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  • Education , Inspiration

15 creative video project ideas for students (and their teachers)

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Fall is here. The leaves are starting to change color and teachers everywhere are asking the same question: How do I come up with video project ideas for my students?

Video has been a staple learning tool for decades. But having students create, design, and edit video projects themselves is becoming a much more common classroom activity. Video projects are a great way to help students of all ages  actively engage with subject matter  and learn from one another.

Online apps like  Biteable  make it easy for students to turn video ideas for school into a reality. Templates and easy-to-use editing tools keep the process simple and offer plenty of inspiration for student video projects.

To help teachers and students alike leverage video as an  educational tool , we’ve gathered our favorite creative video project ideas for students. Each idea comes with a ready-to-edit video template so you and your students can get started right away.

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Elementary student video project ideas

It can be tricky to keep young students interested and engaged all day long. Creating videos gives elementary students a fun, creative way to learn about anything. And student-created videos are an amazing classroom learning supplement. If a video is produced by their peers, interest will skyrocket.

1. Create a book trailer

Instead of a traditional book report, have students design a movie-style trailer that drums up excitement about a novel or a non-fiction book. Creating a book trailer gives students the opportunity to think creatively, share a story with their classmates, and reinforce their learning in a new way.

2. Give a video tour

To supplement social studies curriculum, students can create a video showing off a significant location or their favorite part of the school. If you have a field trip planned, ask students to share their experience by recording videos throughout the day and adding voice over narration.

A video tour of the school is also a great way to share the campus with new students and visitors. As a way to pass the torch before they leave for middle school, how about asking your fifth graders to collaborate on an orientation video for incoming kindergarteners?

3. Celebrate the holidays

There’s always something to celebrate, no matter what time of year it is. Have students film letters to Santa, make video Valentines for parents or grandparents, or make short educational videos about lesser known holidays. Students can even create simple, digital thank-you notes for classroom visitors or parent volunteers.

4. Recreate a moment in history

Learning about historical people and events? Have your students research and recreate major moments in history, like the story of Rosa Parks or the Oregon Trail.

Videos help students visualize and remember these important moments. It also gives students the opportunity to experiment with digital storytelling. And students will be challenged to bring each scene to life accurately.

5. Try stop-motion video

Video learning isn’t limited to literary or historical topics. Encourage students to use stop-motion or create their own slides to explain science experiments or other STEM projects. With the right footage, like Biteable’s extensive collection of clay animation footage, students won’t even need to build stop motion models. They can just focus on the presentation and storytelling in their video.

Video project ideas for middle and high school students

Video projects for high schoolers can be a little more advanced, as students should be practicing editing and narrative skills in addition to learning about new topics.

6. Create a news channel

To supplement learning in a current events class, have your students film a news broadcast covering both local and international events.

Ask students to take on certain roles in the newsroom: anchor, sports reporter, weather reporter, or entertainment correspondent. Doing a news segment helps everyone get involved and promotes teamwork.

7. Start a portfolio

Many high school students are thinking about college applications. Give them the chance to  jumpstart their applications with a portfolio video project  and showcase what makes them unique.

Art students can show off their best work and design skills. Students applying to traditional schools can answer an application question or create a video showcasing their community service and extracurriculars.

8. Promote a good cause

Rather than writing a traditional essay or report, have students create a video advocating for a cause that’s important to them. This helps students build their identity and develop persuasive skills. And students can share their  promotional video  with everyone, not just their teacher and classmates.

9. Questions for your future self

Think ahead with a video full of inspiring questions. This project is great for incoming freshmen. At the beginning of the year, have students create videos with questions for their future self or with goals for their life and career. At graduation, send the videos back to them. It’s a fun, positive way to celebrate their success throughout high school.

Higher ed video project ideas

Higher education might not seem like the place for student-made videos. But in the real world, businesses use video for all sorts of things. Video projects build plenty of resume-worthy skills that college students can take with them to the workforce.

10. Create a university promotion video

It’s easy to forget that colleges and universities are businesses, too. And they need help with promotion. A solid college or university promotion video could open opportunities for internships or college employment. Promoting something that they’re already familiar with is a great way for students to build video persuasion skills.

11. Record and edit interviews

Being able to conduct a good interview and edit it in a way that’s appropriate for the purpose of the interview is a valuable skill in multiple industries. And interviewing experts in the field is appropriate for just about any class.

12. Make a video self-assessment

Grades are important. But being able to self-assess is also an incredibly valuable way for students to incrementally improve at any skill.

Making video self-assessments gives students a more active role in the grading process and offers them a creative way to highlight the work they’ve put into a course. It also gives them a chance to make an argument for the grade they feel they deserve — a skill that easily correlates to performance reviews in their future workplace.

13. Film a job interview guide

For most people, the interview is the most nerve-wracking part of getting a job. Practicing interview questions is a great way to prepare. But most students don’t know how to prepare for a job interview.

Creating a job interview  how-to guide  is a perfect way for students to learn how to prepare for a job interview and help other students prepare at the same time.

14. Create a video presentation based on a written assignment

Written assignments are the backbone of a university education (in most disciplines, at least). However, the audience for most written assignments is limited to the professor and assistants. Creating presentation videos for their assignments gives students the opportunity to share their hard work with their fellow students, while also learning valuable video editing skills.

15. Build a video resume

For most students, the job search starts even before graduation. A video resume helps students highlight the skills they acquired and the experience they gained during college. And, given the global workforce, a  video resume is a great supplement to a paper resume, especially when applying for remote or distant positions where an in-person interview may not be an option.

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Biteable has a huge  library of video templates that help students get going fast rather than struggling to start from a blank screen. Drag-and-drop editing and easy to use tools let students focus on what’s important: the project assignment and delivering a thoughtful message.

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51 Creative Video Project Ideas for Students (With Templates)

  • video project ideas

video assignment for students

It’s always a challenge to keep students engaged during classes, especially virtual classes. One of the ways to do this are video projects. Video projects not only make for fun viewing, they also supplement learning. While creating videos with fellow students is a fun activity, it’s not always easy to come up with video project ideas.

So here we bring you some of our favorite creative video project ideas for students. We also share ready-to-use free video templates that you can plug into and start using. Stay tuned till the end and find a bonus section for students on how to make a good video project! Let’s dive in!

