Using video in teaching and assessment

Assessment Design2 Comments

In this professional development session, we’re looking at ways to use video in teaching and assessment. This post will be updated as sessions take place, recordings are added, and new information or perspective develops. Keep an eye on Events for other times for this, and other sessions.

We’ve done a lot with video

On this site you’ll find a number of posts and pages made over the years, to do with using video in teaching and assessment – see our tag for video and our Page for video.

In this session we’ll look at video in Canvas, video at RMIT, video across the wider Internet, and video in scholarly teaching practice.

Video in Canvas

In Canvas you can record video directly into the content editor, as well as with Studio (formally known as Arc). You can also embed external video inside Canvas for added flexibility. Also in Canvas, you can use Collaborate Ultra for live video conferencing.

As you know, Canvas can be a good way to develop an online version of your course, and there are many ways to present and manage video in Canvas, but there may be times when you need people to access and engage in video outside Canvas – such as authentically learning how sites like Youtube work, or when considering how graduates and non course students or teachers might access your course and its videos.

An early video on embedding video into Canvas (please note that Arc is now called Studio)

Video at RMIT

DSC: In the College of Design and Social Context, Digital Learning has a small team dedicated to the production of video, graphics , and on teaching people how to produce their video. Check out their showreal:

A showreal to demonstrate DSC’s media production capacity

AV Loans and Services: If you need audio visual equipment beyond your computer or phone, Audio Visual Loans has a range of equipment staff and students can loan for free. If you need production help, AV Services can help at a fee.

RMIT Library: The RMIT Library has a great number of sources for video as well as very helpful services to help you find and manage those videos. Remember though, that most of these repositories restrict access to enrolled students and staff with active accounts. So if you’re building your course toward a more open model of education, or working with teachers who don’t always have active staff accounts, you might like to make a habit of using video from across the wider internet.

Video across the wider Internet

Across the wider internet, we’ll look at how to use Youtube, and WikimediaCommons respectively, in a process for sourcing and distributing video in a reliable, accessible and long term way.


According to Alexa site ranking, Youtube is now the second most accessed website worldwide, and has over the years been a reliable and featured system for finding, publishing, managing, distributing and networking video content. Like most of the commercially motivated social media networks, Youtube collects user data and uses it to make recommendations back to the user (among other things). We asked the question, could learning activities be designed to influence that algorithm so it can make recommendations useful to learning and professional development. We called the project Teaching Youtube to Teach. haven’t gone very far with that, but initial experiments told us yes.

Before Youtube there was, and still is, the non commercial, philanthropic and socially progressive Internet Archive. Years before Youtube started developing its data and advertising based business model to align with an eventual Google buy out, was offering unlimited server use for anyone wanting to publish and distribute video and other content, so long as it could be licensed for free reuse. Archive remains a rich repository of video and other content, and a great place to store content for reliable recall. Uploading your video to is a good way to ensure longevity (backup) and generating multiple format versions of your video for use on other services like Wikimedia Commons.

Wikimedia Commons

Along similar lines to is Wikimedia Commons, but with a much more overt direction to free and open access to media. Wikimedia Commons is a repository of media for very large projects like Wikipedia. Content on Commons must be freely licensed and in a non proprietary format, so as to ensure long term access and reuse. Uploading video to Wikimedia Commons can be a good way of ensuring longevity to your video, and potentially exposing your video to a very large audience.

If you’re interested in this idea of freely accessible and reusable content, see our page on royalty free images, music and video.

Video in teaching and assessment

Throughout the session we’ll discuss ways for using these video tools in teaching and assessment.


It’s one thing to think about creating and uploading original video content of your own, but have you thought about finding and sorting through the best of what’s already there? In Youtube for example, there is the Playlist feature, where you can create playlists for the topics you want, and quickly and easily save videos you find into those playlists. Setting that activity as an assignment could be an interesting way to assess student understanding on a topic, and help keep your own playlists fresh and interesting.

Good audio equals good transcripts

Youtube and Arc automatically generate closed captions on videos. If your audio is a clear recording, and your accent isn’t too heavy, this can be a very useful way to make your videos more accessible, not to mention generating transcripts for research purposes.

Video for submission or assessment of tangible works

Some courses require the submission of large and tangible works for assessment. Video recording an assessment of these works can make for useful feedback, as well as easier storage of the object for possible audits.

Chunky lectures

Video, online, is a very different format and setting to the live lecture. For one, the viewer is in a much more distractable setting on their phone or computer, in a public place or at home. But video can be paused, replayed and annotated easily where a live lecture cannot. For these and many other reasons, we need to think about how we use video beyond simply recording an hour or two of lecturing.

Try compressing a lecture into super tight bite sized chunks is one way. Take an hour lecture and deliver its points in 4 minute closed chunks.

Video in scholarly teaching practice

We’re endeavoring to supplement all our resources for the professional development sessions with annotated links to reputable and academic publications relating to the topic. This is to aid teachers who are interested in developing a scholarly approach to their teaching work (SoTL). Below are some works we thought relevant to this topic:

Michael Wesch, in the more hopeful time of 2008, talked about user generated content, organisation and distribution in his address to the Library of Congress – An Anthropological Introduction to Youtube

Other research that may be useful to a scholarly approach to teaching with video:

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Karen Squire-Ryan
1 year ago

Drats – missed this! Please let me know when the next one/s are scheduled. Why? I use Collaborate Ultra but am frustrated that I can’t edit – as in trim, annotate, use colour, shapes, call-outs etc – like most video editing programs allow you to do! Outside of RMIT I make videos and sometimes animations and I use moovavi video editor (purchased myself for at home use) and have used other software too. I would dearly love to be able to record a session (in Callaborate Ultra) and also edit it – then save it for my students. At the… Read more »