Video Use in Higher Education

Video is a tool that can be integrated into the classroom, just as a chalkboard, a sound system, a pen, or even a desk are tools.  What sets video apart from the other tools I just mentioned are a significant amount of challenges and potential payoffs in its incorporation into higher education.  The major pros and cons of utilizing video in higher education include potential learning payoffs, a more enjoyable learning experience, making education more accessible, the digital divide between the teacher and the students, a lack of training in its incorporation, and not enough research as to its learning benefits for the students.

There are many positives for utilizing video in higher ed teaching, but more research is necessary to clarify these benefits.  There have been many studies performed to measure learning outcomes from learning experiences utilizing video, but each study has a different result, some noting a statistically significant improvement in learning outcomes, while others don’t.  Nonetheless, when integrated well, video has the potential to reach specific learners with learning disabilities, or students who are participating in distance learning because they can’t afford costly university programs, thereby making higher education more accessible.  Finally, most students report enjoying video in class, and the utilization of video can increase students’ satisfaction with their educational experience.

Unfortunately, there are also a significant amount of negatives in putting video in the higher education classroom.  The most striking is the high likelihood of the digital divide between the teachers and the students, meaning the teachers understand less about the technology of using the video in class, finding the videos, and creating the videos than the students do.  As a result, there is a significant amount of training necessary for teachers on not only how to find/create and show the video in class, but also when and how are the best techniques for integrating the video in order to maximize student learning.  Training can be costly, and finding time for it isn’t easy, as teachers already have very full schedules.  Fortunately, as research on video use gets more sophisticated and more data is collected, this will ultimately help teachers by making when and how to use video in the classroom clearer, and therefore, their job a bit easier.

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