Video is not a magic potion for teaching. Instead, it should be treated as a great add-on to lectures and other class work. While it is true that students retain more information when watching a video than they do from lecture alone, video typically does not provide a way for students to apply their learning or create something with their knowledge.
With typical video use, the video is used to either attain remembering or understanding, the two lowest levels on Bloom’s Taxonomy. However, with a few tweaks, you can easily use video to reach higher levels, and thus deeper learning.
To reach the middle levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy with video, use short clips throughout a lesson mixed with questions about the video and how the lessons apply to other parts of class or life.
Instead of showing one long clip and having a short discussion at the end of class, start a discussion at the beginning of class and use the video to provide a transition from one topic or idea to the next. Have students explain what they are learning and apply that to a previous lesson. Encourage students to analyze what they are hearing and seeing in the video to create conclusions.
For example, if using a video to teach students about bridge construction, encourage students to analyze the benefits of each type of bridge. Additionally, see if they can name any famous bridges that utilize each structure.
The top tiers of Bloom’s Taxonomy typically require moving away from the original video and encouraging students to use the knowledge and skills they have gained in the previous steps to complete a task. For these steps, use video to pose a question, not provide answers. The video should be used to spark interest and get student’s minds thinking about what they can achieve.
In the example above, use the video to provide students with basic knowledge of bridge design, and then have students try their hand at creating their own bridge. Encourage them to create one of the structures discussed in the video as well as create a bridge using a design of their own.
Then, have students test their designs in a variety of ways and evaluate what worked and why. Using the foundation of knowledge built by the video and previous discussions, students should be able to have a conversation about why some structures worked and why others didn’t.
Once students are able to move beyond passively watching a video to interacting with it and using the information learned throughout the video, their ability to think critically will improve.
Remember to include resources from many different sources in each lesson in order to fully engage students. Encourage them to find examples of bridge structure in books and magazines around the classroom as well as look at websites to see what else they can learn about bridge design.