Spotlight on SOTL: Meaningful Medium or Muddied Message: Video use in Higher Ed
This article is based on the following research article:
Marquis, E., Wojcik, C., Lin, E., & McKinnon, V. (2020). Meaningful Teaching Tool and/or’Cool Factor’? Instructors’ Perceptions of Using Film and Video within Teaching and Learning. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 20(1), 130-150. doi: 10.14434/josotl.v20i1.25093
Videos are often utilized in teaching at the postsecondary level, however, little research has been completed on the effectiveness of video use. This article adds to our understanding of the use of video in the classroom by collecting the perspectives of instructors in various disciplines across seven universities on how and why they use video and the benefits and challenges in doing so.
What did the researchers do and find?
The researchers found:
- Positive instructor attitudes towards video: Most instructors found the use of film and video to be extremely effective in their teaching, with 81% of instructors indicating they use videos regularly. When asked whether videos were a useful teaching tools on a 5-point Likert scale, the mean response was 4.26/5, indicating positive views towards videos.
- Motivations of video use: Instructors often chose to use videos to engage student attention, to help student learn course concepts, and to provide variety in instructional methods. These purposes were similar across disciplines.
- Challenges to effective teaching with video: The most identified challenge was difficulty finding appropriate video materials. A pattern emerged that logistical challenges were most highlighted as opposed to challenges related to the usefulness of videos in supporting teaching outcomes.
How might you use this research in your teaching?
- Increase the effectiveness of videos by taking the time to ensure that they are not used as “stand alone” tools and are based on pedagogical goals such as encouraging critical discussion. For example, provide discussion questions for students to consider while watching the video and encourage a group discussion after watching.
- Ensure video use is aligned with universal design for learning in terms of multiple means of representation (e.g., check quality of captions, provide transcript, etc.).
- Consider using video to provide diverse perspectives in class and to avoid speaking for marginalized communities.
- Use video to support learner empathy and greater understanding of situations and contexts beyond their worldview.
- At an institutional level, provide support to decrease logistical challenges of using videos, such as offering resources concerning copyright, aid in accessing appropriate materials, and assistance with technical issues.
- Since some instructors voiced concern that video use could be viewed as frivolous or unprofessional, teachers may benefit from being transparent about and reflecting on the use of this tool as well as reviewing scholarly literature on its effectiveness.
Stay tuned for the next Spotlight on SoTL coming to the MacPherson Memo on July 27, 2022Spotlight on SOTL, Updates