Video and online learning: Critical reflections and findings from the field

Posted on September 11th, 2015

Videos are increasingly being used in MOOCs as well as in the classroom, however there is still a limited amount of research on the use of video in teaching and learning. In this study, the authors draw upon a literature review and 10 structured interviews to identify limitations and best practices for using videos in teaching and learning. One of the main challenges the authors note was the use of three to six minute talking head videos and annotated screencasts that are often created with the support of professional videography and media expertise. Such products, the authors explained, are often expensive and time consuming, and it is unclear what teaching and learning value they offer. Rather than focus on high production values that offer uncertain impacts, the authors recommended several principles to keep in mind. First, consider the benefits of using video as a medium. Effective uses include building rapport, going on virtual fieldtrips, manipulating time and space, telling stories, motivating learners, showcasing historical footage, conducting demonstrations, using visual juxtaposition, and leveraging multimedia presentation. Second, be critical of when and how to include videos in MOOCs. Third, recognize the value of a DIY approach to video, as it can help instructors develop media literacy and make informed choices around content use.