Chapter 19: Creating a video dialogue with streaming video clips – The Plugged-In Professor


Creating a video dialogue with streaming video clips

Sandra L. Miller


Teaching with film has been around for quite a while. We can all remember when the instructor took class time to show a movie. Often, we discussed it afterwards – that is, if there was time. However, today, methods of instructional delivery have changed – largely due to the Internet. Now, with streaming video, we can take advantage of the Internet’s ability to deliver anytime, anyplace without taking up class time, thus leaving more class time available for discussion. Moreover, with today’s video teaching tools, discussion has evolved as well. Discussion can now be conducted electronically with annotated clips punctuating key points in debates engendered by reviewing a film or set of film clips (playlist). Because more and more students use high-bandwidth Internet service providers (ISPs), the question is not whether to teach with interactive streaming video, but rather how to access, create annotations and playlists, and share with others in the class. Using these tools and building interactivity into the experience removes the passivity of watching, making active learners of today’s students. Points addressed in this chapter include where the resources are, how teachers can use them to the highest advantage of students, how students can use them to their highest advantage, and, ultimately, what that means in terms of student learning outcomes.

Key words

digital video

media literacy

streaming video

video annotations


visual literacy

Discipline/Academic areas addressed

Instructional technology and a variety of academic disciplines served by visual content such as humanities and social sciences, science and health, business, education, arts, and communication.

Instructional purpose

Streaming video is a powerful tool to introduce new concepts, reinforce learned concepts, and inspire class discussion whether it is face-to-face (f2f) or virtual. Digital video can convey concepts and ideas in a way that the book or lecture simply doesn’t. For instance, video “can bring the past ‘to life’ creating an emotional impact” (Daley, 2003). Using short clips to create a visual language of expression annotated by analytical text empowers students to understand the message more completely and cocreate a common base of knowledge amongst them. This leads to a more engaged and motivated student and an actively engaged student in his/her own learning can lead to greater retention (Davis and Murrell, 1994).

Using streaming video can motivate and engage students in their learning process, enabling them to better retain what they have learned (Choi and Johnson, 2005). However, as with all educational technology tools, the devil is in the details of how streaming video is used (Karppinen, 2005). Using the three I’s (image, interaction, and integration – Thornhill et al., 2002), streaming media takes video to new levels of learning. Today the ability to bookmark and customize clips with personal comments in significant areas is available either through an educational vendor-supported or video-sharing website. Different vendors/video-sharing websites refer to it as annotations, clips, or bookmarks. That is what the instructor should look for when researching which video content to use.

Using annotations and playlists (the ability to string a series of annotations or customized clips together creating one link with which to access) gives students a locus of control, positively affecting the learner’s self-efficacy (Constantinou et al., 2009). Situating the clips within a student–teacher–student conversation (Vygotsky, 1978) enables students to use streaming video within a constructivist framework. When students are able to choose specific clips, they are visualizing the construction of knowledge and being able to add commentary aids their reflection (Kukulska-Hulme et al., 2004). Using these new tools with streaming video augments student learning.

Student learning outcomes

1. Students understand how different sensory experiences can assist or detract from their grasp of disciplinary concepts.

2. Students comprehend the meaning of visual literacy in the context of information literacy as they research and critique through the usage of video.

3. Students create graphic representations of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom via videos, video clips, and/or playlists.

4. Students provide classmates with constructive f2f and online feedback for their video-enhanced commentaries and analyses.

5. Students demonstrate critical thinking through their clip choices, commentaries, and analyses of video playlists.

6. Students demonstrate visual and media literacy.

Prerequisite skills and knowledge

Internet searching skills, including browsing of video-sharing websites, are necessary. The ability to create annotations and playlists can be learned (or honed) via educational vendor or video-sharing website–supplied annotation tools. When selecting these sites, the instructor should ensure that the sites should provide instructions as to how to create clips, playlists, etc. as each site may be slightly different. Also necessary is the ability (possessed by most students) to copy and paste links of video clips/playlists into shared class course websites.

Step-by-step directions

There are three current methods of teaching and learning with streaming video although many more uses are being discovered all the time. The first, and the one discussed most fully in this chapter, is audiovisual content to accommodate multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983) and different learning styles (Kolb, 1984). The video content is used to present a problem and start a discussion around the problem whose subject is related to the course’s content learning objectives. Media librarians are a great resource for faculty to find content related to their specific curriculum. Educational video vendors also can supply video content directly correlated with curriculum. Educational video-sharing websites also can supply pertinent video content. The important tool to look for from any source is the ability for both faculty and students to create annotated video clips and/or playlists. It is important to note that educational video vendors charge for their usage. Without licensing payment, access is denied. Again, check with your media librarian to see which educational video vendors your school has access to and whether they offer the more advanced tools.

