Why Use Video?

YouTube. iTunes U. BBC News. Everywhere you look on the Internet these days, you can find video. And lots of it. In October 2009, Google reported that YouTube alone was delivering one billion views per day.

Video is a medium that engages viewers from multiple senses – sight and sound – and can generate excitement about a subject or concept. Students will enjoy the experience and retain more information from the class. TeacherTube blogged about research in using video in the post, Why Use Video in Education?

So, it's no wonder that more and more faculty are looking into using video in their instruction. Here are just a few ideas of what you can do with video:

  • Course welcome
  • Icebreakers
  • Launching point for group discussion
  • Mini-lectures  
  • Simulations / demonstrations
  • Student projects / student-created media
  • Feedback for students
  • How-to videos (great for teaching software or a procedure)

As with any instructional technology, you want to use video to enhance teaching and learning. To effectively integrate video into your course, you must first determine a specific learning objective and create an activity that uses the video in support of that objective. Begin by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is it that you want your students to learn?
  • Is the video to introduce new concepts, review old ones, or extend something that happened in class? 
  • Is it to provoke thoughts and promote critical thinking, or is it to provide simple, factual information? 

These are all examples of very different uses of video.