Support Learning with Video

Why Use Video?

Video is an exciting and easy instructional strategy and assessment tool. This blog will talk about some basics of using video for teaching and learning. First I’ll present some key concepts, and then some options and considerations for getting started. Video can be an easy way for teachers to provide instructions, students to demonstrate progress, and for students to show mastery of content area learning.

Teacher Created Videos: Instructional Strategy

According to EdPuzzle , 82% of teens use YouTube for homework support and yet only 9% of Teachers are posting video supports designed for their learners.

Keep it Short!

Researchers have looked at college student’s engagement with instructional videos and found that shorter videos are watched in full more often. For college students the benchmark was no longer than 6 minutes, so if you have even younger learners remember short and quick is a great way to start (Guo, Kim, & Rubin, 2014).

You can check both the metrics of your video if you host on Youtube, or use something like EdPuzzle to build an assessment into your video and keep students moving along. EdPuzzle also easily integrates with Google Classroom.

If you need a longer video, try breaking the concept or steps into shorter segments of videos – these are easier for students and parents to watch later, and help reduce information overload for students (Mayer & Moreno, 2003).  Ideally with shorter videos you can then link them together in a You Tube playlist where the learner can control the pacing.  Students actually retained information better in simple videos compared to embellished videos with extra music and effects (Mayer & Moreno, 2003).

Add Variety

Students are more likely to engage with your video if it is more than simply watching your slides. Trying adding images, text, screencasting a process in an app like ExplainEverything, and your picture. Also, your videos do not need to be studio quality, in fact Guo, Kim, and Rubin, (2014) showed that students preferred informal videos to high production videos.

Providing new materials in a flipped learning environment may be challenging given student home access to the internet, so you may want to consider more tutorials and review. Guo, Kim, and Rubin, (2014) showed that students engaged longed with the shorter tutorials for process and instructions than just listening to new content. This is especially key for longer projects – consider breaking up the video into chunks for different sections of say a large report students are working on.

Captions and Text Over

As you are creating videos you will want to consider when to include captioning and text versions of speech. Closed Captioning is an essential support for some students with disabilities, and can be a huge benefit for other groups of students such as English Language Learners. Ideally though the learner can choose the level of presence for the captions to select their own preference and needs.


Because I work in higher education, and my students are all adults, I tend to work with YouTube to host all my videos. My adult learners can sort through and make judgements about all the bad click bait that may be offered to them. For young learners this is not developmentally appropriate, so you can consider – hosting video in Google Drive, publishing your videos to YouTube, and sharing via View Pure to block background noise, or publishing to Vimeo.


Ultimately your videos, and your students videos can be excellent ways to show a moment from the classroom, so consider sharing with your Professional Learning Network (PLN) 


Getting Started

  1. Click here for project samples
  2. What are your district use policies around teacher and student video creation and public/private/unlisted videos?
  3. Who is creating the video?
  4. What devices do you have for creation?
  5. Who is the audience, and what are your goals?
    • Who are you creating for? Consider age, home access, and any language or ability supports
    • Why are you using video? Introduce concept, provide instructions for project, demonstrate learning to audience outside the classroom?
  6. Pick a small topic to start with – here are some ideas to get you thinking
    • Alphabet Book for Classroom Items in Foreign Language – Introduction and Review
    • Math Strategy for Division – Parent Support and Student Homework
    • Invitation to Poetry Event in Middle School – Parent and Community and Engagement
    • Instructions for Health Project in High School – Student at Home Tutorial of Steps
    • Demonstration of Student Projects – School Board
  7. Go! It is okay – everyone makes a first video and then finds ways to make the next ones better
  8. Ready for Next Steps
    • Once you have the basics of video use working, some next steps are to think about engaging students in learning with video interaction, try these
      1. FlipGrid
      2. EdPuzzle


Brame, C. (2015). Effective educational videos. Retrieved March 19, 2018, from

Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014). How video production affects student engagement: An empirical study of MOOC videos. In Proceedings of the First ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale Conference (pp. 41–50). New York, NY, USA: ACM.

Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 43–52.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *