Benefits of Using Videos in the Classroom

There are many benefits to using video in education as shown in several decades of research.

Salman Khan in 'Let's use video to reinvent education' describes the transformative way video can impact on teaching and learning and encourages teachers to consider the flipped classroom model where learners can digest lecture content at their pace and explore content more deeply during class time.

See Effective Educational Videos by Vanderbilt University for the breadth of approaches to making effective videos.

So let's have a look at the benefits of using videos in the classroom.

Videos in the Classroom
1. Facilitating thinking and problem solving
Shepard and Cooper (1982) and Mayer and Gallini (1990) made the connection between visual clues, the memory process, and the recall of new knowledge. Allam (2006) observes that the creative challenge of using moving images and sound to communicate a topic indeed engaging and insightful, but adds that it also enables students to acquire a range of transferable skills in addition to filmmaking itself. These include research skills, collaborative working, problem-solving, technology, and organizational skills. (Bijnens, N.D.)

2. Assisting with mastery learning
In some cases, video can be as good as an instructor in communicating facts or demonstrating procedures to assist in mastery learning where a student can view complex clinical or mechanical procedures as many times as they need to. Furthermore, the interactive features of modern web-based media players can be used to promote ‘active viewing’ approaches with students (Galbraith, 2004).

Voice-over is a fantastic multimedia approach to teaching. E-Learning can be dramatically enhanced by using voiced content in the teaching process. Voquent is a voice-over agency that offers the highest quality professionals for any project, speaking in any language or accent.

3. Inspiring and engaging students
More recently, Willmot et al (2012) show that there is strong evidence that digital video reporting can inspire and engage students when incorporated into student-centered learning activities through:

increased student motivation
enhanced learning experience
higher marks
development potential for deeper learning of the subject development potential for deeper learning of the subject development potential for deeper learning of the subject
development of learner autonomy
enhanced team working and communication skills
a source of evidence relating to skills for interviews
learning resources for future cohorts to use
opportunities for staff development (CPD). (p.3)
4. Authentic learning opportunities
The work of Kearney and colleagues show the benefits of using video to produce authentic learning opportunities for students (Kearney and Campbell 2010; Kearney and Schuck, 2006), and how ‘ivideos’ encourage academic rigour from an advocacy, research based perspective.

5. Networked learning
Asensio and Young (2002) assert that the seamless integration of digital video with other tools offers an opportunity to experiment with video as a focus for networked learning. They developed the Three I’s framework (image, interactivity and integration) to assist teachers with the pedagogic design and development of video streaming. Participants in a JISC/DNER Click and Go Video workshop provided examples of the value of video in education.

Image - Interactivity - Integration - Video is more appealing
Allows me to work outside the classroom and illustrate how theories/techniques can be applied in real life
People take in more information when it is presented visually compared with text and voice alone
Able to see technical experts / examples / demonstrations
Looks nice – may encourage those lazier users
It grabs attention, it’s new
It’s a good way to get students ideas across without the need for writing
It adds to the entertainment value
Pictures can quickly give information whereas words can take longer
Student ideally has control
Students can re-wind, replay in their own time and at their own speed.
Ability to repeat/pause
Can learn anywhere, anytime
Can select what is of use
To provide the personal ‘chemistry’ between lectures and students that are remote
Students can view in confidence
Greater audience numbers can be reached
Greater access to learning for disabled students
Provides interactive teaching environment
Allows for dynamic presentations
Adds value to text
Support for teaching and learning, not instead of
Mix of media for students studying at a distance
To widen participants and address different learning styles
Video can work alongside lectures and compliment the students’ module
Being able to split video into parts and relate to exercises
Integrating with web resources
Student support and feedback
Feedback to staff etc
How to  Create Videos That Students React To
Teachers and educators aren't professional video editors, and they shouldn't have to be.

Creating Videos for the Classroom
Luckily, the digital world has evolved beyond clunky and expensive video editing software. With the appearance of Motionbox and similar platforms, creating videos is now easier than ever.

When creating your videos you should follow these simple steps:

Keep it entertaining
Try to make it interactive
Keep it simple
In simple terms the easier it is for students to understand it the more they will engage with it.

Useful Links and Resources
Here are some useful links and resources that help outline the benefits

Digital Links
The Dial-e framework Digital Artefacts for Learner Engagement was developed to support the pedagogically effective use of a range of digital content.

‘Grassroots Video’ is a chapter in the 2008 edition of The Horizon Report and covers the explosion of publically created video content on the Internet.

Academic Papers
Passey, D. (2006). Digital video technologies enhancing learning for pupils at risk and those who are hard to reach.In Childs, M., Cuttle, M., & Riley, K. (Eds.), DIVERSE proceedings : 2005 & 2006 : 5th International DIVERSE Conference, 5th-7th July 2005, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA, 6th International DIVERSE Conference, 5th-7th July 2006, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK. (pp. 156-168). Glasgow: Glasgow Caledonian University Press.

Young, C. & Asensio, M. (2002). Looking through three ‘I’s: The pedagogic use of streaming video.

In Banks, S, Goodyear, P, Hodgson, V, Connell, D. (Eds), Networked Learning 2002, Proceedings of the Third International Conference. Sheffield March 2002: 628-635.
Willmot, P., Bramhall, M., Radley, K. (2012) Using digital video reporting to inspire and engage students. Retrieved from
Burmark, L. (2004). Visual presentations that prompt, flash& transform. Media and Methods, 40(6), 4–5.

Jakes, D. S., & Brennan, J. (2005). Capturing stories, capturing lives: An introduction to digital story-telling. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from
Shepard, R. & Cooper, L. (1982), Mental images and their transformations, MIT Press/Bradford Books, Cambridge, MA.
Mayer, R., Gallini, J (1990), 'When is an illustration worth ten thousand words?' Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(6) (715-726)
Galbraith, J., ( 2004), 'Active viewing: and oxymoron in video-based instruction?', Society for Applied Learning Technologies Conference,
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common frequently asked questions when it comes to using videos in the classroom

What are the advantages of using videos in the classroom?
The 5 main benefits are discussed above. But in short, the advantages of using videos in the classroom are the following; facilitating thinking, assisting with mastery learning, inspiring and engaging; authenticity; networked learning.

Do videos help students learn?
Yes, 100%. Most students learn better with videos. As with all teaching methodologies, there isn't one rule to rule them all but videos are successful in most scenarios.

Video in the Classroom - a Recap
That's it. Everything you need to know about the benefits of using video in the classroom. If you've got any examples or interesting videos do get in touch and let us know!

This article was originally published by the University of Queensland. The content has since been updated and edit but the core value principles remain the same.

Michael Aubry
Hey I am the founder and maker of Motionbox. My mission is to build useful tools in the video space. I enjoy science, art, and sports. Feel free to reach out to me.