A. Video project ideas for elementary students B. Video project ideas for high school students C. Video project ideas for higher education students D. How to make a good video project

Bring your video project ideas to life in minutes

With 3000+ ready-to-use project video templates

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A. Video project ideas for elementary students

Video projects for elementary students are mostly a way for the teachers to ensure comprehension and interest in the classroom. These can also be a good tool to make students think about different topics. Let’s check out some video project ideas for this age group:

1. Summarise a lesson

Get your students to summarise history or literature lessons on video. Have students research major figures and events in history and make videos around these concepts. This gives students the chance to learn digital storytelling as well as thoroughly research important historical figures! For example, check out this video sharing the history of television!

Use This Template

2. Share a talent video

Have students share a video performing a talent! They can share singing, dancing, painting, art, baking, playing an instrument or various such videos. This can be a fun activity where students learn more about their peers. For example, check out this music artist launch promotion video that can be used by students to promote their own music videos .

3. Create a book report video

Instead of traditional book reports, get students to create book reports or trailers for various literature projects. These can be a good way to get students curious about concepts you will be teaching them too! Check out this video book report.

4. Celebrate a holiday

Get students to create videos on their traditional or religious holidays. This is a great way to cultivate curiosity, awareness and tolerance for different ethnicities and cultures. Check out this Christmas facts video as an example.

Use This template

5. Create science experiment videos

Encourage students to create their own slides to explain science experiments and their findings. This way, students start thinking of STEM disciplines in a more analytical, hands on manner. Check out the lesson plan presentation below that can be used to document the objectives and findings of such an experiment.

B. Video project ideas for high school students

Video projects for high school students can be a little more advanced as they are in the process of growing their skills and learning more about different subjects.

1. Create a video portfolio

High school is when students start thinking about college applications. This is a great time to start making a portfolio. Teachers can give students the chance to create a portfolio video and share their unique skills and interests. For example, students interested in engineering and STEM can share their coding or science related know-how. Check out this copywriter portfolio as an example.

2. Create a news show

Students need to know current events, both for their school community and for the world around them. Having a school news show is a way to communicate with the school community of students, teachers, staff, and parents. This can be a group effort that helps students learn the value of teamwork and allocation. Check out this newsreel video you can customise to create your own weekly news show.

Use This Template 

3. Make a video tour of an important location

If students visit a place -- on a field trip, on vacation or any time -- they can share their learning experience with others by recording video of it and narrating as they go. (If they're at a museum or other such places, asking permission first is probably a good idea!) If they can't visit it, creating a video slideshow with InVideo is also an option. Get your students to share video projects on important locations as an assignment. These projects can be themed around festivals , cultural concepts and activities too. For example, check out their Halloween cross country tour slideshow.

4. Share practice records

Learning a language, cooking , music or sports require constant practise. To gauge the progress of each student, you can ask them to record themselves learning to play an instrument or speaking a new language. Students can make video projects of themselves learning or mastering a particular song, key phrases and more. For example, check out this violinist’s progress video.

5. Create an ad or a promotional video for school events 

Get students to make an advertisement or a pitch for a school event. This could include a political ad for class president election, a video resume , or an ad for the latest games or tournaments in the school. Students will need to think about the audience they are trying to reach and the length of the advertisement. For example, check out this match poster video.

6. Promote a good cause

Get students to create a video project promoting a cause they believe in. This helps them build their opinions and develop persuasive skills. Students can share this video with everyone, not just the classroom! For example, here’s a video you can customise to debunk myths around a way of life (going vegan in this case).

C. Video project ideas for higher education students

Post high school, it may seem that video projects aren’t that important. But this is the time when students are most focused on improving skills related to their career. Video projects can thus help students showcase their understanding and interest areas, especially to future employers. So let’s check out some video project ideas for these students.

1. Interview interesting people

The people around us and around the world are living history. Their experiences, information, and advice is a treasure trove waiting to be mined. Get your students to interview individuals from their interest areas or in interesting professions. They could be in-person interviews where both parties sit next to each other or they could be virtual interviews, where someone far away records responses to questions. These interviews can act as learning aids, as well as help students connect with people in their future careers. Check out this video interview on how to approach people for their life stories.

Make your own video highlighting interesting interviews by sharing quotes , testimonials, and more. Check out this testimonial video as an example you can use and customise.

2. Teach a concept via videos

Truly understanding something is the ability to teach it to others. Students can make a video where they are recording themselves completing a task on their computer screen or they can make a demonstration video like a coding class. Teachers and professors could then use these videos to help reinforce skills in your class or even flip some of your lessons. For example, check out this video tutorial on note taking apps.

3. Create a self-assessment video

Being able to assess oneself is an extremely important skill that students need to improve themselves. Self assessment empowers students to become better learners. It also allows them to take an active role in their assessment and push for a grade they feel is unfair - a direct correlation to performance reviews at the workplace! Personalise this testimonial video to create your own self assessment video.

4. Create a video presentation for a written assignment

Written assignments are a staple when it comes to college. But only professors and classmates can view these. Instead, creating a short, promotional video on a written assignment is a great way for students to share their work with more people and learn editing skills at the same time. Check out this digital marketing trends video you can use to create your own video presentations .

5. Create a video resume

For most students, the job hunt begins in college itself. A video resume helps highlight key skills as well as share the student’s personality and attitude with employers. Especially when applying to remote or distant positions, a video resume along with a normal resume provides brownie points. Check out this video resume you can use as a blueprint to create your own.

Leverage the power of video to land your dream job!

Create a PRO video resume in minutes with InVideo

Leverage the power of video to land your dream job!

6. Create a University promotion video

Universities and colleges need as much promotion as they can get. And who better than students to share their experiences and highlights. Get students to create unique videos with their best anecdotes or areas in the university. This is also a good way to get them to research interesting aspects of college life. Check out the University promotional video and make it your own.

D. BONUS: How To Make A Good Video Project

Your school video project can earn you good grades. It is also an opportunity to showcase your creativity. But how to create the perfect video without any error? Video creation may not be your forte, but you still wish to excel in school video projects, right? No worries!

If you have a school video assignment in hand but don’t know where to begin, read below to learn how to create a video project super easy and quick, without any error and fuss. Now, let’s divide your video project into 5 easy steps.

Step 1: Video topic or idea

If you are working on a school assignment, you probably have a video topic given by your teacher or professor. If you are looking for video topic ideas though, find them here .

Step 2: Plan your video assignment

Planning is super important for your videos. This is when you decide how you want to create your video. Consider whether you want to live record your video or create it online using an app or a tool. An online tool like InVideo offers you pre-created templates that might meet your requirements. This is also a super quick and easy way to make your video from scratch. The first thing you need to do is go to InVideo and login or sign up if you wish to use this tool. Next click on the “Pre Made Templates” Option and select the video dimension you want. Finally, type phrases related to your video in the search bar.

