Making the Cut

Choosing Effective Videos to Use in Your Library Instruction

Want to use video tutorials in your library instruction sessions? Many librarians are "flipping the classroom" by assigning videos that students watch before they come in for their library session. These videos can introduce important concepts to students, freeing up more class time for you to really help students with their research.

But how to choose a good video?!

We all know that there are a lot of bad library videos out there. So how do you recognize ones that will be an effective learning tool for your students? This tutorial will give you three principles that will help you evaluate videos.

Principle I: Multimedia


1. Think of a time recently when you learned something through a video. How do you think the visuals enriched your learning experience?

2.  Think about one of your lessons and how you might use multimedia to enhance it.

Principle II: Redundancy


1. How do you react when you see a video with on-screen text that duplicates the narration? Do you agree with the dual-channel theory of multimedia learning?

2.  How could we follow this principle, but still make adjustments to videos to make them accessible to those with hearing disabilities?

Principle III: Segmenting


1. Think about how you teach a lesson -- do you segment your content? What strategies do you use to break up complex material? How could these ideas be incorporated into an online module of videos?

2. Consider this video from the NCSU libraries. How does the video use segmenting to help students? How could it help students understand the material?

Want to Learn More?

There are plenty more multimedia principles that can help you select (and create!) the more effective videos to help your students learn. Check out all of Mayer's principles in his book:

Mayer, R. (2009). Multimedia Learning. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

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