Video is everywhere
The use of video as an instructional tool in Higher Education is on the increase. The widespread availability of affordable technology has dramatically increased consumer access to digital cameras, smartphones and tablets. Alongside this, the opportunities for easy editing and dissemination of videos across a variety of media outlets have also expanded at an unprecedented scale. We no longer require professional equipment to make videos and typical broadband speeds are sufficient for streaming or uploading home made videos ready for a range of audiences.
It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that of digital video has the potential to profoundly change the ways in which we teach, learn and research in the context of higher education. For instance, many top universities now use video to record lectures and make them openly accessible to the public. Using video for illustrative or pedagogical purposes (as in the ‘flipped classroom’ model) are similarly common.
Yet there is little thinking around how to use video production or blogging so as to facilitate student learning and build an academic community of practice. If embedded in a well-designed instructional strategy, having learners produce digital videos promises a number of transferable skills and valuable learning experiences. In this post we examine current literature to demonstrate the pedagogical benefits of using learner-generated videos.
How can learner-generated videos enhance learning?
Learner-generated videos have the capacity to transform passive learning activities into an active, immersive, collaborative and reflective experience. A 2012 report commissioned by Cisco Systems sees learning generated video as a ‘powerful tool in the hands of students’ (p.35) and suggests that its usage will only continue to increase throughout the 21st century. The report also urges educators to take advantage of this valuable tool and engage students by adopting emerging multimedia formats to facilitate collaborative learning.
On a conceptual level, the process of learner-generated video production can be seen as a mode of authentic learning (Kearney and Shuck, 2006). Digital video projects subvert traditional assessment tasks by displacing the initiative from the tutor to the student. Students can be motivated by the fact that their work is to be viewed and evaluated by their peers, which also facilitates critical analysis and self-reflection.
While learner generated videos are a nascent format in many disciplines, they have been frequently employed in teacher education. Indeed many studies report the benefits of video production as an educational resource in pre-service teacher training. For example, Girod et al. (2007) draws parallels between the phases in video production with the classroom teaching process, so as to emphasize the ways in which video-making enabled teachers to reflect on their own practice. Because video production accentuates the skills fundamental to a successful and effective teaching methods, the teachers were able to reconsider their approach to understanding student dynamics and formative evaluation.
For Tripp and Rich (2012), only by analysing and evaluating videos of themselves would teachers recognise the need for changing their practice. This self-realization would then enable them to reflect on their practice and gain a new perspective on how to improve their teaching. Studies also show that using video in teacher education also develops empathy and a sense of professional identity (Koc, 2011).
Using learner-generated video for evaluation at UCA
Drawing from two studies on teacher education, Kearney (2011) proposes a formal pedagogical framework for learner-generated digital storytelling, in essence a set of guiding principles towards structuring curricula based around student-generated digital video projects. While Kearney’s learning design testifies to video production and digital storytelling as a ‘valuable, transformative tool for learners in a range of curriculum and discipline contexts’ (p.184), Blomberg et al. (2013) argue that the effectiveness and impact of using video should be motivated by the learning design and educational rationale. In their comparative study, the authors conceptualise video ‘as a tool to foster learning and not as a pedagogy itself’ (p.458) and recommend embedding video-based learning with a specific instructional strategy to maximize its benefits and learning outcomes.
Motivated by both theories of social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978) and experiential learning (Dewey, 1938; Kolb, 1984) as instructional strategies, UCA’s Acting and Performance students were required to capture their performances every week and critique both their own work and their peers’. These video blogs were then integrated into myUCA through Acclaim, a platform that enabled tutors and students to enter time-specific feedback. It was hoped that the interaction made possible through video blogs would help students reflect on and critically evaluate their learning as they progress through the course.
Susan Gail Taylor (2013) suggests that video blogs can simultaneously be used as a tool for community building, collaboration and post-project reflection. She also writes ‘vlogging [or video blogging] is an ideal medium for producing knowledge and sharing digital stories’ precisely because it allows an informal channel where students can discuss and reflect on their own work.
Whether in the form of video blogging or video production as a major collective project, learner-generated video is a powerful pedagogical tool that warrants further investigation in diverse subject areas.
Blomberg, Geraldine, et al. 2014. ‘Understanding Video as a Tool for Teacher Education: Investigating Instructional Strategies to Promote Reflection’. Instructional Science 42 (3): 443–63. doi:10.1007/s11251-013-9281-6.
Dewey, John. 1938. Experience and Education. New York: Macmillan.
Girod, Mark, John Bell, and Punya Mishra. 2007. ‘Using Digital Video to Re-Think Teaching Practices’. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education 24 (1): 23–29. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10402454.2007.10784580.
Kearney, Matthew. 2011. ‘A Learning Design for Student‐generated Digital Storytelling’. Learning, Media and Technology 36 (2): 169–88. doi:10.1080/17439884.2011.553623.
Kearney, Matthew, and Sandy Shuck. 2006. ‘Spotlight on Authentic Learning: Student Developed Digital Video Projects’. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 22 (2): 189–208.
Koc, Mustafa. 2011. ‘Let’s Make a Movie: Investigating Pre-Service Teachers’ Reflections on Using Video-Recorded Role Playing Cases in Turkey’. Teaching and Teacher Education 27 (1): 95–106. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2010.07.006.
Kolb, David A. 1984. Experiential Learning as the Science of Learning and Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Orús, Carlos, et al. 2016. ‘The Effects of Learner-Generated Videos for YouTube on Learning Outcomes and Satisfaction’. Computers & Education 95 (April): 254–69. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2016.01.007.
Taylor, Susan Gail. 2013. ‘Vlogging Composition: Making Content Dynamic’. Hybrid Pedagogy Journal. March 28. http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/hybridped/vlogging-composition-making-content-dynamic/.
Tripp, Tonya R., and Peter J. Rich. 2012. ‘The Influence of Video Analysis on the Process of Teacher Change’. Teaching and Teacher Education 28 (5): 728–39. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2012.01.011.
Vygotsky, L. S. 1978. Mind in society : the development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.