Centre for Educational Multimedia

Student Generated Digital Video

The nature of teaching and learning

Embedding student-generated digital video in the day to day classroom environment necessarily means a shift in thinking about the role of the teacher.

I'll look around at some stage, and there'll be students leaning in front of a computer [video] recording away, and I won't know exactly what they're doing, but they’ll be able to tell me 'oh I'm just doing this.' It's just natural for them. It's not like it's a novelty. It's just every day. It's just how things are. (Years 2/3 and 3/4 Teachers, St Pius X School)

The teachers reported several implications for the teaching and learning in their classrooms:

  1. teachers increasing take on roles as facilitators of content development, although there is an initial period of technical support
  2. students demonstrate increasing independence
  3. peer and group learning was common
  4. there was an emphasis on enquiry learning
  5. there were more authentic learning opportunities, that is, real-world contexts and real audiences

These implications were also found by Schuck and Kearney (2004) in their study of five Australian schools using student-generated video production.

It is also worth noting that these five implications closely correspond with a social constructivist learning approach which values:

  1. the role of the more capable other (Zone of Proximal Development) in scaffolding student learning
  2. student independence and ownership of their own learning
  3. collaborative activity
  4. problem based learning
  5. authentic or situated contexts
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Here a teacher explains that using student-generated video production allowed him to individualise his curriculum so that all students were actively engaged.

We’ve got to take a step back and let the students use it (Year 2/3 Teacher, St Pius X School).

This observation was similar to that of Schuck and Kearney (2004): "The autonomous style of learning supported by these open-ended tasks required a significant degree of flexibility from the teacher as students created their own learning pathways at their own pace. " (Schuck & Kearney, 2004, p. 83)

The use of student-generated video production as an embedded learning process necessarily requires teachers to reconsider their role in the classroom. It also means that learning is recast as an active construction of knowledge through a cyclical process of inquiry, production and refinement.