Why Videos in Education?


Why use videos in our teaching?

Whether you use videos from YouTube or from your library’s streaming video collection, videos are an excellent teaching tool to use with your students.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Reduce cognitive load – effectively developed videos or animation can enhance comprehension and retention of information (Fenesi, B., 2011; Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R., 2003; Berk, R. A., 2009).
  • Support multimodal learning – videos are one way to integrate multi-modal elements (e.g. text, audio, images, animation) into your teaching. Multimodal learning has been found to “result in significant gains in basic and higher-order learning” (Metiri Group, 2008; Sankey, M., Birch, D. & Gardiner, M., 2010). Presenting course materials in more than one mode may “lead learners to perceive that it is easier to learn and improve attention…in particular for lower-achieving students” (Sankey, M., Birch, D. & Gardiner, M., 2010).
  • Appeal to multiple learning preferences and increase learner engagement – video can appeal to multiple preferences (e.g. visual, aural, written) through it’s use of images, animation, text and audio (Berk, R. A., 2009; Sankey, M., Birch, D. & Gardiner, M., 2010; Kearney and Schuck, 2004; Reid, M., Burn, A. & Parker, D., 2002).
  • Help students understand complex information – using text and pictures can assist students with difficult concepts, “Shah and Freedman (2003) discuss a number of benefits of using visualisations in learning
    environments, including: (1) promoting learning by providing an external representation of the information; (2) deeper processing of information; and (3) maintaining learner attention by making the information more attractive and motivating, hence making complex information easier to comprehend” (cited in Sankey, M., Birch, D. & Gardiner, M., 2010).
  • Authentic learning – using a video project with your students presents an opportunity for an authentic learning experience as described in this k-12 study, “authenticity was apparent through the ability of DV [digital video] to be used in real-world contexts; to develop life skills; and to be produced for a real audience” (Kearney and Schuck, 2004).
  • Develop digital literacies – digital skills are vital for our students, “As 90% of new jobs will require excellent digital skills, improving digital literacy (by which we mean those capabilities essential for living, learning and working in a digital society) is a key component for developing effective and employable learners” (JISC., 2013). Using videos both as teaching materials and as projects can help students develop various digital skills.
  • Strengthen multiple core literacies – Seneca’s Academic Plan identifies multiple core literacies that our students should demonstrate competency in upon graduation. Using video in your teaching and/or as projects can help strengthen many of these literacies including, written and oral communication, information literacy, creative thinking, inquiry and analysis, critical thinking and problem solving, digital literacy, etc.
But keep in mind…

“…the integration of DV [digital video] technologies into subject teaching does not automatically improve the quality of work or standards of attainment; high quality teaching remains the key factor in raising achievement…” (Reid, M., Burn, A. & Parker, D., 2002).

Resources for Using Video in the Classroom: