How to Use Videos in the Classroom

Videos for classroom learning! Is it really that effective? That's a question that many teachers often find themselves asking. Well, have you ever wondered why it's so easy to remember a script from a movie you watched once five years ago yet you can't vividly recall what you learned in class a month ago? In truth, a video can be a very powerful learning tool. All you have to do it to learn how to use videos in the classroom to increase engagement. Below is a brief explanation on how to go about this.

Keep Videos Short

For a classroom video to be engaging and fun to watch, it needs to be short (see Edutopia). The trick is to make sure you include everything there is to know about the main concept in the shortest time possible. Research has shown that students are almost 100% engaged when watching learning videos for the first six minutes. Therefore, having a clip that's less than 6 minutes long can be quite effective in passing on the main ideas and concepts to your students.

Make It Fun and Entertaining

The best way to catch a student's attention is by keeping the clip interesting. Always make it a point of creating a fun, yet educative, video. You can do this by including a few quick and relevant jokes, a question framed funnily, or a 5-second funny clip in the middle of the video that's meant to give them a quick break from the learning process. All this is geared towards making their learning experience fun and informative at the same time.

Narration: Be Quick and Enthusiastic

If you are narrating the video to the class, then you have to be fast and energetic. Research shows that student's engagement is also highly dependent on the narrator's speed. The faster you narrate the clip, the more the engagement. If you describe the video slowly, you are bound to lose one or two student's interest along the way. Just make sure your description is clear, precise and in sync with the video.

Personalize The Video

Take advantage of your student's curiosity! How? Well, it's a fact that student's like to know almost everything about their teachers e.g. how you teach, how you frame questions, how you present concepts and, also, which responses you expect. If you tailor your learning videos to look like they were created for your students and for that particular class, then there's a high probability that they'll be eager to know what you came up with. This could be a great way of ensuring they remain engaged throughout the clips. The best part about this study tool is that you can reuse it over and over again. All you need to do it to change the text outside the video ensuring that things like the titles are personalized for a particular class.

Use a Conversational Style

Conversations are a great way of making sure a person is actively engaged. That's why, if you present your videos in a conversational manner, you'll prompt the students to be actively involved all through the presentation. Include a few rhetorical questions in the videos because they push your students to think beyond; to imagine the outcome; to be curious enough to do further research about the concept during their free time.

Include a Few Guiding Questions

These are the questions that appear at the beginning of the presentation. They are usually meant to show the students which parts of the video need their utmost attention - or the key details best explaining the concept being passed on. Including a few guiding questions ensure that your students remain engaged while they search for the answers during the presentation. If you want them to pay attention to everything in the video clip, you can state at the beginning of the video that there will be a small pop quiz after the presentation. Since they don't know which part will be tested, they'll make it a point of learning as much as they can from the video.

Visibility and Clarity

When creating a study video, you need to take a few factors into consideration. For instance: How big is your class and will all your students be able to see your video presentation comfortably? Are the graphics and clips used relevant to the concept being studied? Are there any students with special needs? These are just a few of the many things you need to take into consideration when coming up with a classroom video. They help you to tailor your presentation to be visible and clear enough for all your students thus keeping them engaged.