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Hotchalk Global

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A collection of helpful articles on teachers and teaching

3 Ways Video can Increase Classroom Student Engagement

Today’s students are inundated with technology in most aspects of their life, so it’s no wonder that video classroom engagement is becoming increasingly beneficial in today’s classrooms. Videos may be one of the oldest pieces of education technology at teacher’s disposal today, but in a time when blended learning is the best way to reach students, it is still an important item to implement into the curriculum.

Using videos in the classroom is effective, and today teachers have many options available to them with the plethora of videos available online. In many cases, students can learn from some of the brightest thinkers in the world through the use of TED talks and other online video options. As Dr. John Orlando of Colorado State University said, “If someone can say it better than you – let them.”

Yet, even with high quality videos, teachers need to be smart in the way they implement them to maximize student engagement. Outside of the obvious option of showing a video that coincides with the subject matter being taught, these three strategies will help improve student engagement in the classroom.



Use Videos Outside of the Classroom 


Lecture and in-class discussions are often more valuable when students have some prior knowledge of the subject matter. Reading assignments may not reach all students, particularly if some are apt to forgo reading. To make up for this, consider assigning videos to the students before an important lecture.

 If students watch relevant videos prior to the lecture, they will have some foundational knowledge to use for discussion and group projects. Some teachers find that getting the students to view the video is challenging. While there is higher interest in video than reading assignments, some students may still ignore the assignment. Having students complete a quiz over obvious points of the video may help encourage more to view it, while also improving their retention of the material. 


Increase Engagement with Questions 


Video classroom engagement is often stalled by students who watch the video inattentively. Questions can help prevent this problem. However, for students to remain engaged throughout the video, they need to be given the questions ahead of time, a strategy known as guiding questions. Using guiding questions in this way will keep the students engaged throughout the video, and encourage greater retention.

Teachers need to avoid making guiding questions too hard or too simple. Questions should require just a few words to answer, as students who are writing long essays are not paying attention to the video as it plays.

Another way to use questions effectively is to ask the students to come up with one or two questions of their own from the video, then compile these for the entire class to answer after the presentation. If students know they will have questions from their peers to answer, they may be more prone to listen to the video. After all, no one wants to be “stumped” by a peer.


 Using Video to Change Perspectives 


A final way to encourage student engagement through video is to use it to change perspectives, as Cornell University recommends. For example, in the social studies or history classroom, the teacher can choose a video on a hot bed topic or issue, then present the topic for discussion. By taking a poll or putting students in think-pair-share groups, the teacher can gain an understanding of where the students fall on the issue.

After students have discussed their ideas, the teacher presents the video. After the video, a repeat poll or think-pair-share session will be able to show a change in perspective. Because the students are already thinking about their own opinions on the topic, they will be more apt to engage with what is presented on the screen.

When used well, videos can be a vital part of blended learning. They can be incorporated with other types of education technology to create a technology rich classroom where students are actively engaged in the learning process. Video classroom engagement helps prevent boredom in the classroom while improving student excitement and engagement in the subject matter being taught.

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