The steps involved in this method are simple:

1. Search for appropriate and relevant video content that will stimulate a healthy discussion or dialogue surrounding the video’s content.

2. Stream video in class or require students to view video outside of class by posting the persistent URL in the course’s website.

3. Discuss in class or through the discussion forum in the course website. Use open-ended questions about the subject being discussed.

4. Use annotated video clips and/or playlists to enhance the discussion (model for your students what you want them to do).

5. Have students develop clips and/or playlists with their own annotations to respond to your question(s). The instructor may need to demonstrate how to develop playlists and/or clips. Annotations or clips are developed by bookmarking the video timeline with the start and end points for the clip to be saved – usually done by clicking on the timeline while in annotation mode. It does not alter the original video in any way. It merely points to the particular section of the video that the student wishes to play without having to play the entire video again to get to that portion. There is often a text box that accompanies the clip so the student can type in information they wish to share about the clip. A playlist is created by sequencing clips in the order in which the student would like them played. A single URL is formed that links to all the ordered clips the student has saved on the vendor or video-sharing website. This URL can be embedded in any HTML method of communication (i.e., discussion forum posting, email, Web page, etc.).

6. Have students respond to the other student’s clips/playlist arguments.

7. Use the Center for Media Literacy’s

    guidelines to discuss what makes these clips so meaningful both in terms of content and construction of content.

8. Use the ACRL’s guidelines

    to discuss the pros and cons of using these clips from an information literacy perspective.

9. Use an evaluation rubric to determine student perspicacity in clip choice, understanding of the issues, reliability of information presented, and student’s ability to analyze the issue(s) discussed (see rubric in “Supplemental materials”).

10. Present a summation of lessons learned either f2f or virtually through a compilation of relevant clips presented by all students.

Approximate time required

The time required depends on the curriculum and the number of class sessions that are being enhanced by streaming video. Planning in advance is necessary as the content is to be picked out or created in advance of usage. Selecting relevant content can be shortened with the help of your media librarian or through intelligent use of the search tool available on the educational vendor/video-sharing website.

Allow 20–30 minutes for viewing via the Web. Lengthier viewing times are much less desirable so chunking the content into these time lengths is advised. Discussion times can be anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes depending on the complexity of the subject. More time can be allotted in the virtual discussion forum as it is not restricted by class time.

Required resources

A wide range of tutorials is available, some of which are listed here:

The technology needed includes

 Course website or HTML-enabled sharing medium (email could be used, but discussion forums in course websites are preferable).

 Broadband access.

 Access to streaming digital video repository(ies) of educational video with authenticated access as needed, advanced search, annotation, and playlist capabilities.

Variations on the basic theme

An alternative method is using recorded video of the student him/herself during an applied session of lessons learned in the curriculum (e.g., student teaching, analyzing a patient’s medical condition, etc.) for self-critique and reflection. The steps include the following:

1. Record a student demonstration.

2. Upload the video to a shared video website.

3. Critique and annotate with noted comments. Create a playlist if necessary of those video segments that are indicative.

3. Share with the professor and/or students for further comments and reflections.

A final variation is the “flipped classroom” (Bergmann and Sams, 2010):

1. Faculty record their lectures, demonstrations, etc. and publish to a video-sharing website.

2. Faculty require students to view the videos prior to the class.

3. Students do their homework in the class with the faculty member providing guidance and tutorial assistance.

Observations and advice

Today’s students are learning via distance education more so than ever. The Sloan Consortium indicates that online education is part of the mainstream of higher education and is continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate (Allen and Seaman, 2010). On-demand delivery needs for video with which to teach and learn will continue to grow alongside the growth in online education (Hartsell and Yuen, 2006).

Net Generation students rely much more on visual literacy than text to acquire their knowledge (Oblinger, 2005). Digital video increases motivation and engagement (Larkin-Hein and Zollman, 2000). Digital video can diversify types of resources, provide a match between content and need, and aid in instructional differentiation (Mardis, 2009). So, whether students are online or simply learning in a hybrid or traditional environment, using streaming video over the Internet can strengthen rather than replace the campus experience (Creighton and Buchanan, 2001).

It is critical, however, that the video clips are not used simply as supplemental materials for students to passively view at their leisure. They must be thoroughly integrated into the class curriculum (either through f2f discussion, graded virtual discussion, or graded multimedia presentations. The clips provide the foundation for interactive discussion. Often, with educational videos from educational vendors, there are supplemental materials that can also be integrated into class activities. These supplemental materials assist in further explanation. However, again it must be noted that there are licensing costs for these types of videos. Discussion with your media librarian can be very helpful concerning which videos would have the most impact and are, therefore, worth the investment.

