Using Video Effectively: Research-Based Practices

> Learn About the Research
> Meet the Experts
> How Can Using Video Improve Instruction?

Teaching Channel Teams was developed based upon research related to the effective use of video and online tools for professional learning. At a recent symposium funded by the National Science Foundation, Teaching Channel brought together leading experts in these fields to discuss this research and the implications it has for 21st century professional learning.

During the symposium, we took the opportunity to interview each of the panelists, asking them to comment on five key themes.

Learn About the Research

Explore the five themes. Hear what the experts have to say about the research related to using video and online learning to improve teacher practice and lift student achievement.

Theme one: The power of using video and online tools for teacher development.

Theme two: Research on the use of video for teacher development.

Theme three: Using video successfully to improve teacher learning.

Theme four: Video as an evidence-based tool.

Theme five: Essential elements for online, video-based teacher development.


Pat Wasley, Former  CEO Teaching Channel

Pat Wasley
Former CEO Teaching Channel

Erika Nielsen Andrew, Former Chief Academic Officer Teaching Channel

Erika Nielsen Andrew
Former Chief Academic Officer
Teaching Channel

Hilda Borko, Faculty Member, Curriculum & Teacher Education Stanford University

Hilda Borko
Faculty Member, Curriculum & Teacher Education
Stanford University

Elham Kazemi, Professor & Associate Dean of Professional Learning Washington University

Elham Kazemi
Professor & Associate Dean of Professional Learning Washington University

Miriam Sherin, Professor of Learning Sciences Northwestern University

Miriam Sherin
Professor of Learning Sciences Northwestern University

Fred Erickson, Former Professor & Research Director UCLA

Fred Erickson
Former Professor & Research Director UCLA

How Can Using Video Improve Instruction?

Five big ideas from the research on video-based professional learning

Classrooms are complex, busy places where countless multi-layered interactions take place as kids explore academic topics while developing identities, relationships, and social skills. You’d have to be able to stop time to tease out the intricacies of a single moment. Yet video helps you do just this, enabling you to go back and analyze classroom exchanges in depth, after the fact. Video enables you to:

Discover new possibilities
Video offers a non-text-based way to learn new moves and strategies. You're able to watch exemplars as many times as you need to make sure you understand how teaching moves are implemented from moment to moment. Access to a broad range of video exemplars also allows you to expand your repertoire of instructional techniques, thereby keeping students engaged and making learning lively, fun, and meaningful.
See more clearly
You can't be looking everywhere at once! Video can provide an extra set of eyes and ears when your attention is called elsewhere. And you may find that what you picture in your head does not match what you see on video. Teachers are often surprised by what video reveals about their practice, and immediately identify areas to adjust.
Study your practice
Video lets you examine your practice under a microscope, scrutinizing how you carried out a particular move or strategy, and deciding how to refine it — a crucial step when you're learning a new technique. You can watch the same segment over and over, focusing on a different aspect of classroom interaction each time (e.g., what you did and said, or how students responded). By doing this, you can also try to pinpoint the cause-effect impact of specific classroom events on student learning.
Notice your students
Careful analysis of video can actually help you perceive student thinking more accurately. Teachers who spend time trying to make sense of student comments and reasoning captured on video ultimately hone their ability to "notice" more in the classroom, paying closer attention to student ideas, and interpreting and responding to them more effectively in the moment. Research suggests that teachers who improve their video analysis skills may also improve their teaching practice and bring about student learning gains.
Collaborate effectively
Watching videos with your colleagues can enhance professional dialogue. Videos supply images that help you define the words you use to discuss teaching and learning. They can help you develop a shared understanding of tools and frameworks, too. Web-based videos reduce the need to schedule in-person professional development and coaching sessions. They enable you to collaborate more often, on your own time, across distances, and within briefer interactions. They can help you get feedback on pressing problems when you need it. With video, a classroom observation can be followed by a group discussion (either in person or online). Teacher practice videos can also be used to shape in-person professional development sessions, ensuring they are relevant and useful to all participants.

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