InVideo Video Editing Software

You will now see templates related to your search as you scroll below. Simply select the template you want to use and click on the “Use This Template” button to start editing!

Vidoe Editing Templates

If your video idea is to record an event , but you don’t have a DSLR, camcorder or GoPro, use your own smartphone camera for the school project.

Step 3: Prepare a video script

Now that you know how you will record your video, the next step is creating a script for your video. Here’s a step-by-step guide on script writing you can refer to. 

3 questions to ask yourself before you create your script:

- What is the objective of your video? - How long does your video need to be? - Who is the audience that will watch your video?

Step 4: Shoot your video + audio

Once your script is finalized, it’s time to shoot your video. You also need to make sure that you are recording audio to go with your video. Check out this list of equipment and how you can use it to record video and audio. 

Step 5: Edit your video

As mentioned earlier, one of the most effortless ways you can edit your video is using the free, online InVideo editor . This is simple, easy to use, and does not need you to make any downloads. Here’s how you can edit your video on InVideo.

Step 1: Log in to InVideo . Now click on the “Blank Canvas” option and select the dimension of your video. Next, click the “Make A Video” button.

how to edit a video in invideo - step 1

Step 2: Now click on the “Upload Media” button at the left-hand corner of your screen and upload the video you shot.

how to edit a video in invideo - step 2

Step 3: Double click your uploaded video to add it to the timeline. You will now see a pop-up that asks if you wish to trim your video. You can Trim your video or use the full version. Simply click on the “Done” button once you are finished with your trim.

how to edit a video in invideo - step 3

Step 4: You can now use the controls on the right side of the screen to edit your video further.

how to edit a video in invideo - step 4

Step 5: You can apply filters, create transitions between shots for a seamless flow, add subtitles, or insert a logo to give a personal touch to your school video. Just head to the left side of your screen and select the controls you wish to use.

how to edit a video in invideo - step 5

Step 6: Once you are done with your edits, it’s time to download your video. For this click on the “Download & Share” button on the top right. Now click the “Export” video button.

how to edit a video in invideo - step 6

Step 7: Your video will now start to render. You can download it once it’s complete. You can also directly share the video link or share it on social media using the button provided.

how to edit a video in invideo - step 7

Wrapping up

So these were some video project ideas for students and how you can create your own videos on InVideo. If you’ve found value in this article, and are looking for more video ideas, you also want to check out this guide where we’ve put together 200+ video ideas for businesses and brands that you can take further inspiration from. 

For more quick tips and hacks on editing and creating videos, subscribe to our YouTube Channel . 

This post was written by Upasna and edited by Abhilash from Team InVideo

Let’s create superb videos

Video class assignment tips for instructors and students

  • January 31, 2021
  • Alex Martinez
  • Digital Media / Kaltura (Video Management) / WeVideo

This article covers:

  • For instructors
  • For students
  • Getting Started

Team Roles and Responsibility

Stock photos and graphics, video software, video tutorials, affordable and royalty-free audio clips.

Video assignments can be a research-intensive, collaborative, and highly engaging student activity. The video can demonstrate skills, knowledge, and communication strategies. View some student video projects to give you ideas for your next class assignment.

For Instructors

  • Final videos should be between 2-5 minutes. A high quality 5-minute video can take about 5-10 hours to produce.
  • Ensure that the project grade has the appropriate weight.
  • Ensure that students keep you updated with their progress, require them to send you frequent project updates to avoid the project being done at the last minute.
  • Create a “Group Planning” document for your student groups to help them plan, communicate, and organize. Spanish Skits ( ) Chemistry ( ) B2B Marketing ( )  Why Make B2B Videos?
  • For help with video assignments, contact [email protected] to get answers to your questions and support. We can give your students a workshop and a tour of the Digital Media Center.
  • Give your students a few weeks to complete this project. Each week students should submit a progress report to ensure they are on track.
  • Inform students that they can upload their videos into your Canvas course using My Media
  • Create a video assignment in your Canvas course to make.
  • Instruct students to submit their video assignments to make grading fast and easy using the Canvas speed grader tool.
  • Science Communication Rubric
  • Pecha Kucha Rubric (PDF)
  • Infographic Instructor Grading Rubric
  • Multimedia Science Activity Rubric
  • Digital Storytelling Rubric
  • Digital Video Project Rubric
  • B2B Marketing Video Rubric

For Students

  • Tips for students completing video class assignments (PDF)
  • Spanish Skits
  • Chemistry Educational
  • B2B Marketing
  • Take advantage of the DU Digital Media Center ; they have friendly staff and cool video software.
  • Computer Screen Capture:  Jing (Free) and Skitch (Free)
  • Prioritize recording high-quality audio. The further the microphone is from your presenter, the worse your audio quality will be. Recording indoor in quiet spaces or adding a voice-over track are the best options for capturing high-quality audio.
  • Define a clear purpose and outcomes for the video .
  • Establish teams and assign project roles and responsibilities.
  • Research videos online that match your goals and expectations.
  • Produce a video that is visually engaging to your audience. Scenes should be changing every 5-10 seconds.
  • Create a storyboard shoot list and script .
  • Create a project timeline and video team document to keep you organized.
  • Tips for producing class assignment videos, “Before, During and After” .
  • Have weekly team meetings.
  • How to produce a video documentary by Adobe
  • How to share final video securely to only class participants via Canvas Media Gallery
  • Producer: Initiates and coordinates meetings and time management; has a high-level view of the project and timelines
  • Script Writers: Responsible for creating the storyboard and script
  • Researchers: Responsible for researching the topic, fact collecting and citations
  • Videographer/Photographers/Audio Technicians: Responsible for video recording and still photos; ensures good lighting and audio quality
  • Narrators: Provides audio or video commentary
  • Illustrators / graphic artist : Responsible for drawing custom art work
  • Video & Audio Editors: Responsible for video and audio editing software; will edit and share revisions with team members
  • OpenVerse – 6 millions reusable objects
  • Flickr Creative Commons
  • DU Flickr Collection
  • Science Images
  • – video b-roll clips
  • ZOOM: Free video conference for all DU staff and students. Allows you to record your computer screen, webcam, interviews, and microphone. No editing features.
  • Kaltura (Canvas My Media and DU MediaSpace): Free video conference for all DU staff and students. Allows you to record your computer screen, webcam, and microphone. Limited editing features. Kaltura is available within Canvas under My Media and DU MediaSpace .
  • Kaltura Capture allows you to record your computer screen, webcam, and microphone.
  • WeVideo – A web-based video editor designed for non-video professionals that’s easy to use. DU has a few student licenses.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud software : DU Students, staff and faculty members now have access to this suite of Adobe software.
  • iMovie – Mac 
  • Camtasia Studio – Free video editor – 30 day trial for PC and Mac
  • Blender : Free and open source 3D creation suite.
  • PowToon – An online animated video software for both Mac and PC. Not free.
  • Making a digital story video using iMovie
  • Making a digital story video using WeVideo
  • Vimeo Video School
  • Video Story Guide
  • Tips for marketing videos
  • Videvo video clips
  • YouTube Audio Library
  • PartnersInRhyme
  • Incompetech
  • Global Sound Promotion
  • Free Music Archive

The DU Digital Media Center has professional video and audio software for students. They are located in the Anderson Academic Commons and are normally open when the library is open.

