Ways to use video in your teaching

Mobile devices make capturing video content straightforward and there are many free online tools that can help create relatively professional-looking videos. On top of this, the University’s streaming platform, Kaltura, makes the creation, uploading and sharing of video easier than it’s ever been.

But how can we use video to best educational effect?

By its nature, video is visual and usually also aural. As such, design approaches that take best advantage of the medium are likely to have more impact. Hansch et al. (2015) list good fits as being:

  • role play/ simulation
  • analysing behaviours
  • storytelling
  • building rapport
  • demonstrations
  • historic footage
  • virtual field trips

If part of the learning outcomes for your students includes developing their presentation skills, then video is naturally a good fit for this too – perhaps you might also consider peer feedback within DUO.

Conversely, if the content you have doesn’t need to be seen, then you might re-think video as the best fit.

Often the ‘talking head’ over slides approach dominates educational video content – particularly as seen in MOOCs. A research study into video styles across over 400 courses found the talking head approach to be dominant and its findings gives pause for thought on this approach and the best ways to use the medium (Reutemann 2015).

The talking head approach can of course be very effective if the goal is to increase personalisation and build rapport – which is particularly important in online and distance courses.

Video could also be used to record your immediate thoughts following a relevant event in the news – it can help build a sense of currency to your resources on DUO. It doesn’t need to be a formal lecture but can capture quick asides.

Date for your diary: We have an upcoming workshop on using Kaltura to record, upload and share video content. If you are interested, then please do sign up for a video workshop on 15 February.


Hansch, A., McConachie, K., Schmidt, P., Hillers, L., Newman, C. and Schildhauer, T. (2015) ‘The role of video in online learning: findings from the field and critical reflections’, SSRN eLibrary [online]. Available at www.hiig.de/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/TopMOOC_Final-Paper.pdf

Reutemann, J. (2016) ‘Differences and commonalities – a comparative report of video styles and course descriptions on edX, Coursera, FutureLearn and Iversity’, Proceedings of the European MOOC Stakeholder Summit. Graz, 22-24 February, pp. 383-391 [online]. Available at http://emoocs2016.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/proceedings-emoocs2016.pdf