Including a video in your lesson does not have to be a snooze-fest. There are plenty of ways to create an active learning environment with video. Research recommends shorter videos, what I like to refer to as ‘snack-size’ videos – two to four minutes max. If you have a longer video, try pausing after a few minutes to ask a question or spark a discussion. You can use a polling application with longer videos to pose survey type questions before, during, or after the video to keep the class engaged.

Another option for using video more interactively can follow the Think-Pair-Share format. Have students think about their own knowledge or experience on the topic to be addressed in the video. You could even ask them to predict what could happen in a situation they might be unfamiliar with that will be addressed in the video. Tell students to pair up or put students with a partner and ask them to share their insights on the topic with one another. You can even ask a few students to explain their predictions to the class. After everyone has had a chance to digest the ideas, show the video. After viewing the video, have the partners get back together to reflect on their original predictions and to talk about their reactions after seeing the video. Call on a few students to articulate their thoughts to the class. Finally, close the session addressing any misconceptions and drawing attention to key elements you want them to take away from the lesson.

Another option for incorporating video could begin in the form of guiding questions. Provide students with a list of guiding questions before showing the video. Ask students to create one or two of their own questions based on the topic provided. Show the video and then take the time to review answers to the questions and address any misinterpretations. Adding the element of critical analysis takes the video from a view-only mode to an active learning situation.

Think about creating a meaningful experience using video. VCU supports Kaltura for video storage and creation; for more information on Kaltura or how you can incorporate video into your classes, go to <>