Related Articles

Canvas kaltura important updates (4/2/2024), how to access zoom recordings in mediaspace, how to obtain a transcript file when conducting interviews using zoom, kaltura or a phone, kaltura – adding a single video to your canvas course, adding kaltura video on a du drupal page, wevideo tutorials & resources.

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Ten Engaging Video Assignments to Get Your Students Talking

Ten Engaging Video Assignments to Get Your Students Talking

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In the classroom, video means instant engagement, and making video is an increasingly important skill for youngsters to develop. We’ve put together ten exciting assignment ideas that will help elementary and middle school teachers get their students making great video! Parents, feel free to steal these ideas for rainy weekends, too.

Make Video Really Easy For All Students

Not all students will be able to access their own camera equipment. This could be due to their families’ budgets, their age, parental permissions, or some may be a little too shy to be on camera.

Remove obstacles by creating groups to work on each project, and consider setting up a couple different “studios” in the classroom. Then, come up with fun and quiet assignments that groups not actively filming can tackle, like script writing or prop-making, while others get their turn in front of the camera.

An in-class studio could be as simple as a backdrop with a tripod, or more complex depending on your school’s resources and the space you have to work with. If you are able to setup a couple different studios, more than one group could be creating videos at the same time, and, no one will be left out if they can’t get the right equipment.

Basic video equipment is really inexpensive in this day and age, especially for this type of kid-friendly production. A low-cost video camcorder from Amazon would likely suffice, and simple tripods are usually under $50. If you aren’t in a position to purchase equipment, you can always use a smartphone or tablet with a mini-tripod or similar stand, or a laptop with a built-in camera.

Editing the final video together might not be required for all of these project ideas, but it makes sense to check on the availability of video editing programs on school computers to see if it might be possible. iMovie or Windows Movie Maker are both free and easy to use. That way, any particularly inspired students can take their project to the next level if they’d like.

Video Assignments for Elementary School Students

1. task: make a short video reviewing your favorite book..

Objective: Students should record themselves giving a synopsis of the book and sharing what they enjoy about it. Using age-appropriate props, younger children can shoot a scene from the book; older children can direct a scene featuring their friends.

In addition to putting thoughts together coherently, and learning how to write for film (for older students), this task will enable children to be comfortable in front of and behind the camera, and encourage collaborative group work.

2. Task: Make a commercial.

Objective: Take an everyday object – an apple, pen, table, lunchbox – and ask students to make a commercial trying to sell it. They should put together a script, create a jingle, and design a brand logo as well as filming the advert.

Depending on the age of your students, they could work together. Ask each member of the group to take responsibility for a different element of the video. This is an effective task at showing students the power of persuasive writing, and how to work effectively in a team, as well as the objective behind advertising.

3. Task: Create a video tour of the school for new students.

Objective: Pupils can share their school experience with new students by recording and narrating it. They should interview teachers and other students, as well as showing their classmates using the school’s facilities (outdoor play area, pool, computer room). In addition to learning filming and editing skills, this task enables students to hone interviewing and communication skills.

4. Task: Exchange video messages with other schools.

Objective: Students from a partnering elementary school exchange short videos with your class that explain what life is like at their school, or another agreed-upon topic. The idea would be to generate interest in another culture, or to introduce students from a far-flung part of the USA. Not only would this type of exchange expand their horizons, but it would help develop their story-telling abilities, too.

5. Task: Explain how to make your favorite food.

Objective: Have students make a short video about their favorite food, or a special family recipe. Use creativity for those who aren’t able to do any filming at home. For instance, have them bring in some of their favorite food to share, or use animated pictures instead of actual footage.

As an alternative, assign students to different meal groups, like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then, have them work on the assignment in teams. This assignment will help students get to know and appreciate other food cultures, while also having a really fun time.

Video Assignments for Middle School Students

6. task: create vocabulary vines..

Objective: Show a word on paper (perhaps a student could be filmed writing it), then record a visual representation of the term. Each short video should be shared with the whole class so students can easily access them. This is also a great exercise for foreign language classes.

Although Vine may no longer exist as a platform, short videos are still a great way to promote learning.

7. Task: Make a two-minute video assignment about your hobby.

Objective: The student will learn to operate a video camera (or the video function on their smartphone or tablet), grab copyright free clips from the web, and edit footage.

Part of the challenge will be to adhere to the two-minute time limit. Older students can be taught how to use industry-standard editing software. Whatever level they are at, students will respond positively to being given free rein to get creative and produce original content about a topic that interests them.

8. Task: Create a video dialogue with a famous historical character.

Objective: Using the split screen effect, the student should record themselves in conversation with someone the class has been studying in history. They will enjoy dressing up and getting into character for this task!

This video assignment challenges the student to demonstrate a deep understanding of the psyche and motivations of an historical personage. Note: this assignment also works well as a conversation between the student and a character from the book the class are studying.

9. Task: Film your science lab project.

Objective: Film a project from start to end, hypothesis to conclusion. Students should show footage of the experiment being set up, carried out, and concluded. They should add a voiceover explaining what’s happening and why in each shot.

This assignment is two-fold. In addition to demonstrating their understanding of the relevant scientific principles, students will hone their filming and editing skills.

10. Task: Give your own TED Talk.

Objective: Show students an age-appropriate TED Talk that’s relevant to a topic they’re studying in your class. They should use it as a basis to put together their own presentation on that subject area. Encourage them to use visual aids and to adapt an engaging mode of presenting, just like the TED speakers. A cameo from friends, family members, or even pets makes for a great video!

For demonstrating to students that a ‘talk’ is more than just talking, we recommend showing them the following TED videos: The Shared Experience of Absurdity, The New Bionics that Let Us Run, Climb and Dance, and Einstein the Parrot.

