With the use of online education and e-learning steadily growing over the past couple of years, the positive impact of including video content in the virtual classroom has become an undeniable reality. But as much as the mix of video and education has been implemented, we are yet to see its full potential.
If you’re curious about the advantages of this technique or you’re an educator thinking about trying it out, then keep on reading! In this article, we talk about the power of combining optimized video content with education: the possibilities it offers, how to maximize its benefits, and we even some examples you can learn directly from!
Why Combining Video and Education is a Must
It’s no secret that video content is one of the most appealing mediums to deliver information. According to Statista, in 2020, U.S. adults spent 103 minutes per day watching digital video on devices. So why not take advantage of this fact? Rather than relying exclusively on textbooks full of overly-complicated information, students are much more likely to watch and retain an educational video about that same topic.
Now, in-depth text and instruction manuals will always have a place in the classroom. But using video content as part of your teaching strategy can help students understand that material better, and the videos act as a helpful complement to the required readings.
And let’s not forget the practical aspect of video content. Our experience over the last couple of years has shown us that education can take place remotely and in a shorter amount of time using videos without compromising the teaching-learning experience and the quality of the information.
The Endless Possibilities of Video Content
When it comes to educational content, there’s little that a great video can’t achieve (when it’s done right!), as you can adapt the medium to fit the topics and audience you need to connect. From in-depth grammatical theory for linguistics students to product marketing for business students and everything else in between, the right video can deliver whatever information you require, and customization allows for flexibility that can be hard to match by other learning tools.
It’s also worth noting that, while time and costs will always delineate the limits of what’s possible when crafting educational videos, even a simple animated explainer video about a challenging topic can become an invaluable piece for your teaching efforts.
Here, the flexibility of videos we talked about comes in handy again: you can choose to deliver your content by any method you choose that is within your means: just you, talking to the camera; a whiteboard animation explaining both visually and audibly the topic in question; a motion graphics video displaying the hard data of your content while you speak.
As long as you are producing content that lives up to your audience’s expectations and needs, video content gives you a lot of room to develop educational content that gets the job done.
Make the Most out of Educational Video’s Strengths
One thing that has proven invaluable with videos used for educational purposes is that, as long as the content doesn’t need to be updated with new facts or data, it becomes an evergreen resource for both teachers and students.
Students can watch a video as many times as they need to, helping them understand the material perfectly before they move on to the next topic. And not only that, but they can watch the videos when they are able to do so: students who are also workers are usually busy for the majority of the day, and oftentimes they have to choose between taking a class or being on time for a shift at work.
By using videos to complement your classes, students don’t have to worry about falling behind on schedule because they missed a class, losing an entire day’s worth of information unless they can get notes from a classmate.
But even if you don’t have a class to teach and you’re just looking for ways to impart your knowledge to people who might be interested in it, videos are the way to go. You can upload your videos to YouTube and teach your specialty subject to anyone and everyone who comes across it. And as long as you don’t delete it, this too becomes an evergreen resource for viewers both old and new.
If all of this wasn’t good enough, last but not least is the fact that videos can be used semester after semester, year after year, with no need to craft a new one for every single class. As we said before, a video is an investment: what you create today is what you can use as a resource for the foreseeable future, as long as it’s still relevant to the area of study.
A Practical Look into Video Content Use in Education
In the online course Miracles of Human Language: an Introduction to Linguistics, offered on Coursera by Universiteit Leiden and Merteens Institut, each module has around 14 videos (most being no longer than 10 minutes) that explain the different topics that are covered week by week. These videos are paired up with some readings, and each module is finished with a quiz to assess the student’s knowledge.
By choosing this methodology, a topic as hard as Chomsky’s Generative Grammar or the science of phonetics and phonology becomes easy to understand and approachable to all learners, even those who have no previous knowledge about linguistics. Note how the majority of the course’s content is delivered by using videos, with readings being a secondary tool.
But online courses are not the only ones choosing videos as their teaching strategy: accredited universities do so as well. Yes, nowadays, you can get your undergrad or graduate degree through online classes exclusively. For example, the University of Central Florida offers a wide range of areas, from History to Marketing, that you can study not only from texts but through educational video content as well.
An interesting aspect of UCF’s online degrees webpage is that it has a section exclusively dedicated to educators who want to make their own video recordings for class. It has everything a teacher needs to know to make video content for their courses, so you can bet that their combination of video content and education results in awesome videos for their students!
And you can learn some tips from it as well, even if you’re not part of the University’s faculty 😉They recommend using videos for introducing new topics or covering material that students might miss because of unexpected events.
Some Parting Thoughts
The fact that online education and e-learning are here to stay is hard to ignore. And with them comes the use of new technologies and novel visual methods for teaching —the use of videos being one of them.
So, while it’s not compulsory to add video content to your teaching strategies, the reality of its benefits is one that most educators can’t afford to ignore.
Hopefully, after reading this piece, you know a thing or two more than you did before about the powerful combination of video content and education; and maybe you’ll even think about implementing this combination yourself!