Videos in distance education

Using different types of videos for different purposes

Testimonial by António José Mendes, e-learning coordinator at University of Coimbra, Portugal


At the distance learning unit, we use videos for several purposes. First, all courses have a presentation video that aims to establish a relation between teachers and students, in sense that students can to see who are the teachers and teachers can present the course, how it will work and who they themselves are.

Then depends. There are courses that have no more videos and there are courses that have many more videos. It depends on the pedagogical strategy followed in the course itself. For example, there are videos on laboratory experiments. There are videos about field work, as in a course of the Faculty of Pharmacy, where there is a video taken in a factory drying plants. We have videos with experts, for example, in the Botanical Gardens, in the same course. There is an open course on creative writing, in which there are studio recordings of the teacher explaining different aspects of the course. In other cases, there are videos that are simply small parts of classes, which are recorded even in a class or on purpose specifically for an online course. This has already an educational aim: to be a vehicle of transmission of knowledge that is concerned.

The use of videos makes much sense. In distance learning courses allows to convey things that (otherwise) would be very difficult to convey.Things with some action, as a laboratory experiment.  Only a description cannot convey what you want to convey. In other cases the use of videos allows to put experts, who are not the course teachers, communicating with students. And it is much more interesting to see the person than to see a text. And also, allows one to not only talk like demonstrate.

Integrating multimedia principles in the learning process to adress all kind of minds

Testimonial by Dimitrios Vlachopoulos, Director at the Distance Education Unit of the European University of Cyprus


I am the Director of the Distance Education unit and for the distance education programmes it is very necessary and important to integrate multimedia in the learning process, because videos and audios make the teaching and learning process more engaging. Also we satisfy all kinds of learning styles that our students may have; some feel more comfortable to read text, but other students feel more comfortable in understanding the contents of the course by watching or listening to multimedia resources. These are the main reasons I use them (videos).

I think that students prefer multimedia for their learning process and despite the fact that we don’t have a specific budget for creating videos, so all our videos our homemade and very simple videos, not very attractive, with poor sound and image quality, I strongly believe that they are a positive asset in the learning process.

The instructor and the students do not expect that (the use of videos in face to face education). In distant education it is obligatory because you need to give the students as much as resources as possible to facilitate their learning journey. In face to face education we must be aware of the importance of the video to the students results and performance and even though now it is considered a good have, it must become a must have!

In distance learning, videos are crucial, they somehow enable the visual presence of the teacher

Testimonial by Cristina Martins,Teacher at The University of Coimbra, Portugal
(in Portuguese)