Video is an essential part of education when transitioning to a hybrid learning format, as it stimulates cognitive processing, thinking, reasoning and problem-solving. In this blog, we will cover some useful tips on using video as a teaching resource.

Place video as the audience’s focus points

There is an enormous amount of potential that can be tapped into with videos, by adding life and visual elements to content. Although the text is often easier to perceive and skim through, videos are more likely to hook the viewer’s attention. With this in mind, you could consider placing them at the beginning of your learning content where they are most likely to be viewed. Additionally, this will also provide an attractive preview of the content that is to follow. You can also place videos at the end of the content as a summary or recap of each topic.

Video as a part of a larger programme

If you decide to incorporate video into your learning materials, don’t treat it as an isolated piece of material. Videos should be part of a larger whole, connected to other videos dedicated to related topics and screen captures. They can also include textual information supporting the subject of the video and so on. Consider accessibility and try to ensure that video content is accompanied with transcripts or captions. You should also take it into account that there are plenty of people who dislike videos in general. So make sure you present the same information in other ways for their sake.

Use Interactivity

Despite the use of video being an excellent medium to demonstrate content, they are generally a very passive endeavour. Reading involves the student applying their attention and requires active particiption. When you watch a video, however, you don’t have to this, which increases the likelihood of being distracted. By using interactivity, it necessary for the viewer to make decisions in the course of watching to maintain their attention and engagement. Integrating videos with quizzes and collaborative learning with the help of software can also work.

Employ the Power of Microlearning

Microlearning is a way of providing short, focused pieces of content to an audience, ideally where and when they need it. In a world where people are checking their smartphones 9 times an hour, shorter ‘bite-sized’ digital learning content is becoming increasingly popular. The idea is to provide a strong focus on a single point for a short time period instead of elaborating on the subject. Try to avoid using long video clips which can lead to distraction or disengagement. It is much more effective to use multiple short videos which are interspersed with the information presented in other forms. For example, text, quizzes and diagrams are an excellent way to avert audience boredom and allow them to focus on one thing at a time.

Modern learners access course material on mobile devices, on the move and in pockets of time. This means accessing content on trains, over breakfast etc. Consider how to target those tiny windows of opportunity to get the most out of video content delivery.

Different Learning Styles

Despite the popularity of video and audio content in general, there are plenty of people who have trouble following video presentations. In many cases, they prefer their educational materials in textual form. It is a bad idea to cater to only one type of learner since by neglecting the needs of all the other types means that you are not meeting their needs. Try to accompany each video with a transcript and captions.

Video Compression

Problems with bandwidth and buffering are much less of a problem now than they were a decade ago. That being said, you should consider that the majority of users are going to access content using their mobile devices, which can suffer from less than average connection speeds. Therefore, large uncompressed HD videos may take a lot of time to load without providing any improvements in terms of visuals on small screens. Make sure you compress your videos enough to be immediately available no matter what kind of network the client uses.

Summary

Video can be an extremely powerful tool when applied to distance learning. However, it can quickly become counter-productive if not considered correctly. Videos will be overly long, boring, not engaging and the viewers will fail to watch them to the end. The tips mentioned don’t cover everything that you need to know about using video as a teaching resource, but they do give one a good place to start. So, try using them right now!

Please contact eLearning@tees.ac.uk for further support.

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