Adding Video to Your Course

Video has the ability to convey material through auditory and visual channels, creating a multisensory learning environment.

On this page:

Not just for online classes

Making instructional video available for a traditional face-to-face class is beneficial to students in a number of ways:

  • Facilitates thinking and problem solving.
  • Serves as a versatile teaching tool.
  • Is reusable.
  • Available on demand.
  • Can be modified for learners’ needs (i.e., closed caption, speed adjustment).

Cognitive and technical considerations

When creating video content for instruction, you will need to keep in mind a few cognitive and technical considerations.

Five suggestions for creating instructional video

  • Keep videos brief and focused on learning goals.
  • Use audio and visual elements to convey appropriate parts of an explanation; consider how to make these elements complementary rather than redundant.
  • Use signaling to highlight important ideas or concepts.
  • Use a conversational, enthusiastic style to enhance engagement.
  • Embed videos in a context of active learning by using guiding questions, interactive elements or associated homework assignments.


Using materials found on the internet without permission opens the possibility of a copyright infringement lawsuit. Assume that everything is copyright protected unless otherwise stated. If in doubt, seek permission from the original author, advice from a copyright expert or look for legal use clauses from the original source.

Instructional video examples

Educational purpose Example
Demonstrate experiments or new technologies Magnetohydrodynamic Liquid Metal 3D Printing
Use of specially constructed physical models Birthing Mannequin Orientation
Illustrate three-dimensional space Lascaux Caves
Use animated, slow-motion or speeded-up video to demonstrate changes over time High-Definition Slinky Slow-Mo
Demonstrate decision making processes Conflicts in the Workplace: Sources & Solutions
Change attitudes by presenting material from a different perspective UB, NFTA Are Working To Make Public Transportation More Accessible
Demonstrate a method or technique The Physics Behind a Curveball - The Magnus Effect
Document an artistic performance

Contemporary Dance Documentary : “Time to Dance”

Instructional video production resources at UB

We have put together a list of UB resources for recording and editing instructional video.


  • Brame, C. J. (2016). Effective educational videos: Principles and guidelines for maximizing student learning from video content. CBE—Life Sciences Education15(4), es6.
  • Geri, N., Winer, A., & Zaks, B. (2017). Challenging the six-minute myth of online video lectures: Can interactivity expand the attention span of learners?. Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management5(1), 101-111.
  • Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014, March). How video production affects student engagement: An empirical study of mooc videos. In Proceedings of the first ACM conference on Learning@ scale conference (pp. 41-50). ACM.
  • Kim, J., Guo, P. J., Seaton, D. T., Mitros, P., Gajos, K. Z., & Miller, R. C. (2014, March). Understanding in-video dropouts and interaction peaks in online lecture videos. In Proceedings of the first ACM conference on Learning@ scale conference(pp. 31-40). ACM.
  • Mayer, R. E. (2002). Multimedia learning. In Psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 41, pp. 85-139). Academic Press.
  • Mayer R.E.  (2008). Applying the science of learning: Evidence-based principles for the design of multimedia instruction. Cognition and Instruction 19, 177-213.