Secure Sharing

For sharing the video, it’s important to be sensitive to the privacy of the children participating. Consider sharing the video with a password or with login protection to make sure only the participants, or their parents, can view it.

Make sure you can track viewers at a very granular level. For instance, video engagement metrics enable you to check that only approved viewers are accessing your content.

If you need a website for sharing your students’ videos, we even have that covered. Each SproutVideo account comes with a customizable video website that you can configure to your specifications.

With SproutVideo, you’ll get the best live and on-demand video hosting platform for business. Start your free 30-day trial today and get unlimited access to all our features.

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video assignment for students

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video assignment for students

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'Watch-Think-Write' and Other Proven Strategies for Using Video in the Classroom

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video assignment for students

One of the first things I added to my teacher tool kit during my first few years of teaching was video. As a science middle school teacher, I saw using documentaries as an effective strategy. After all, the interviewees and talking heads presented in videos are experts in their field, often working with cutting-edge tools that I could only dream of using. They also often had animations and visualizations that helped clarify ideas. Not only that, but by showing those documentaries, my students and I could  journey to places we’d never be able to go. In those early days, my planning time was often spent finding that “perfect” video that I could simply plug in, play and be done with the lesson.

I soon realized, however, that there was a problem with this approach. First, my students would often see this time as simply a form of entertainment. They would enter what I started calling “TV mode,” and instead of focusing on the content that I was so excited to show them, they would focus on the expert’s accent or on the cuteness of the animals showcased. Second, the plug and play approach limited my sources of video to documentaries and educational shows. Although these are rich source of information, I also saw opportunities in YouTube videos and commercial films. I remember watching Spiderman and thinking how great it would be to show the movie and discuss the different chase scenes in terms of Newton’s Laws of Motion. Although the idea sounded great, I also knew that I would not be able to explain to my administration and parents the use of this commercial movie as an educational experience. Never mind that it would, for sure, be seen as mere entertainment by my students. I needed ways to be able to circumvent these problems and use videos effectively.

As I continued on my journey, I finally understood that the key to using video effectively in the classroom is preparation. I could maximize the learning opportunities videos offer by encouraging students to become active viewers using a few simple tools and strategies.

Preparing the video:

  • Preview the video. It goes without saying, but you do have to watch the full clip that you’re interested in showing and make sure that, as you watch it, you are thinking about your specific students. Whether your selection comes from YouTube or PBS, you do not want to be surprised by inappropriate content or material that is way above the students’ maturity level. I learned this one the hard way while showing National Geographic’s “The Human Footprint.” As I was previewing I had my “teacher hat” on and failed to recognize that the section on Cleansing and Beauty Products would get my students tittering about the girl in the shower. Nothing is actually shown or inappropriate, but just the idea was enough to derail my middle schoolers!
  • Edit the video. Cut the video into smaller sections, showing only what you need. Vibby allows you to break up a video into highlighted sections. Once you click play, the “vib” will play the highlights and skip over whatever was not highlighted. You can also add comments, which makes it easy to provide students with specific focus points. (I have used Vibby to show clips of commercial action films to explain motion and forces concepts to my 8th graders, engaging them immediately because they recognize the scenes, often leading to discussions of how these films misrepresent the laws of physics.)
  • Insert pointed questions, comments and commentaries. I often insert the questions I want to pose to the class, using either Edpuzzle and PlayPosIt . Both tools work similarly, allowing you to add different question types (multiple choice, short answer, etc.) as well as comments and audio commentaries. The video automatically stops at question points, allowing for a more seamless discussion. Here is an example I use when discussing biogeochemical cycles in my 7th grade class.
  • Prepare guided notes . As you are previewing the video, think about  the key points and concepts you want your students to learn. Create your guided notes, leaving blanks for the information you want the students to write down.

One thing I’ve discovered is that it is also relatively easy to create your own videos using tools like screencast-o-matic or screencastify . In fact, a couple of years ago, as I was working with Better Lesson (a lesson plan and curriculum resource site), I did just that. I started by creating a screencast of myself teaching the concept. Then I Edpuzzled it and prepared my guided notes . I invite you to see the lesson in action at Better Lesson – Cladistics .

Before viewing:

  • Activate prior knowledge. To do this, I usually use a simple quick write, a chain note or a turn and talk. I want my students to start thinking about what they already know about the subject, which helps them make connections between the video and the content already explored.
  • Give a purpose for watching. State it clearly: “As you watch, pay attention to….” “You are looking for …” or “After watching you will ….” In my experience, this is the most important part of using videos effectively. Giving a purpose for watching almost guarantees that the students will not enter the “TV mode” I mentioned earlier, and, instead, will focus their attention on what you want them to learn from the video.

During viewing:

  • Pause often. Even when I decide not to embed questions or comments during the preparation phase, I find that it is important to pause the video to allow processing of the information,to address questions and facilitate discussions prompted by the video. I came upon this practice quite by accident one day after presenting a two-hour documentary on DNA (Cracking the Code). Some of the content was a little too much for my 7th graders, so I found myself pausing often to explain the finer details. Eventually, the students themselves started asking me to stop because they did not understand something. As I reflected on the day, I and chastising myself for “all the time wasted” that kept me  from moving  to  my next plan, I  realized that we had, in fact, covered what I wanted, and more! Not only that, but the kids had not even entered “TV mode.” The simple act of pausing had made the use of this video a more engaging and effective tool.
  • Watch: Students watch the segment. No writing allowed.
  • Think: The whole class or table group discuss the segment. No writing allowed. (The time given for this is adjusted depending of the class and content.)
  • Write: Students are able to include the new information in their guided notes, and even summarize or pose new questions to address.

After viewing:

Once I had all the previous elements more or less in place, I found there were still times that “TV mode” reared its ugly head. That’s when I understood that even with all the video preparation, I still needed to provide a way for my students to  go beyond the guided notes they took. Here are some of the things that have worked for me:

  • Turn and talk. Students can discuss key points in partnerships, using their guided notes as a way to explain the content to each other.
  • Learning event. Using a “Did you know…?” format, students can create short sound bites to share with the class or with other classes.
  • Concept maps. Students can create concept maps based on prior knowledge and new ideas gleaned from the video segments.
  • Problem solvers. Students use information from the video to answer a question or solve a problem.
  • Video curators. Students find a video clip that explains a specific key point not clearly discussed in the original video presented, and share it with the class.
  • Video creators. Using the segment presented as a model, students develop their own educational videos or documentaries.

