Pedagogical benefits

There are many benefits to using video in education as shown in several decades of research. Salman Khan in 'Let's use video to reinvent education' (20 mins) describes the transformative way video can impact on teaching and learning and encourages teachers to consider the flipped classroom model where learners can digest lecture content at their pace and explore content more deeply during class time.

See The Art of Educational videos by Macquarie University for the breadth of approaches to making effective videos.

Facilitating thinking and problem solving

Shepard and Cooper (1982) and Mayer and Gallini (1990) made the connection between visual clues, the memory process, and the recall of new knowledge. Allam (2006) observes that the creative challenge of using moving images and sound to communicate a topic indeed engaging and insightful, but adds that it also enables students to acquire a range of transferable skills in addition to filmmaking itself. These include research skills, collaborative working, problem solving, technology, and organisational skills. (Bijnens, N.D.)

Assisting with mastery learning

In some cases, video can be as good as an instructor in communicating facts or demonstrating procedures to assist in mastery learning where a student can view complex clinical or mechanical procedures as many times as they need to. Furthermore, the interactive features of modern web-based media players can be used to promote ‘active viewing’ approaches with students (Galbraith, 2004).

Inspiring and engaging students

More recently, Willmot et al (2012) show that there is strong evidence that digital video reporting can inspire and engage students when incorporated into student-centred learning activities through:

  • increased student motivation
  • enhanced learning experience
  • higher marks
  • development potential for deeper learning of the subject development potential for deeper learning of the subject development potential for deeper learning of the subject
  • development of learner autonomy
  • enhanced team working and communication skills
  • a source of evidence relating to skills for interviews
  • learning resources for future cohorts to use
  • opportunities for staff development (CPD). (p.3)

Authentic learning opportunities

The work of Kearney and colleagues show the benefits of using video to produce authentic learning opportunities for students (Kearney and Campbell 2010; Kearney and Schuck, 2006), and how ‘ivideos’ encourage academic rigour from an advocacy, research based perspective.

Networked learning

Asensio and Young (2002) assert that the seamless integration of digital video with other tools offers an opportunity to experiment with video as a focus for networked learning. They developed the Three I’s framework (image, interactivity and integration) to assist teachers with the pedagogic design and development of video streaming. Participants in a JISC/DNER Click and Go Video workshop provided examples of the value of video in education (see Table 1 below).

Image Interactivity Integration
  • Video is more appealing
  • Allows me to work outside the classroom and illustrate how theories/techniques can be applied in real life
  • People take in more information when it is presented visually compared with text and voice alone
  • Able to see technical experts / examples / demonstrations
  • Looks nice – may encourage those lazier users
  • It grabs attention, it’s new
  • It’s a good way to get students ideas across without the need for writing
  • It adds to the entertainment value
  • Pictures can quickly give information whereas words can take longer
  • Student ideally has control
  • Students can re-wind, replay in their own time and at their own speed.
  • Ability to repeat/pause
  • Can learn anywhere, anytime
  • Can select what is of use
  • To provide the personal ‘chemistry’ between lectures and students that are remote
  • Students can view in confidence
  • Greater audience numbers can be reached
  • Greater access to learning for disabled students
  • Provides interactive teaching environment
  • Allows for dynamic presentations
  • Adds value to text
  • Support for teaching and learning, not instead of
  • Mix of media for students studying at a distance
  • To widen participants and address different learning styles
  • Video can work alongside lectures and compliment the students’ module
  • Being able to split video into parts and relate to exercises
  • Integrating with web resources
  • Student support and feedback
  • Feedback to staff etc

Passey, D. (2006). Digital video technologies enhancing learning for pupils at risk and those who are hard to reach.In Childs, M., Cuttle, M., & Riley, K. (Eds.), DIVERSE proceedings : 2005 & 2006 : 5th International DIVERSE Conference, 5th-7th July 2005, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA, 6th International DIVERSE Conference, 5th-7th July 2006, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK. (pp. 156-168). Glasgow: Glasgow Caledonian University Press.

Young, C. & Asensio, M. (2002). Looking through three ‘I’s: The pedagogic use of streaming video.
In Banks, S, Goodyear, P, Hodgson, V, Connell, D. (Eds), Networked Learning 2002, Proceedings of the Third International Conference. Sheffield March 2002: 628-635.

