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Using Video in the Classroom: Research Review

Research Review: What is the Impact of Using Video in the Classroom?

Numerous research studies have shown using video in the classroom to be greatly beneficial to students’ academic performance. According to Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory, traditional teaching methods, including lecture and textbook approaches, may only appeal to learners who lean toward a linguistic approach.

Because video combines many kinds of data (images, motion, sounds, text) in a complementary fashion, learning can be adjusted to the diverse learning styles of students. Teaching methods that include the use of video and audio “reach more students and provide more opportunities for neural development and learning.”

using video in the classroom
Help Students of All Learning Types

While video should be an integral part of your curriculum, it should not replace traditional teaching methods. Research has shown that the value of video is highly correlated to its integration within the curriculum and how it fits into the overall instructional sequence.

By using video in the classroom as a complementary tool for learning, educators can enhance student learning and promote achievement.

3 Impacts of Using Video In the Classroom

Cisco conducted The Impact of Broadcast and Streaming Video in Education to review and compile current research on video in education. Cisco looked at over 100 studies and selected 50 that clearly showed the impact of video in education.

Through their literature review, Cisco came up with three key concepts that summarize the pedagogical impact of video.

1) Interactivity with content

Students interact with visual content, whether verbally, by note taking or thinking, or by applying concepts. In order for interactivity to take place, the quality of the video experience should be high.

2) Engagement

Engagement occurs when the student connects to the visual content, becoming drawn in by video, whether on-demand or real-time. Interactivity and engagement begin in the affective realm, or the feeling side of learning.

3) Knowledge transfer and memory

Once engagement occurs, the continuum then flows into knowledge transfer and memory: the learner, according to some studies, may remember better. The net result in theory is a combination of affective and cognitive development, and retention of content.

Along with these three concepts, Cisco found various benefits that we grouped into three themes and will discuss below.

Bringing Reality into the Classroom

By using video in the classroom, educators bring real world experts straight to their students which helps bridge the gap between schools’ artificial environment and the outside world. And not only does video instantly bring in experts from around the world, it also brings students from different and even remote areas together.

using video in the classroomVideo is so good at bringing the real world and all its knowledge to students that some studies are beginning to confirm that blended learning, the combination of face-to-face and online instruction, can be equal to or superior to either face-to-face or online-only programs.

STUDY – Comparing Student Learning Outcomes in Face-To-Face and Online Course Delivery

STUDY The Effectiveness of Online and Blended Learning: A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature

Cultivating Workforce Skills

Using video in the classroom encourages students to develop their problem-solving abilities via collaboration with others. These skills are vital in the workplace, where there is greater emphasis on teamwork, collaboration, and multicultural awareness.

Additionally, video can better prepare students for the workforce by helping develop skills such as creativity, sociability, exposure to the spotlight, and civic responsibility, as well as qualities like self-esteem and cultural understanding. Video training can help students learn more global awareness, as well as how to position and convey messages appropriately, how to present themselves to others, and how to address audiences.

Lastly, by using video in the classroom, students learn video literacy — both the understanding of how to take full advantage of video as a communications tool and knowing how to use technology itself. This ability is key to workplace competency after college.

STUDY Harness The Explosion Of Campus Video. A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper, Commissioned by Cisco Systems, September 2011.

Achieving More

using video in the classroomNumerous studies have found on-demand video to positively impact grades and test performance. This has led some researchers to state that “students who engage in [viewing streaming video] outperform peers who are in a traditional face to face classroom.”

Additionally, educational television has been shown to have a positive impact on school readiness, including letter and number recognition. Research claims that “a positive relationship has been found between childhood viewing of educational television and cognitive performance at both preschooler and college levels.”

STUDY: 2004 unitedstreaming ™ Evaluation: 6th and 8th Grade Mathematics in the Los Angeles Unified School District

STUDY: Technology in Schools: What the Research Says, Metiri Group, 2009.


There is now an abundance of literature on how using video in the classroom supports cognitive development and improves academic performance. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increased student motivation
  • Enhanced learning experience
  • Higher marks
  • Development potential for deeper learning of the subject
  • Development of learner autonomy
  • Enhanced team working and communication skills
  • Learning resources for future cohorts to use

To read the full Cisco Study click here. 

If you want to learn about easy methods for creating online learning videos, check out our blog post here.

Nicole E. Flynn, CMO at cielo24, is deeply interested in exploring and communicating the ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) intersects with various aspects of our daily lives. She is passionate about exploring the ways in which AI can be ethically harnessed to improve the quality of life and make our world a better place. Nicole seeks to educate and inform audiences about the potential of AI technology and how it can be used to drive innovation and growth.