Why Create Video Lessons?

It might seem like a lot of work to make video lectures.  Why create video lessons?

In a “normal” classroom, the teacher often lectures to a large group of students at once.  The students vary from the “quick” students to the “slow” students.  The quick students understand what is going on, and often are bored because they don’t need to see every single step.  They may also be frustrated by the “slow” student who keeps asking questions.  The slow students can understand what is going on, but often need a slower pace.  They become frustrated when you as the teacher try to keep up a quick pace.

When you create video lessons, you give both groups of students the opportunity to work at their own pace.

The “Flipped Classroom”

In this model, you create video lessons so that students watch you teach before reaching class. Class time is then spent practicing the skills. This way, students are actively involved in practice rather than passively absorbing your lesson. During their practice, you can wander the room and answer individual questions as they arise. The lessons do not have to be videos: They could be a reading assignment or some other task.

You can read about flipping in this article by Education Next.

A full-blown flipped classroom would have hours of video lessons and follow-up practice prepared, which is a daunting task. You can start small, by creating short video lessons.

Even if you don’t create a year’s worth of lessons, it might be helpful to have videos available for topics that students need extra help in often. For example, your physics class might have a quick video describing the addition of fractions that you point students to when talking about adding resistors in parallel.

Guided Practice

You don’t have to go fully flipped.  I give a quick lecture, and then allow students to work on practice problems with each other.  If my lectures are also available as a video, I often notice students watching, pausing, and rewinding the parts of the lecture that they don’t quite understand.  Sometimes this is enough to get them moving in the right direction.  Other times, it allows them to ask a specific question about a specific step.  This isn’t quite the same as sitting next to a student, watching them and waiting for questions.  However, it is a much more effective use of my time.


Students have told me that they like the video lessons to help them review older material.  This happens often at the end of the year.  Sometimes, just a few minutes of a video can jog students’ memories about a topic that they haven’t used much in the last month.  Hopefully you can see why creating video lessons is worth your time.