Video is a useful and versatile tool you can use in connection with your teaching. For example, you can record your academic presentations on video and spend the time in class activating students with discussions and exercises. If you want to do more online teaching, videos are a key tool that you can use to approximate how you would communicate during in-person teaching.
The value of video depends on how you integrate it with other learning activities, i.e. what you ask the students to do before, during and after a video. By working consciously with this, video can both increase the learning outcome and make room for other activities.
This page contains a general introduction to the various types of video you can use, as well as advice on how to get started on producing video content yourself. Contact the CED for help to produce videos.
In the following, we present three different types of recording setups that are typically used in connection with teaching.
A setup characterised by simplicity, authenticity and creating a relationship with students
You record yourself using your own computer, either at the office or at home. This setup gives teachers a high degree of flexibility as they can record any time, any where. All that is required is a computer and software such as Panopto or Screencast-O-Matic. These programs let you to record yourself and your screen, so that you can visually present content by using slides, specific programs or the syllabus. All you need is your computer and any paraphernalia you would normally use. So, it is easy to get started using this setup.
One of the great benefits of recording from your own computer is authenticity. Your students will feel that you are making the video for them, just like when you are teaching in class. This can help to create a safe learning environment and help students relate to you as a teacher.
Read more about recording your own videos in our video guide.
A setup that makes it possible to include material from the outside world
Recordings from the field could be field recordings and observations from your research, an interview with relevant persons or a report from an event. This is a way of incorporating "the real world", which can give students insight into the world that is relevant to their academic discipline. For this setup, all you need is a camera or just your phone, but shortening long recordings will require a bit of processing or editing afterwards. Contact CED Media Lab for technical help.
A setup to illustrate specific situations from practice that may otherwise be difficult for students to become familiar with during their studies.
You can use staged recordings to focus on specific situations. For example, a dramatisation of a situation that is relevant to students, such as a difficult conversation between a therapist/patient, a courtroom scenario, a critical situation from a hospital, etc. In these cases, it can be illustrative to create "extremes" that clearly present the options or pitfalls in a given situation.
This type of recording allows you to control the content and format of the video. You will typically have a manuscript and perhaps a large technical setup, and this is often more time-consuming. This type of video can be particularly good at getting students to reflect on the reality they will eventually enter into, and it will encourage them to start reflections and discussions in the classroom.
Virtual Reality and 360 degree videos are increasingly being used to augment a viewer’s immersion into a situation. Contact the CED to find out more.
When using video in your teaching, context and purpose are important. Ask yourself what you want to achieve by using video, and what the students need to do before, during and after they watch the video.
For example, is the aim of the video to help them better discuss a topic during class? Or will it be used to introduce them to a new computer program?
For example, you can use a recording of your computer screen to present an academic topic using e.g. Power Point or a digital whiteboard. You can review a topic in the same way as you would review it during teaching. Students can then use the videos to prepare for the class itself. You can prepare small assignments, questions for reflection or quizzes for your students between videos to help them revise the content.
A good rule of thumb is that these videos should not be longer than ten minutes as the recipient's attention span decreases with longer formats. So, create shorter videos and thereby give students a natural break, and divide the topic into more digestible pieces. By using shorter videos for topics such as concept clarification or explanations, students can use the videos as references during the semester or while preparing for exams. You can choose not to use a webcam, but we recommend that you do show your face, as this makes the video more personal.
Teachers can make a video guide to introduce students to a new program, a database, website, etc. For example, a click-around video where you show students how to use a certain program. Students will typically test it out themselves while watching the video. The objective is for students to develop specific technical skills, so make clear to them in advance what they are expected to learn by watching the video. Before you record your own video, check YouTube for any existing material.
This type of video can be longer than the previously mentioned formats because students will typically switch between watching the video and testing it out themselves, and they scroll backwards and forwards on the video as needed. However, it is still a good idea to produce several short videos, as this will make it easier for students to find the section of the guide that they need.
An interview video can consist of a conversation on a specific topic between a guest lecturer and yourself. Interviews are good to create nuance on a topic that does not necessarily have a correct or incorrect answer. Interviews also create a good atmosphere, and can therefore also last longer than the recommended ten minutes.
You can use Zoom to record the interview, and this will allow you to interview foreign lecturers as well. Zoom automatically creates an audio file when you record and the file can be used during post-production of the video.
Some topics may be particularly challenging for students. You can make a follow-up video that addresses the topic or concept. This is often useful if you get the impression that students may need further elaboration or clarification on a topic following a plenary discussion or a teaching activity.
Ask students to use video for their oral presentations rather than giving them in class. This can help them improve their presentation and their academic communication skills. It gives them a chance to focus on adjusting their facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice and specific wording. For example, ask students to watch each other's presentations ahead of teaching, and use your time together to facilitate peer feedback on the presentations.
You may want to refer students to the page about oral communication on AU Studypedia, where they can find advice and guidance on how to put together an oral presentation.
Record a short video in which you set the framework for study activities. For example, you can set a framework for the tasks that students are to complete during their preparation time, or you can introduce the day's syllabus and quickly draw their attention to any difficulties or points of focus in the material.
This is a good form of meta-communication, and by doing it via a video, students will always be able to revisit the video if they need to.
Providing feedback on assignments via video can be elucidating and can also save time. For example, you can use video to provide general feedback to the class as a whole or review the assignment by screen-recording your computer while providing commentary.
By providing feedback via a recording rather than in writing, you will be able to say more in the same amount of time, and it will be easier for students to interpret your intentions when feedback is provided orally rather than in writing.
Produce your own videos because they are more personal and this is appreciated by students.
Use videos for asynchronous feedback.
Produce short video lectures and instructional videos so students can easily find and revisit the relevant material as needed.
Make the videos available asynchronously to support independent study, thus allowing for flexibility and repetition.
Make sure that videos are integrated with the course's other activities, e.g. quizzes, small assignments, group work and feedback.
Make sure that activities in an online teaching session are well-structured, relevant and allow for peer collaboration, for example.
Make use of student-produced audio and video material for collaboration and assignments.
You have access to Panopto through Aarhus University. You can use the platform to record, edit and store your videos. This will save time when it comes to sharing videos with students.
Panopto is easy to use, but there are fewer options for editing your videos later.
*These digital tools do not yet have a AU license. Be aware that personal information must not be shared in third-party platforms without AU license. You can read more about the data protection regulation here.