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Editing and Annotating Video

Videos are a great way to supplement your course content or provide resources for those who want to know more. With YouTube, you can create your own YouTube channel for your course where you list all of the videos you’d like them to watch, as well as create and upload your own original video content. Students can also use a variety of programs and online tools to create their own videos.

Potential Uses

Use it to present content.

Use a ‘flipped classroom’ approach and have students watch a mini lecture before class so you can begin the class session with questions, discussions, or activities based on the video.

Use it to promote student interaction and debate.

Post videos that voice opposing viewpoints about your topic and have students comment on the video, as well as other students’ comments by using the blogging features within YouTube

Use it to promote student exploration and critical thinking.

Have students build your supplementary video database by assigning them the task of coming up with one or two great video examples and defending their choices.

Use it as a multimodal student project.

Creating videos is a great way to have students relate course content to their personal lives, work in production teams, or demonstrate their learning in creative ways. Here are some ideas to start your thinking. Documentation: Use the camera and microphone to record student work and performances. Peer Feedback: Use video as a great medium to get students to begin to provide each other with feedback. Watching in pairs or small groups can become a catalyst for powerful conversations. Create Pecha-Kucha Presentations: Pecha-Kucha presentations are becoming more popular due to their time efficiency and engaging characteristics. The 20×20 (20 slides/images for 20 seconds each, with oral descriptions) presentation is made easily in iMovie Story Telling: have students tell personal stories and turn them into digital stories using pictures and images from their classroom and their lives. Photo Essay: Photo-essays are powerful ways to convey messages through visuals and text. Students can easily add text-based-slides to iMovie using another app called iMovie ExtrasMicroscopy: The camera in the iPad works perfectly for recording through the optical piece of a light microscope. You can easily take video of live specimens under a low powered microscope. Slow Motion Analysis: In imovie, you can easily scrub through video clips in slow motion at an appropriate speed, frame by frame. During an experiment or demonstration, students can record and then slow down footage to find out exactly what is going on. Create Animated Films: By using iMovie in conjunction with other apps such as Animation HD or iMotion HD, students can create beautiful stop motion or animated films, stringing together various short clips, adding voice overs, sound effects, and music.


The widespread access to wifi connections, combined with mobile technology like smartphones, tablets and laptops, create an environment where deployment of high quality video and audio is accessible to a large percentage of learners. This allows learners to watch or listen to content in a wide variety of situations and at times more convenient for them, potentially freeing up time during class for more in-depth discussions or additional content. Complex procedures or demonstrations presented as video clips can be paused or reviewed as often as a student needs in order to understand the content. This flexibility permits the student to have the access to help when they need it. Video clips can allow other content area experts, who may not be able to come to your class in person, to provide additional perspectives to your course content.


Without incorporating mechanisms by which students to have opportunity for peer to peer interaction,  using video to deliver large amounts of content can be isolating and solitary. Video clips are static. Updating video content can be more labor intensive than updating a Word document or .PDF file. If you rely heavily on video clips from other sources, like YouTube or Vimeo, the owners of those clips may remove them without warning, leaving you without the videos you need. There is a learning curve for creating your own videos. Special software and hardware may be required to create video productions. This may require you and/or your students to learn new skills.


Using Videos in the Classroom

YouTube to the Rescue, an article from Inside Higher Ed by Rob Wier, gives practical advice and tips for using and selecting online video clips. He also gives advice on how to incorporate them into class discussions. Learn how to create your own YouTube channelMultimedia Teaching with Video Clips: TV, Movies, YouTube, and mtvU in the College Classroom by Ronald Berk from Johns Hopkins describes eight steps for using a video clip in teaching. Grading creative content can sometimes be challenging. Using a grading rubric will help define the dimensions by which the projects will be graded. Here are a few examples to get you started thinking about how to approach grading videos.

  • This Excel spreadsheet provides example rubrics for a wide variety of assignments including reflections, presentations, essays, reports, and performances.
  • Edutopia has created this sample grading rubric for you to customize for your specific assignment.
  • This sample video project rubric from Animoto highlights grading criteria you might use for grading the technical aspects of the project.

Tools for creating videos using a Mac

iMovie is a proprietary video editing software application sold by Apple Inc. for the Mac and iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPad mini and iPod touch). With iMovie, you or your students can import video footage from a video camera or smart phone to edit into polished productions. It can also import video and photo files from a hard drive. From there, instructors or students can edit the photos and video clips and add titles, music, and effects, including basic color correction and video enhancement tools and transitions such as fades and slides. Visit the iMovie web page to learn about the application for your apple computer or the version of the application designed for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. VideoPad editor is available for both Windows and Mac. If you would like all your students to use a single editing platform, this is one option. Download VideoPad Video Editor for Mac OS X. Learn more about VideoPad Video Editor If you’d like to explore even more video editing options, view The Best Free Video Editing Software in 2017 for Mac Users.

Tools for creating videos using Windows

Windows Movie Maker is the most common free video editing tool for Windows and users can make movies by simple drag-and-drop. It contains features such as video effects, video transitions, adding titles/credits, audio track, and timeline narration. You can download Windows Live Movie Maker from Microsoft here.

Learn more about Windows Movie Maker VideoPad editor is available for both Windows and Mac. If you would like all your students to use a single editing platform, this is one option. Download VideoPad Video Editor for Windows Learn more about VideoPad Video Editor

Tools for annotating video clips

Once you and/or your students have created videos, you can share them and let others annotate the video clip using VideoAnt, a free tool developed at the University of Minnesota. Learn more about VideoAnt.