I still believe that using videos is a great way to engage students, and I continue to find myself looking for “perfect” videos. However, now that I have understood that there is a big difference between playing a movie and using videos as a teaching tool, I am a lot more strategic when including them. It does take some work, but your students and classroom will reap the benefits. Do you have other tools or tips to share? I would love to know about them.

Editor’s Note:

If you want to learn more about how to use media effectively in your classroom, take our free, online course  Using Media as Core Text  on  KQED Teach .

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15 video project ideas for students (that teachers will love too)

15 video ideas for school that kids will love, 1. record an interview with a famous historical figure, 2. make a stop-motion animated scene, 3. cover the latest news and current events, 4. make a video portfolio, 5. make a how-to video, 6. film a behind-the-scenes video, 7. create a day-in-the-life of your class video, 8. make a cool montage video, 9. recreate a moment in history, 10. film a science experiment, 11. create a video book report, 12. film a video tour, 13. create a video time capsule, 14. make an instructional video of your favorite hobbies, 15. edit each other's videos, summary: school's out – let's make some videos.

Going Digital | Creating a Video Assignment

  • Designing the Assignment
  • Digital Intensive SLOs

The Basics #

A video assignment is a great way to get your students thinking about your course content a little differently. A project like this can be designed as a standalone assignment or incorporated as part of a group project, in-class presentation, or research project.

1. What is a video assignment? 

A video assignment is any project that asks a student to film themselves or another subject. Video submissions can be the entirety of an assignment, or they can be a one part of a larger assignment. These projects can range from a simple, one-shot recording of an oral presentation to more complex projects requiring multiple camera shots edited together.

2. Why might you want to create a video assignment?

  • An option for creating AI-resistant assignments
  • Gives students options to demonstrate proficiency (a core tenet of Universal Design for Learning )
  • Helps with classroom engagement and community-building
  • Gives students experience with digital tools
  • Builds oral communication skills
  • Can be a step towards creating a Digital Intensive course

3. What kind of assignments can this replace or supplement? 

  • Research Projects
  • Journals 
  • In-Class Presentations
  • Discussion Boards
  • Group Projects

Designing the Assignment #

Whether you are designing the assignment from the ground up or converting an existing assignment, the steps below can help you think through framing, building, and grading the project.

1. Decide on goals

Student outcomes.

The goals of an assignment can vary greatly, depending on what you hope your students will get out of the project. A few common outcome objectives for this type of assignment are:

  • Demonstrate understanding of course content
  • Synthesize concepts to create new information
  • Practice communicating information clearly
  • Practice research and citation
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency with video production tools

All are valid goals, and being clear about how much priority you assign to each one will help in designing the assignment (and ultimately your grading criteria).

If you are creating this assignment to be a large final project or other large assignment, you may want to break it down into smaller parts with due dates for each (much like a research paper). Some possible steps are:

  • Topic selection 
  • Source selection 
  • Script draft and/or shot list
  • Assembly edit/rough cut
  • Final video

Smaller projects, such as weekly unedited “confessional-style” reflections, may need fewer steps but the end product will likely be less polished.

Project Format

The goals and scale you determine will inform what format the project will take. You may want your students’ videos to be recorded versions of an oral presentation, or perhaps you want them to create a polished, edited video. There are different considerations for each, listed below from least to most complex.

Vlogs & Discussion Board Videos

One or two-minute videos are a great replacement for weekly reflection assignments or discussion board posts. There are even tools designed specifically for this, such as Flip (formerly Flipgrid).

  • Usually unedited or minimally edited
  • Can have the same expectations you would have for a written reflection or board post
  • Great for building community, especially in online classes
  • Tools like Flip can be integrated into any Canvas course

Recorded Presentation

Recorded presentations are usually single-take videos of what might otherwise be a standard in-class presentation.

  • Usually unedited or minimally edited (may just clean up the start and end)
  • May include PowerPoint or other visual aids
  • May or may not include camera/webcam footage
  • Can usually be accomplished with a standard laptop, Chromebook, or iPad

Fully-Produced Video

Fully-produced videos are edited together from many different camera shots or video clips. These are the most complex video projects and can be very time-intensive.

  • Editing takes time! Unlike one-take recorded presentations, students will need to budget extra time after the recording phase to edit their videos
  • A time limit may be helpful for these projects. Shorter videos require students to practice concision
  • Quality equipment is key. While filming on a phone can produce great video, encourage students to try external microphones if they are capturing video outside or in an uncontrolled environment

2. Recommend resources

Some students may already have tools they prefer, while others will have no prior experience with these tools. Unless you have a specific reason, there’s no need to require use of a certain tool, but it’s a good idea to offer your students some options. Below are a few we suggest.

Recording Tools

No amount of post-production editing can beat recording high-quality audio and video from the start! Often a computer microphone or standard earbuds will do just fine, but encourage your students to make a test recording using the equipment they intend to use. This way they can identify whether their current equipment will be sufficient for the project before making a long recording that they have to throw out for poor quality.

If students need or want higher-quality equipment, they can use the following resources:

HCC Info Desk Equipment Checkout

The HCC offers cameras, microphones, tripods, and audio recorders for free checkout at the Info Desk on the second floor.

HCC Vocal Booth, Charnoff Production Studio, & Mini Studio

The HCC has spaces designed for audio recording and editing. The Vocal Booth and Mini Studio are both on the 1st floor and open 24 hours. The Vocal Booth includes a camera and microphone, while the Mini Studio requires students to bring their own equipment (though cameras, microphones, and tripods can be checked out from the Info Desk upstairs). The Charnoff Production studio includes three HD camera and a wrap-around green screen, and requires training through the DKC before use.

Video Production Software

Zoom is a great, simple way to film recorded presentations. Students can start a Zoom meeting, share screen to show their visual aids, and record the meeting to their computer.

Microsoft PowerPoint

After creating a slideshow in PowerPoint, students have the option to record themselves presenting it. They can record audio, webcam video, and PowerPoint slides in a simple one-stop solution.

Note that this feature is only available in the desktop (downloaded) version of PowerPoint. Video recording is not available with PowerPoint on the web. Students, faculty, and staff can download Office products for free as part of their UMW Microsoft 365 account .

See this  Microsoft PowerPoint recording guide  for more info.

YouTube Studio Editor

The YouTube Studio Editor allows users to make basic cuts to a presentation. It does  not  allow adding other video clips, graphics, or audio tracks. This is a great solution if you are asking students to share videos on YouTube and want them to make only basic edits, like trimming the start and end of their video.

