Videos in face to face education: fostering innovation in pedagogy

Using already produced videos as an additional resource

Testimonial by Cristina Martins, teacher at University of Coimbra, Portugal

In face to face education, videos are used mainly as an additional resource. They allow to bring experts to the classroom and to the course. Usually already produced videos are used more frequently in face to face education. There are many good quality videos available on the internet.

Changing students attitudes and minds through vicarious learning and mediation processes

Testimonial by Carlos Reis, teacher at University of Coimbra, Portugal


I think that videos have a great inovational value, because they can be used in different phases of the teaching and learning process. First, for their specific nature of being vicarious elements, this is, videos are mediators of experiences that one did not have in first person. Videos can be used to motivate when entering/starting determined content, can be used as a complement of information at some point of the process with the intention of going deeper in a determined content. Therefore, there is a wide range of possible applications for video.

For the educational and motivational value that videos have and for the vivid way how they illustrate situations and problems that are intuited/shown in a more easy and significative shape.

I already saw students emotioned with movies, I already saw changes of posture/attitude because it was used a video, and that posture/attitude in the course has changed as a result of the use of video. Sometimes, a video can have enough impact and meaning, allowing to understand what is the purpose of this content, to understand what is being done and what is the learning value of certain material/content.

Firing up conversations, transferring theory to practice

“It is a very powerful tool, it is what people were saying, a picture is a thousand words. Videos are much more I think.”

Testimonial by Loucas Louca, Chairperson at the Department of Educational Sciences of the European University of Cyprus, Cyprus


While designing that (lecture), I stop and think what kinds of videos can I use to show my students, that this is how developing epistemological awareness looks like in a real classroom, in a particular age group, depending on the group that I am teaching. Also I use videos in the beginnings of my lectures just to fire up a conversation, usually one that hasn’t been correctly answered. The students in the classroom start debating between two different or three different ideas that are related to the video. And all these makes sense to them when getting to the theoretical aspects later on, giving them some answers on what we have been discussing earlier through the video.

Just to mention a very important asset in using these kind of videos in my course designs, the videos should be very short. Less than a minute maybe two minutes. If it’s longer I pause it and we have different kinds of conversations along the video. When I video tape I videotape a whole classroom and then I choose video snippets, to talk with my teachers to be. In order for the video to be used as a tool for thinking, it has to be short.

Videos can be used for reflection of ways to transfer theory to practise so it gives them (students) a sense on what theoretical aspects look like in the classroom when they are applying it. Also it gives the opportunity to have discussions about issues that do not have one correct answer. So we are debating them and looking for the answers later on in the lecture. Some cases especially when I use videos of my students videotaping themselves it is also a tool for helping them in starting reflecting on what they are doing in the classroom.

It is a very powerful tool, it is what people were saying, a picture is a thousand words. Videos are much more I think. It has the whole context, you can talk about what you one is doing one on is saying, what the teacher is doing, is he/she responding to what the learners are doing in the classroom. /and it also gives you a very live sense of being there. It is not like a transcript it is not like a static picture, it is getting the true sense of those two minutes. So it is a very powerful tool. And when it comes to colleague students, teachers to be, reflective on themselves, that is also a very powerful tool. It is very amazing, it helps them to remind themselves on what they have been thinking, not saying, thinking during that time. Even if it is a month old.


I have found that sometimes people are not using video as productively as they should. One of the aspects is that if you show any video it is not working. The video needs to be specifically peeked out, sometimes subtitled help, because of the noise in the classroom. So the subtitles help focusing on what is being said, how the teacher is responding. It also needs to be short. All these I think are very powerful tools in my hand, to communicate aspects of my teaching that I wasn’t able to do before.