers” — subject matter experts who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to present in class.

Zhu and Kaplan provide these tips to keep in mind if you’re considering integrating video into your instructional workflow:

  • Keep in mind what your goal is for using the video, including knowing how your students will benefit from its use.
  • Give some background about the video to make sure your students aren’t watching it out of context.
  • Be sure that you watch the video in its entirety prior to sharing it, and decide upon a related activity that students can complete as they watch or after viewing.
  • Keep attention spans in mind – even the most motivated learner may not be able to hang in there and remain engaged for a clip exceeding ten minutes. (pp. 252-253)

Reference: Content adapted from Svinicki, Marilla and McKeachie, Wilbert J. 2011. McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers. 13th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.