A free browser-based tool made primarily for graphic design, but it is a surprisingly agile simple video editor. Canva includes a large library of photo, audio, and video elements that can be used to in video projects, but students must be careful to avoid premium assets that require purchase.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe tools like Premiere and After Effects may be overwhelming for beginners, but have many features that can help a project shine. All Adobe Creative Cloud apps are available via AppsAnywere , UMW’s virtual computer lab.

Video Editing Hardware

With so many browser-based tools for graphic design, students can accomplish simple video projects with a basic laptop, Chromebook, or even a phone! But if students want or need more powerful hardware, there are several options available to them.

HCC Computer Workstations

The Hurley Convergence Center contains computers throughout the building that can be used for graphic design projects. The HCC is open 24/7 to students with an EagleOne swipe.

Digital Knowledge Center

The Digital Knowledge Center has several computers with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, including two Surface Studios that can fold down to become large drawing tablets.

HCC Computer Loan

The HCC Info Desk loans PC and Mac laptops to students for up to six days.

3. Offer support

Make sure your students are aware that they have many options for support for digital assignments (they don’t have to always come to you!).

DKC Class Visits

Consider having the Digital Knowledge Center visit your class to introduce tools and best practices for your assignment. This can go a long way in helping your students get off on the right foot. Visits can be tailored to the needs of your class.

DKC Appointments

If students run into issues, they can book appointments with a Digital Knowledge Center consultant to help get them unstuck.

DKC Online Guides

The Digital Knowledge Center maintains online guides on many tools for digital projects, including “Getting Started” best practices for audio, video, graphic design, and website-building projects.

4. Consider Accessibility 

It is important to consider accessibility in any digital project. Since videos are a visual medium, providing the information in alternative formats is essential. Here are a few methods to accomplish this:

Provide a written outline of information

Additional written context can help people with visual impairments understand the content of a video. Consider asking students to share an outline or transcript as part of the project, either beforehand (so you can make sure they are on the right track) or alongside the project.

Closed Captions

Closed captions are the text version of an audio presentation that appears on the screen during a presentation. Closed captions communicate all audio that is essential context, including music, sounds, and other non-speech elements of the presentation. Closed Captions help hearing-impaired individuals engage with content and are useful for everyone as hearing the information and seeing it in the text at the same time fosters a deeper understanding of the material.

Tip:  YouTube provides automatically-generated closed captions for every video uploaded, but these auto-captions always need a bit of clean-up to be accurate.

5. Determine Grading Criteria

Many of the grading criteria you might use for a “traditional” project still hold true for a digital assignment. If you already have criteria you are comfortable with, great! If you are unsure how to go about grading a video project, below are some guiding questions that may help you build a rubric for an assignment.

Guiding Questions

  • Does the student address the prompt and fulfill the assignment effectively?
  • Does the student think creatively?
  • Does the student clearly state their argument, or thesis?
  • Do the visual elements facilitate communication of the thesis?
  • Has the student cited sources? Are sources high-quality and support the thesis?
  • Is the video high-quality (not grainy or distorted)? Perhaps more importantly, is audio clear and understandable?
  • Does the student use graphics, sound clips, or video clips that are royalty free or open-license? Does the student credit the creator?
  • Has the student included accurate closed captions or otherwise endeavored to make the project accessible?

6. Determine Submission Method

There is no “wrong” way to receive assignment submissions, so choose the one that works best for your learning objectives. Below are a few options.

Canvas Assignment

Canvas is a great submission option if you just want to receive the files directly. You can set the assignment submission type to “File Upload,” and students can upload their video file and supporting documentation all at once.

Keep in mind that Canvas has a 500mb upload limit for individual media files, as well as a 1gb total storage limit for each course. Very long videos may exceed the individual limit, and only graded assignments bypass your Canvas storage quota. If you accept video files as part of an ungraded assignment or discussion board, you will quickly exceed the size limits on your Canvas course.

If your project includes long videos, or you want your students to get experience with other sharing platforms, YouTube is a good option. However, since it is a public platform, students must be careful to set the privacy settings for their videos correctly. Unless you want your videos to be available to anyone on the internet, most videos should be set to “Unlisted.” Students can then share the video link with you in Canvas, or embed the YouTube video into a blog post or website.

See our  YouTube Basics Step-by-Step  guide for more info on creating a YouTube account, uploading a video, adjusting privacy settings, and sharing videos.

Flip (formerly Flipgrid)

Flip is a video discussion platform that can be set up as your classroom’s video repository. Flip is designed primarily to record and share short discussion-post style videos, but it can be used to store uploaded videos as well.

Flip is owned by Microsoft, so it can be accessed using your UMW email address and password. See the Flip Educator Toolkit for more tips on setting up and using the platform.

Alternatively, if you are interested in having your students think about their work as having life outside of your class, embedding their video in a blog post is a great option. This gives students the experience of creating an video as part of a larger piece, such as a news article, research project, or journal.

Keep in mind that web servers have file size limits, however. If students are using Domain of One’s Own, their default limit is 1gb. If you choose this method of submission, you may want to also have your students upload videos to YouTube so that they can embed the YouTube video rather than post the file directly on a web site.

Digital Intensive SLOs #

Each Digital Intensive proposal is considered by the DI committee on a case-by-case basis, so there is no “guaranteed” method to acquire the designation. But below are few examples that may help a podcasting assignment address the DI Student Learning Objectives.

These are just a few options – there are countless ways to accomplish the DI objectives. And remember that a single assignment does not need to address every SLO! A video assignment could address some, while other assignments could address others.

Students will successfully locate and critically evaluate information using the Internet, library databases, and/or other digital tools.

  • Require students to share sources for the claims made in their videos
  • Use the SIFT Method or other criteria to evaluate an online source’s credibility

Students will use digital tools to safely, ethically, and effectively produce and exchange information and ideas. 

  • Converting a written assignment to a video assignment goes a long way to addressing this SLO
  • Require a written summary, closed captions, and attribution for any pre-made assets used as part the project

Students will creatively adapt to emerging and evolving technology. 

  • Instead of requiring a specific tool to create their video, ask students to evaluate several and select the one that best fits their needs
  • Instead of submitting a file in Canvas, ask students to build a public web site using Domain of One’s Own or Sites@UMW to post their video

Resources #

Liberated learners – video production.

A great resource to share with your students! This walks through the video production process from start to finish.

How (and why) to use video assignments in alternative grading

Dkc presentation & recording guides.

The Digital Knowledge Center maintains getting-started guides, tool recommendations, and repositories of free media resources for various digital project types.

YouTube Basics Step-by-Step

If you are having students sign up for YouTube accounts (or want to sign up for one yourself), this guide walks through the process of creating an account and getting started with sharing videos.

