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Video Module Learning

Page history last edited by kiento@... 7 years, 4 months ago

     While video has been used as an educational tool for some time now, it has not always been as effective as many educators had hoped. During the mid-1980s and during the 90s, the heyday of television and video tapes, the infusion of video modules into lesson plans were supposed to add a “real world” view what was being taught, contextualizing the learning materials (Semrau, Using Interactive Video in Education). The concept of adding video into modern education was an exciting concept, allowing teachers to show students the practical application of what they were learning in the classroom. However, this new and exciting form of education soon became a waste in which students slept through videos, seeing videos as a break from learning rather than an enriching educational tool that integrated context into what they were supposed to learn. Much time has passed since the first iteration of videos in learning. In the article “Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning,” authors Richard Mayer and Roxana Moreno explores the ways in which multimedia, especially video modules, can be integrated into learning effectively. Using what is known as “Cognitive Theory,” Mayer and Moreno explains that video integration into learning can making the learning process interactive, an element of learning that was lost when videos were first introduced into learning. Firstly, because people are unable to pay attention for long periods of time, instruction must take place in short chunks; therefore, videos that last more than 10 or 15 minutes hinder learning. Secondly, the short burst of instruction from the video module must be followed by a check for understanding in order for students to stay engaged and learning. While not all videos are constructed in a way that has the narrator pause of periods of assessment, instructors who use video modules can always moderate and pause the video in which they add their own assessments. Thirdly, the video must not be distracting, focusing multimedia functions that enhance subject matter that is being taught. Sometimes adding too many sounds or too many images may be distracting for learning viewers. In order for video modules to be effective, they must adhere to the “Cognitive Theory.” By doing so, video modules will no longer be seen as simply a “break” from learning but will be finally seen as an interactive tool that enhances the learning process.


     Sadly, many teachers use video modules to keep students occupied while they catch up on grading or catch up on administrative work. Students understand that these videos are never assessed, and therefore, see videos as a “break” from normal learning. This scenario has created a major stigma against using videos into the classroom, and unfortunately, outside of the classroom as well even though there are so many benefits of having videos in education. As demonstrated by Mayer and Moreno’s research on educational multimedia and the “Cognitive Theory,” it is easy to recognize when an “educational video” is meant to waste student time. When an educational video last longer than 10 to 15 minutes, when it is not complimented with an assessment, and when it is loaded with unnecessary sounds and images, the “educational video” should be recognized as a time waster. Unfortunately, documentaries, which are meant to educate people about the unknown, should also be viewed as time wasters if they are not complimented with assessments.


See time wasters in action:

If you have time, watch one of the three documentaries straight through without stopping and write down how much you remember. You will be surprised how much you do not remember considering how much information is packed into the documentary.





     Video modules can, in fact, be successfully integrated into the classroom. If an instructor keeps in mind “Cognitive Theory” when applying videos into his or her curriculum, videos can be a powerful tool. Instructors must first understand that videos should not just be used to fill lectures; rather, they should be used to enhance previously taught ideas in which they add real world context to what is taught. Also, the videos must be free from too many distractions like unnecessary sounds and content, for these unnecessary elements will distract viewers from the learning materials in the video. After, the video must be segmented into relevant 10 minute shorts so that students can effectively absorb what they need and apply it. When the students finish viewing the clip, the instructor should then assess student’s level of understanding by asking comprehension questions, which is perhaps ended with a class discussion. Through collaboration and assessment, instructors can make sure that students had effectively learned what was on the video while, at the same time, demonstrate that what is being taught is more than academic, but it is also useful in real life.


See how to effectively use videos in the classroom.

If you have time, review the videos below and see how these instructors are effectively using videos in the classroom.





     While videos were meant, at first, as educational tools for the classroom and for public access television, they have evolved into something more powerful. Now, video modules are the primary tools for distance education. Even though the concept of distance education is still a new and developing notion, it still uses many of the same concepts that make classroom teaching effective. Therefore, the need to understand “Cognitive Theory” is more important than ever. Because the moderation of the videos must be automatic, for there is no teacher next to students to moderate videos, videos for distance education must be created with these “Cognitive Theories” already embedded. Hence, these videos must automatically pause when successfully displayed learning materials reach 10 minutes. Then, the video module should assess understanding automatically as well. The creation of automation within video modules has made them much more effective as independent learning tools.


See how distance education use videos for learning.

If you have time, review the videos below and see how distance education programs are using videos to help students learn.




     Interestingly, video modules are not mutually exclusive tools to be used in or out of the classroom. Now, through the flipped classroom model, it can be used to integrate the best of learning outside of the classroom as well as the best of learning within the classroom. By applying the "Cognitive Theory" to videos as well as by making videos the primary means in which information is gathered, teachers can now use class time to apply what was learned in the video. So far, videos are the main and most effective way of allowing students to gather information. Since videos can, literally, take the place of a lecturing teacher, a video should be used, while the teacher, who is best utilized through interaction with students, should focus on classroom activities. Video modules allow for this new type of learning.


See how to effectively "flip a classroom."

If you have time, review the videos below and see how these instructors are effectively using videos in a flipped classroom.







     If a classs ahs sufficient amount of technology in the class, why not put students in the limelight?  Students today, spend a great deal of time not only surfing the web, Face Booking friends, but visit You-tube frequently.  They are accustomed to watching music videos, anime, and video tutorials on any possible topic possible.  So why not use this technology video media for students to demonstrate their proficiency level in a nontraditional way besides using the typical assessments medium of paper and pencil?  With Animoto's free sign up, students can load 30 second videos online for free.  Living in the 21st century doesn't need to resemble the 20th.  It's time for a fun educational change.  Check this resource out!



Works Cited:




Semrau, Penelope, and Barbara A. Boyer. Using Interactive Video in Education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1994.      Print.


     Sweller, J., Chandler, P., Tierney, P. & Cooper, M. (1990). Cognitive load as a factor in the structure of technical material. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 119, 176- 192.


Wittrock, M. C. (1989). Generative processes of comprehension. Educational Psychologist, 24, 345-376.


Comments (1)

adowling said

at 4:32 pm on May 2, 2013

I think you should add a section on music video examples for classroom. These are short catchy songs that can be tested later in class by having the students sing together.

Also there is the flip side of the video lesson. Having the students make youtube videos to describe or demonstrate a term or topic. This causes the students to make a short video informing other students using academic language and students vernacular.

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