5 tips to increase student engagement with video

Blackboard_logoAll faculty, whether they admit it or not, are faced with the challenge of keeping students locked into and focused on the lesson at hand. There’s nothing unique about this challenge – a study by Ralph Burns found that the impact of a lecture is greatest in its first five minutes. After that, learners’ attention wanes and the effectiveness of the lecture drops. You have probably sat through lectures yourself where, despite your best intentions, you became disengaged mid-way through.


by Katie Drossos


This reality begs the question: How can you combat student disengagement with your classroom material? Take a look at the five tips below, based on how Vrije Universiteit (VU), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, tackled this challenge with video.


  • Give Students Control. One way to increase student engagement is to have students influence what (and how) they learn. Rob Van Leeuwen, Educational Technologist at VU, offers, “We have a group of professors that are planning to use Kaltura, an open source online video platform that allows faculty and students to easily create, edit and upload videos, to have students assist with the creation of curriculum and become producers of class materials. In essence, the students will be in control of determining how they learn best.”
  • Make it easy for faculty and students. Find a solution that will allow students and faculty to post videos with as few clicks as possible, and allows them to be viewed from any device in any location once uploaded.
  • Train Your Users. Implementing new technology doesn’t mean anything unless faculty and students use the solution. At VU, the university’s library used an online video to demonstrate how to use the platform. They also added a FAQ page and allowed faculty to add their own questions.
  • Look at the Analytics. To get the most out of your video solution, monitor usage on campus. This will allow you to highlight the power-users whom you can then tap as “video evangelists” or ask them to train other faculty. VU staff use the administrative tools within their solution to gain visibility into what is happening down to a granular level.
  • Integrate your video solution with your LMS. Meet students where they are every day – in Blackboard Learn – and make it easier for them to access the myriad of solutions available to them without having to remember all the various URLs, usernames, and passwords. By choosing a solution that integrates seamlessly with your LMS, you can open up a new set of engaging teaching possibilities from integration of lecture capture and video materials to enabling video assignments and sharing of student-and faculty-contributed video content.

Want more tips? Read about how VU faculty started using more video in the classroom.


During ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN 2013, experts from Blackboard will be holding a number of interesting sessions, workshops and presentations on related topics such as education in the cloud, MOOCs, content development, open educational resources, online grading and assessment, and more.


Please visit the Blackboard conference website to find out more about our scheduled activities during this upcoming conference.

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