Abstract: Although the pedagogic use of film and video has a long history, its widespread use has always been limited by production costs and delivery difficulties. In recent years costs of production have fallen and the web has emerged as a mainstream educational distribution medium.Video itself can be used in many ways: ‘talking head’, interviews, video diaries, video labs, simulations, instructional sequences, ‘fly on the wall’, video help etc. Through the browser, ‘streaming’ video sequences can be linked to slides, text conferencing, whiteboards, video conferencing, shared applications, online assessment and third party web sites. A major element of the JISC/DNER Click and Go Video project is to move beyond the current understanding of video as a purely presentational tool. The seamless combination of digital video with other tools offers an opportunity to experiment with video as a focus for networked learning. However there is an acute lack of pedagogic resources, research and evaluation on the use of video streaming for teaching and learning. The pedagogical challenge faced by teaching staff and practitioners is not only to choose the appropriate streaming technology but also to design meaningful learning events. In this paper we introduce a way to analyse video use through what we have named the Three ‘I’s Framework – image, interactivity and integration. This conceptual framework seeks to provide a practical decision tool to help teaching staff and practitioners with the pedagogic design and development of video streaming resources for online learning. Our aim is to provide a way of understanding the role of video as it changes from a presentation tool to a focus for networked learning.

Willmot, P., Bramhall, M., Radley, K. (2012) Using digital video reporting to inspire and engage students. Retrieved from

Abstract: Digital storytelling involves combining narrative with digital content to create a short movie. Digital stories can include interactive movies with highly produced audio and visual effects or presentation slides with narration or music. Some learning theorists believe that as a pedagogical technique, storytelling can be effectively applied to nearly any subject. Constructing a narrative and communicating it effectively require one to think carefully about the topic and the audience's perspective. The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning practices and technologies. Each brief focuses on a single practice or technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning.

Burmark, L. (2004). Visual presentations that prompt, flash& transform. Media and Methods, 40(6), 4–5.
Jakes, D. S., & Brennan, J. (2005). Capturing stories, capturing lives: An introduction to digital story-telling. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from

Abstract: This case study describes the design and development of an attractive new resource to encourage STEM academics to incorporate video reporting into their student-centred learning activities. The resource, described as a ‘toolkit’, provides support for those who wish to pilot the idea, shows the benefits of the innovation through accessible examples and offers answers to typical questions likely to be asked by new adopters. The package shows examples of existing good practice and points the way to success. The innovation has been trialled in several different formats covering a variety of subjects at Loughborough and Sheffield Hallam universities and subsequently discussed and evaluated by the STEM community at specialist events.

Shepard, R. & Cooper, L. (1982), Mental images and their transformations, MIT Press/Bradford Books, Cambridge, MA.

Abstract: This book collects some of the most exciting pioneering work in perceptual and cognitive psychology. The authors' quantitative approach to the study of mental images and their representation is clearly depicted in this invaluable volume of research which presents, interprets, evaluates, and extends their work. The selections are preceded by a thorough review of the history of their experiments, and all of the articles have been updated with reviews of the current literature.The book's first part focuses on mental rotation; the second includes other, more complex transformations and sequences of transformations. A third part describes work on rotational transformations in the context of the perceptual illusion of &;quot;apparent motion.&;quot;Roger N. Shepard is Professor of Psychology, Stanford University. Lynn A. Cooper is Professor of Psychology, University of Arizona. A Bradford Book.

Mayer, R., Gallini, J (1990), 'When is an illustration worth ten thousand words?' Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(6) (715-726)

Abstract: In three experiments, students read expository passages concerning how scientific devices work, which contained either no illustrations (control), static illustrations of the device with labels for each part (parts), static illustrations of the device with labels for each major action (steps), or dynamic illustrations showing the "off" and "on" states of the device along with labels for each part and each major action (parts-and-steps). Results indicated that the parts-and-steps (but not the other) illustrations consistently improved performance on recall of conceptual (but not nonconceptiual) information and creative problem solving (but not verbatim retention), and these results were obtained mainly for the low prior-knowledge (rather than the high prior-knowledge) students. The cognitive conditions for effective illustrations in scientific text include appropriate text, tests, illustrations, and learners.

Galbraith, J., ( 2004), 'Active viewing: and oxymoron in video-based instruction?', Society for
Applied Learning Technologies Conference,

Abstract: This presentation will review an innovative study on “self-monitoring” behaviors and “Self- Regulated Learning” (SRL) while viewing media-based instruction. Of particular interest is how students use variable speed playback (VSP) abilities now available in their players. The research study aimed to understand what relationship (if any) did students perceive existed among their particular viewing habits, playback speed of video lectures, and their learning? Streaming media-based instruction continues to grow in volume and accessibility. Many inexpensive products on the market today help create and distribute educational and training presentations. Individual learners and instructional technologists should proceed knowledgeably when using VSP functionality.