Home » Teaching College Online Blog » Why Should You Use Video in Your Online College Course?

Why Should You Use Video in Your Online College Course?

I look like an absolute idiot on camera. 

Seriously.  I’ve got googly eyes, a crooked nose, a really pale skin.  And don’t even get me started on my annoying voice.  It’s like if Fran Drescher and Gilbert Gottfried had a love child.  I can hardly stand watching more than 15 seconds of the videos I record of myself.

Sound familiar?  You’ve probably said the same thing about yourself.  I get it; you don’t want to record yourself.  Beyond the fact that we’re all unreasonably self-conscious, you hate technology and you aren’t that good with the camera and and and . . .

Maybe that’s why you love teaching in front of an audience in a classroom.  You don’t have to see or hear yourself later.  But guess what: you still look and sound like an idiot, just like me (at least according to our unrealistic self-narrative).

Sorry, I Can’t Do That; My Uncle’s Ex-Brother In-Law’s Third Cousin’s Fish Tragically Died

If we’re honest with ourselves, all of this is just a series of excuses.  Excuses that we use to have crappy online classes because “there is no way online can be as good as in-person courses”. Puh-lease.  We’re better than that.  We are educational rock stars that shouldn’t let a camera scare us. 

Our students deserve better (if for nothing else they’re paying a lot of money/going in debt for our courses). We cannot treat our online courses as the ugly distant cousin of our in-person courses.  So let’s give ourselves some good reasons why we need to use video.

There’s Just Something About Your Face

For starters, students need to see our ugly faces.  I mean, we all thought our teachers in school were ugly and goofy, so we’re just living up to the traditional standard, right? We can’t be this mysterious person behind a syllabus and discussion boards and PowerPoints.  Even though we can’t see students in person, they still need to make a connection with us. 

Think about your favorite TV show, or if you’re old school like me, think about your local TV station newscaster.  You don’t know them personally and you’ve never met them, but seeing their face over and over every evening or morning seemed to make them like someone you actually knew. 

It’s the same concept with your online courses.  Seeing your face over and over can work wonders in making you more familiar to your students.  Which in a weird way will make them more likely to perform better in class.

Slow, Painful, PowerPoint Death

Educators have made PowerPoints the worst technological invention of our lifetime (even worse than Clippy in Microsoft Word), and narrating a PowerPoint is probably the most excruciating way to communicate information.  Imagine you were a student in a class and were subjected to that.  Would you watch it?  And even if you managed to watch it, would you retain any of the information? 

I’ve been in that situation as a student before.  It was advanced statistics in grad school.  The main source of information was the professor narrating how to work problems using a PowerPoint.  I majestically failed the first test and dropped the course.  Think your students will do any better?

A Whole Netflix Season of YOU

What if you had access to custom video content for your course for every concept you taught?  It might solve that ever-worsening case of the caffeine shakes you’re developing.  With you incorporating more and more video content for your students, you’re creating a video library that you can use repeatedly for semesters to come. 

Think about it; if you make solid video content over various topics, you will not have to make those videos again for at least two years!  That means as you continue in your online teaching journey, you’re actually going to build quality content and eventually work less!  And who doesn’t love working less? 

Making a 2 am Taco Bell Run, but for Education

Your students will have content accessible on-demand.  They can access your content whenever they want for more information as well as review purposes.  Give them a video of you enthusiastically teaching instead of telling them to read your boring textbook.

And here’s a reality check: your students only have time for your class after they’ve been at work all day, helped the kids with their homework, and put them to bed.  They’re choosing your class over Jimmy Fallon.  Make sure they don’t regret that choice!

Come On! Do It!!

Video just makes your online class better.  You’re adding visual content to your textbook and personalizing it for your students.  This reassures them that a real person is teaching the class and helps them become familiar and comfortable with you, which will hopefully lead to them, you know, learning (as opposed to falling asleep and eventually dropping your class).  Now let’s lose those negative vibes and start capturing our ugly faces and goofy voices to put on the internet for years to come!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *