Research shows that videos are useful media to demonstrate aspects that cannot be recreated in a classroom.
Most students are interested in video, and videos can stimulate and arouse curiosity, but teachers need to use videos in a way that meets the intended learning outcomes. Listening to and viewing a video needs a purpose and a focus.
Read through the information below to help you select an appropriate strategy to assist your students to become actively involved in the video and to gain an understanding of the science concepts.
Nature of science
Many different approaches and methods can be used to develop investigations in science, and these approaches can involve creative insights.
Some guiding principles to using video in the classroom
- Always view the video beforehand. Teacher preparation is a vital aspect to the worth of the video.
- All students need to be able to see and hear the video.
- The video needs to be relevant to work being covered, and this relevance needs to be made clear to students.
- The viewing should not take a whole session. There should be time to discuss relevance beforehand and check student learning afterwards.
- Overuse of videos reduces their effectiveness as a teaching tool.
Complete a worksheet
- A few short, factual questions to answer. Students should have the opportunity to read these beforehand.
- A diagram to complete and label. Do this prior to watching the video and after viewing to note changes in student understanding.
- Fill in a simple worksheet about the video before viewing and again after viewing. Note that completing tasks while watching the video can be difficult for some students and distract from the learning within the video.
Examples of each of these types of worksheets are included in the activity Walking on custard.
Break the viewing into sections
- This scaffolds the viewing – you can ask questions and then move back to the video.
- Each student devises some questions to ask someone else before or during the viewing.
- Afterwards, in pairs, they ask their partner the questions.
- After watching the video, students write a paragraph summary – perhaps using some provided keywords.
- One or two students present their summaries.
- Prepare some questions beforehand.
- Students answer the questions during or after the viewing.
Use the template provided to make the dice – you can make the dice out of coloured card or wooden blocks:
- Each student takes a turn rolling the first question dice (What, why, how etc.) and uses the question starter facing upwards to make up a question related to the video to ask the group.
- Each student then takes a turn rolling both question dice and uses the question starters facing upwards to make up a question related to the video to ask the group (How could …? Why might …?).
This question dice activity can be also used to generate questions for investigation or questions for before or after reading some text.
Read the article Scientists talking to students through videos to learn more about the power of video in science classrooms.