Use video to enhance your online or face-to-face courses

10 Ways You Can Use Video to Enhance Your Courses

Whether you’re teaching an online course or using digital content to enhance your face-to-face class, video is a crucial component to keep students immersed in the subject matter.

Great expectations
What kind of video do you need? Here’s the good and the bad news – online learning is changing. Gone are the days when you could just record your 2-hour long lectures, and throw a syllabus onto your LMS. Today’s students expect a more interactive, engaging experience; one that helps them connect with you and their fellow classmates.

Ten ways to add quality video

So how do you use video as a quality component of your online or blended course? Here are ten ways to significantly improve your online teaching (or enhance your in-person classroom).

  1. Record bite-size video lessons (ditch the loooonnnnng lectures)
    Instead of recording your full-length lecture, break it up into shorter videos. According to a recent study conducted by TechSmith about video viewership, most people prefer videos that are 6 – 15 minutes long. You can make videos on specific topics, sections, or other logical subsets of your lecture material. You can even record lessons on the sticky topics that you notice students struggle with again and again.

    Record video lessons for your online or blended courses

    Michael Busby teaches at Murray State University where he record video lessons for use across multiple geography courses.

  2. Personalize your online presence
    When you’re teaching exclusively online, you need to make an extra effort to connect with your students. Make a quick video to personally launch your e-course, so students can get acquainted with you. You can introduce each unit, or the week’s topic, to give students a head’s up about what you expect, and to lay the foundation.

    Include webcam to personalize your online teaching

    Dr. Brian McCarthy includes webcam in his video lessons as an additional way to personalize online lessons, so students can see his facial expressions.

  3. Flip a lesson
    Instead of lecturing during class, record video lessons for students to watch ahead of time. They’ll come to class already knowing the basics, so you can spend in-class time on higher order activities such as in-depth discussions, practical application, group projects, or 1:1 time answering questions.
  4. Teach when you’re absent
    When bad weather keeps you from class (or the flu….or any myriad of other unexpected reasons), you can still stay on schedule. Record video lessons that students can watch anywhere, even from home.

    record video lessons to continue teaching even when you're not in class

    When snow days cancelled class, Dr. Kevin Caran continued teaching through video lessons.

  5. Talk through assignment grading
    Instead of marking up student papers with a red pen, talk through your comments in a quick video. You can point out exactly what you mean more quickly than writing it out longhand, and students will love being able to hear you personally explain the feedback.

    Instead of writing down feedback, narrate it in a video

    Tracy Schaelen uses video to show how you can walk through feedback on a student essay paper.

  6. Teach hands-on skills
    Some things are best shown in person. Science labs, practical applications in nursing, medicine, culinary, electronics, and more. Make sure all your students see your demonstration by recording a video, so sick or absent students can catch up, and any students can re-watch as much as they need.
  7. Let students create videos
    Engage millennials with the technology they love. Have students create videos to explain topic understanding, make in-depth visual projects, and record assignments. They’ll love being able to express themselves with more depth than text alone, and they can efficiently capture group projects for you to evaluate at your convenience.

    Let students create videos for assignments

    Dr. Dan Anderson challenges his students to communicate visually with video projects.

  8. Build a valuable study resource
    Lecture recordings help students study for exams, so they can go back and re-watch lessons from the beginning of the semester. Especially when there is a lot of content to cover, this is a priceless way to refresh learning. West Virginia University’s survey of medical students found that 86 percent use recorded lectures as a resource for studying, and 99 percent would like other professors to record lectures in their courses.
  9. Measure learning, in the moment
    Passive video is passé. Make your videos interactive by adding quizzes that pop up within your videos. You’ll see what students are learning in real-time, and can get their responses to the content, as a two-way conversation.
  10. See who’s engaged (and help those who aren’t)
    You can also take advantage of the latest video analytics tools to immediately see which students are watching your video lessons, and how much they’re watching. You’ll get an idea of how the class is participating as as whole, and can step in to assist the students who aren’t watching the material, for crucial early intervention.

Even if you’re not using e-learning methods currently, you can start small and incorporate video into one lesson. Watching how much students love interacting with technology may incentivize you to incorporate more (and you might appreciate the flexibility in teaching as well).

Ready to create your first video? You can record it in just a few minutes, from your own computer, even at home. Camtasia is trusted in higher education for online and flipped learning, and offers a free, fully-functional trial.