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As teachers prepare for a new school year, many are brushing up on their video production skills. Teachers know there will be times when they will need to lean on videos to allow students to access information asynchronously. Video has several benefits in a blended or online course. Videos put students in control of the pace they consume and process information. They can pause, rewind, or rewatch video content. Videos also become a resource for both students and parents as they work remotely.

When teachers use video to transfer information online, I encourage them to blend that video content into a complete learning experience.

Pre-video Activity: Before students watch a video, teachers can generate interest in the topic and create some context for the video content with a pre-video activity. This activity can happen in the classroom or online. Teachers can present students with an unfamiliar problem or prompt to pique their interest, ask them to generate questions about a topic, or assess their prior knowledge.

FlipGridRecord a response to a question
Explain what they know about a topic
Describe how they would solve the unfamiliar problem
PadletBrainstorm questions or wonderings
Make predictions about a topic
Post a picture of a problem they solved offline
SeesawRecord a video responding to a question or describing what they know about a topic
Post a photo of a picture they drew about a topic or a problem they tried to solve
Google Classroom QuestionAsk students to engage in a text-based discussion where they share what they know about a topic, brainstorm questions, or make predictions

Flip & Engage: As students watch a video, can you engage them around that video content, so they think more deeply about the information presented. Pairing the video with an engagement activity can also provide teachers with a strategy for checking to ensure that students watched the video.

EdPuzzleAdd audio notes, multiple choice, and short answer questions to videos
PlayPosit Pair videos with a range of question types including fill-in-the-blank, check all, poll, and discussion
Google Classroom QuestionPost a question that asks students to identify key information in the video, make connections between concepts, or ask questions
Digital or printable documentsProvide a structured note-taking template to help students identify the key points presented in the video

Post-video Activity: After students have seen the video, the post-video activity should encourage them to apply what they learned. This activity can act as a formative assessment strategy to gauge what students learned by watching the video and what gaps or misconceptions still exist that need to be addressed.

Google Forms Kahoot!
Create a quick quiz, review activity, or exit ticket to gather formative assessment data
Digital document Present a writing prompt asking students to respond to a question or questions related to the video content
Google Drawing or CanvaAsk students to create a concept map or sketchnotes to visually display key concepts from the video and their relationship to one another
G SuiteGroup students in a shared virtual space (e.g., Google Docs or Slides) and present them with a collaborative challenge that requires them to apply what they learned

Once students have completed the post-video activity, teachers can use the data collected to determine which students need additional instruction, scaffolds, or practice. If students are learning online, the teacher can organize a small group virtual conferencing session to spend time supporting the students who need additional help or instruction. Hosting small group video conferencing sessions allows the teacher to engage students in a discussion, modeling session, and guided practice.

Video is likely to play a significant role in blended and online courses this year. I hope this strategy helps teachers to weave that video content into a more complete learning experience to ensure that students can be successful learning online. If you have additional strategies that you use with your students or additional tools you think might help other teachers, please take a moment and post a comment!

28 Responses

  1. Hi Catlin,
    Can you steer me to resources that will help me understand how blended and remote learning can be effective with K-2 students?

  2. This is a very interesting article. I teach for a specialist online provision for pupils who cannot attend their mainstream schools, and will be adopting some of your suggestions.

  3. I love using video’s that I send to my students. This helps my students to back into the video to reteach any concept they didn’t understand.

  4. Thank you for these strategies! I have been using a flipped classroom with my online classes and I teach at an alternative education high school. It has really been beneficial for my students and for me!

  5. Hi Catlin. I am a grade 2 teacher. I am trying to decipher the difference between station rotation and whole group rotation. I may be putting too much thought into it and getting myself stuck. I have take a few UDL classes (Novak Education). I have tried to incorporate UDL and equity in my room. Is there a video or blog or other resources that would help me in navigating how to make my classroom more of a station rotation model. I think I do more of a whole group rotation model. The more I read I am finding that many lower elementary classrooms use the station rotation model. I would love to see it in real time…Thank you for your help!

    • Hi Madonna,

      The station rotation model breaks students into small groups and rotates them through a series of online and offline learning activities, or stations. So the teacher has the opportunity to work directly with ~6-8 students at the teacher-led station to differentiate instruction, guide practice, facilitate a small group discussion, give feedback, etc. By contrast, the whole group rotation rotates the entire class between online and offline learning activities. The blog posts below are a good place to start if you want clarity about the differences.

      The Whole Group Rotation
      The Station Rotation Model

      Here is a video you can watch about the station rotation that was filmed in my classroom a few years ago.

      Take care.

  6. Hi Catlin,
    I’m a bit confused after attending the Flip and Engage lesson you had.
    I supposed Flipped Learning is one of the blended learning approaches so the concept of flipped learning, if I may, is to have the video for the student s to view online and learn certain topics at home and when they are in school, we can find out what had been learnt and close the gap and facilitate.
    However, in this flip and engage lesson, you used the video in class and there is a pre-video activity and students go online and watch the video and back to a post-activity in class. This is then carried out with another blended learning approach which is the whole group rotation model.
    So what really is flipped learning?
    Can you help? Thanks

    • Hi Low Hwang,

      The traditional flipped classroom model sent videos home with students to allow them to control the time, place, and pace of their learning. Then the class time was used to prioritize practice and application, so students had access to teacher and peer support as they work. This is still an option. However, using video in the classroom can still be used to shift control over the pace of learning to the students and help to remove barriers that exist during live instruction. So, if a teacher does not believe in homework or does not feel confident that all students can complete a video lesson at home, they may pull the entire experience into the classroom with a three-part flipped lesson as I described with a pre and post-video activity. This would essentially make the lesson a whole group rotation if all three parts are conducted in the classroom.

      The original taxonomy of blended learning models is just a starting place. There are so many variations of each model and video instruction can play a role in a lot of blended learning models. For example, video instruction is a staple in the playlist model too. The more I work with the various models, the more I appreciate how flexible they are.

      I hope that helps to clarify what I am writing about in this post. Let me know if you have additional questions.

      Take care.

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