Creating an Environment for Better Engagement in Higher Education

In the fast paced world of today, it is harder than ever for instructors and educators to keep students engaged and learning. Teachers must compete with technology that spawned social media outlets that update with lightening speed and allow students to have instant access to information about almost anything they desire. There is an old saying that certainly applies here: if you can’t beat them, join them.

Using Video to Increase Engagement

There is a reason why videos are so popular. These mini-movies can be thoughtful and engaging, informative and entertaining, or even a mixture of all these attributes.. The students that are pursuing higher education today are by and large, a byproduct of a media-rich and networked world. They expect to be engaged with big budget content that is exciting and thrilling. This can make it a tall order for an old school professor who is used to simply standing up and lecturing to engage this newest crop of students in an effective manner. Video in many ways responds well since video has a 400% higher engagement rate compared to static content.

Experiential Learning is the Key to Engagement

Using video in the classroom is an excellent way to show, not tell, students. There are few other methods of communication that allow students to see exactly how to accomplish the task at hand or the chain of events that lead to a particular outcome. Videos allow students to visually experience an important concept or milestone using a rich and exciting type of media that can be tailored to accommodate their level of understanding.

Giving students step-by-step instructions by using videos takes the guesswork out of all aspects of the equation. Students will know instantly how the steps they engage in should look and will be able to retrace their steps in order to find their mistakes. Additionally, students are able to replay a section of the video time and again until the particular part is understood and mastered, allowing that student to effectively reach their own particular goals.

Delivering the Message Using Video

Communicating via video can serve to make boring and routine subjects vibrant and engaging. Indeed, given the incredible flexibility of videos, they can be used at any point during the classroom instruction time, even before class. Using a video as part of a homework assignment, for example, can help solidify the points taught during that day’s class. Another way instructors can use videos is to introduce new concepts to prepare students for the events that will unfold during the next class. Rather than being empty filler, videos can also provide students with basic background information that directly correlates to assignments the instructor is setting up.

Incorporating Video Into The Classroom

Adding video to a classroom as a teaching method is a natural progression of learning. Instructors can introduce a topic, outline the steps covered in lecture and show a video that corroborates what the professor highlighted. An adequate amount of time for discussion and questions at the end allows the instructor to plug any gaps in the knowledge base of students. The video can even be utilized again during this question and answer period with the instructor pausing to point out areas that answer the student’s questions.

Videos and Student Engagement: The Results

In order to be an effective teaching strategy that is utilized for the long term, using videos as part of a blended classroom must show measurable results. One of the most crucial measures is student engagement. Adding videos to instructional time has done so, according to a study authored by Omer Delialioglu entitled Student Engagement in Blended Learning Environments with Lecture-Based and Problem-Based Instructional Approaches and was published in 2012 in the Journal of Educational Technology and Society. ” Active learning is significantly higher in problem-based blended learning environments in comparison to lecture-based blended learning environments regardless of the student’s individual differences.” Additionally, the paper states that utilizing such a “blended learning environment holds promise for student learning and instructor practices.”

Key Take Aways to Consider

The benefits for incorporating video in the classroom have been laid out in this article. Have you asked yourself these questions?

  • What am I doing as an educator to engage students at a new level?

  • What would be the advantages to using video in my classroom?

  • Can I afford to not engage students with video content?

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