Excellent examples of using videos to start a discussion are some of the YouTube video clips of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Beginning with these clips and throwing in questions that stimulate further discussion, have your students search for new clips that add meaning, and create annotations of those clips bringing in more of the complex issues around why these movements are occurring, how might they end, and so forth. Another example could be getting clips of the “Arab Spring” and using that as a jumping-off point for a thorough discussion of democracy and the preparation for democracy. What are these countries fighting for? What caused it to happen now? The bottom line is that video clips help to make it real for students who can’t really visit the places or see for themselves what is happening.

Recommended reading

Allen, E.I., Seaman, J., Class differences: Online education in the United States, 2010. The Sloan Consortium. 2010, November Available from

Bergmann, J., Sams, A., The flipped classroom, 2010, December. Available from

Boster, F.J., Meyer, G.S., Roberto, A.J., Lindsey, L., Smith, R., et al, A report on the effect of the unitedstreaming® application on educational performanceThe 2004 Los Angeles Unified School District Mathematics Evaluation. Farmville,VA: Longwood University, 2004. [Mason, MI: Cometrika; Milwaukee, WI: Baseline Research; and].

Branigan, C., Technological, societal factors are driving the video trend. eSchool News 2005, April 1; 12–16 Available from

Calandra, B., Brantley-Dias, L., Dias, M. Using digital video for professional development in urban schools: A preservice teacher’s experience with reflection. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education. 2006; 22(4):137–145.

Choi, H.J., Johnson, S.D. The effect of context-based video instruction on learning and motivation in online courses. American Journal of Distance Education. 2005; 19(4):215–227.

Copyright Clearance Center, Intelligent Television, and New York University, Video use and higher education: Options for the future, 2009. Available from

Constantinou, C., Retalis, S., Papadopoulos, G., Charalambos, V. Combining streaming media and collaborative elements to support lifelong learning. In: Daradumis T., et al, eds. Intelligent Collaborative e-Learning Systems and Applications. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag; 2009:19–36.

Creighton, J.V., Buchanan, P. Toward the E-campus: Using the Internet to strengthen, rather than replace, the campus experience. EDUCAUSE Review. 2001; 36(2):12–14.

Daley, E. Expanding the concept of literacy. EDUCAUSE Review. 2003; 38(2):32–40.

Davis, T.M., Murrell, P.H. Turning Teaching into Learning: The Role of Student Responsibility in the Collegiate Experience (ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 8). Washington, D.C: George Washington University; 1994.

Gardner, H. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York, NY: Basic Books; 1983.

Hartsell, T., Yuen, S.C. Video streaming in online learning. AACE Journal. 2006; 14(1):31–43.

Karppinen, P. Meaningful learning with digital and online videos: Theoretical perspectives. AACE Journal. 2005; 13(3):233–250.

Kolb, D.A. Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall; 1984.

Kukulska-Hulme, A., Foster-Jones, J., Jelfs, A., Mallett, E., Holland, D. Investigating digital video applications in distance learning. Journal of Educational Media. 2004; 29(2):125–137.

Larkin-Hein, T., Zollman, D.A., Digital video, learning styles and student understanding of kinematic graphs. Journal of SMET Education, (May/August). 2000 Available from

Mardis, M.A. Viewing Michigan’s digital future: Results of a survey of educator use of digital video in the USA. Learning, Media and Technology. 2009; 34(3):243–257.

Moore, K., 71% of Online Adults Now Use Video-sharing Sites (Pew Internet Project). Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C, 2011. Available from

Oblinger, D.G. Learners, learning, and technology: The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. EDUCAUSE Review. 2005; 40(5):66–75.

PBS/Grunwald Associates, Deepening connections: Teachers increasingly rely on media and technology, 2010. Available from

Sausner, R. Hot technologies. District Administration. 2005; 41(1):17.

Shephard, K. Questioning, promoting and evaluating the use of streaming video to support student learning. British Journal of Educational Technology. 2003; 34(3):295–308.

Teaching and Learning Editors, We all stream for video. Tech & Learning, 2008. Available from

Thornhill, S., Asensio, M., Young, C., Video streaming: A guide for educational development. The JISC Click and Go Video Project. Joint Information Systems Committee: Manchester, U.K, 2002 Available from

Vygotsky, L. Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1978.

Young, C., Asensio, M., Looking through the three "I’s": The pedagogic use of streaming video. Banks, S., Goodyear, P., Hodgson, V., McConnell, D., ed. Third International Conference of Networked Learning, Sheffield, England. Sheffield, England, 2002:628–635.

Supplemental materials

Table 19.1

Evaluation rubric