Connecting with students using video

Video can be a powerful tool for creating a sense of presence online and connecting with your students. Here are some quick tips for making the most of it.

Video is a powerful tool for engaging with students, particularly in learning modes where they may have fewer opportunities to connect with their educators and peers, such as blended or online units. Using video enables academics to connect with students in a direct one-on-one way and makes you more real, present, and familiar.

Garrison, Anderson and Archer (1999) identified three distinct types of ‘presence’ that shape student connections with their lecturers and with the course in general - social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence. Adding your voice and your expressions to your communications with your students helps to enhance all three of these.

There are a few things to consider when using video to connect with your students:

Establish a visual connection with students by talking directly to camera. If you need to display information, always introduce yourself before introducing information slides.

Aim for Short videos, no more than 5 minutes. If your content requires a longer time, look for ways to break it down into two smaller parts. If you’re reusing a lecture recording, consider breaking your segment it into shorter videos, by key concept or theme.

Filming in an informal/familiar setting will help you to feel more comfortable.

Alternatively, if you would like to use a more professional looking studio space, you can book one of the Microstudios on campus.

Engage with your information slides. Khan Academy-style videos are more engaging than static slides or code screencasts. Don’t simply read the information presented on screen, expand upon it with annotations. See this example video.

Share your enthusiasm for the content with your students. If you are excited about what you are presenting, you’ll naturally be more engaging!

Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical Inquiry in a Text-Based Environment: Computer Conferencing in Higher Education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2), 87–105.


Stephanie Luo, Education Innovation Support Officer
Trev Wood, Manager Educational Technologies