Project Resources

Free umw resources.

A list of tools and services available to UMW students that can help with digital projects.

Free Media Resources

A repository of online sources for copyright and royalty-free stock photos, video, and audio that students can incorporate into their projects.

Cartland Berge’s 60 Second Pilot Project

A project designed to help students practice producing a short video from start to finish: planning, scripting, filming, editing, captioning, and sharing.

Dr. Jeff McClurken’s US History in Film Course

The final research project for this course is a 1,500-2,500 written analysis of a historical film, along with a 3-5 minute video analysis. Projects are published on the open web using Domain of One’s Own. Example Video

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How and Why Educators are Including Video Assignments in their Courses

Educators in all fields, from theatre to architecture to food science, and even math , are starting to see how students can use their phones to make video and engage more strongly with what they're learning. Students make creative or explanatory videos, or just film themselves practicing the skills they’re learning.

With the disruptions everyone has experienced during the COVID crisis of 2020, video assignments may be even more powerful tools for keeping students engaged and promoting the social aspect of learning, even remotely.

As the technology gets more accessible and easier to use, more and more instructors have been turning toward student video projects as rich new form of evaluation and some are event favoring it over more traditional written assignments. Even the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Council of Teachers of English have added standards emphasizing the need to foster creativity by going beyond text to have students use other media in their learning activities and assignments (Morgan, 2012). Students, too, are usually prouder of what they’ve accomplished and say their learning experience was deeper when they make a video rather than handing in text.

So with the combination of high-quality video cameras on smartphones and cloud video sharing, we’re set to see an explosion of video and audio assignments in every discipline . It’s suddenly practical - easy in fact - for students to record and edit video. And it's a whole lot easier to submit the video so that teachers can give feedback and grades. 

Kirkland (2006) offers a diverse list of video-making assignment project, including:

  • Documentary
  • Presentation
  • Skills Demonstration
  • Public Service Announcements
  • News Reports
  • Dramatization
  • A Mashup of Clips

Videos can be much more than a student presenting or explaining the content they are supposed to master. They can be vehicles for creativity, for learning teamwork and project management, and the production will increasingly be an employment-relevant skill.

For example, here's the introduction to a video assignment from a course at the University of British Columbia's School of Population and Public Health: " Do younger Canadians need a movement to promote their social determinants of health? Design a short creative video to answer this question."

In contrast to a typical in-class presentation that vanishes into thin air with little feedback, video assignments can be powerful learning tools for students as a persuasive visual argument requires deep, iterative conceptual and rhetorical thinking. Not only is it necessary for the student to synthesize various sources on the subject content, but she must also write it down as a script, read it, decide who to interview or record, and then create a video, requiring time spent filming and editing. All of those separate cognitive activities engage with the topic in different ways, stimulating creative and analytic work. Additionally, student created videos place students on display, and as such, students make a greater effort to master the subject content so as to avoid embarrassment in front of their peers. So students get to practice and demonstrate their grasp of key course concepts, but student-made video also promotes creativity and individuality, basically eliminating concerns about plagiarism.

A great deal of research reveals students themselves find video projects to be more beneficial to their own understanding and mastery of subject material. One study by Greene and Crespi (2012) looked at the perceived value of student-created videos as a tool for enhancing the student learning experience. Their data came from an accounting and a marketing course at a state university. 

Each course assigned its students a video project to assess their mastery of the material. The survey data gathered from the students who created the videos revealed that students found such projects “creative, unique and educational.” Moreover, the students who watched the creative projects said “the videos were extremely helpful, put a fun twist on learning experiences, a very good way to review material while helping others to understand the material, interesting to see the material learned in a video format, were a good learning experience, and a simple way to remember/learn the material.”

However, while these assignments are fun and provide academic benefits, they can also be frustrating for both students and instructors if students plan poorly, are not trained and supported with technology, or are confused about the purpose of the assignment. As noted by Kearney and Shuck (2006) , a gap exists in assessing learning outcomes for student created videos. This new form of learning activity brings with it challenges for teachers: What sort of guidelines should you set for video assignments? How do you make sure they are implemented effectively?

Asessment of Video Assignments

One of the most challenging aspects of assigning student made video assignments is designing a fair grading rubric that simultaneously helps students know what steps to take but doesn't quash their creativity. Video presentations are by their nature individually unique and the feedback on and grading of each assignment could therefore be quite arbitrary. It's critical that instructors set proper expectations for students so that they have sufficient understanding of the key items to focus on. Teachers will also have to have structured, regular check-ins with students. Ideally, the assignment will be graded in stages, allowing rich feedback (possibly on draft videos themselves with a tool like WeVu). 

A basic video assignment rubric will contain some of the following elements:

  • An 'elevator pitch' that can be delivered as text or as a 30 second video. This is a good place to start, and it can be continually refined as the project evolves. 
  • Storyboard. A sketch of each scene or phase of the video. This can be done on slides (powerpoint, google slides, etc.) or just as an outline document. The storyboard should be the main planning document and it needs to be able to be shared with teachers for feedback.
  • Script. The script must be suitable for the topic, the assumed audience, and for the time available. Script editing should be a major component of the project.
  • Selection of content. Students must be encouraged to generate lots of ideas, ruthlessly abandon lots of them, and sequence the content in a persuasive or engaging way.
  • Technical production value. Students need to be assured they don't need to make a perfect video. They should be warned not to spend hours on little transitions or super-precise editing. But they should be directed to consider some of the key elements of production value, including distance and depth of shots, variation in perspective and length of scenes, audio quality, voice-over video, captions or text, and so on. 
  • Teamwork and Project Management. Assignments will often be group assignments. Give students a recommended or required structure for their collaboration, including what technologies they should use. Consider a part of the grade devoted to their project management, in which case the teacher needs visibility into the team digital space (Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, probably) and/or the students should journal or log their work, task by task, with task assignments, due dates, and task statuses.

The Open Thinking blog has a good set of ideas for educators wanting to start using video assignments. And here’s a simple example of one from a Cognitive Psychology class:

Feedback. Learning during production and learning from production of video assignments.

Teachers face another learning curve as they try to provide effective feedback helps students really learn and do better work next time.  One problem is that the videos usually sit outside a school's online learning platform or the feedback is given as a separate text commentary, just like students get on the papers they hand in. The technology is just starting to catch up to what educators are doing — platforms like give students and teachers a place to share video without making it public, get peer feedback if desired, and get all the feedback on the timeline of the video, just like we’ve always done with comments in the margins of what we write. The videos can then be made public, without the comments, when they're done.

Video assignments are increasingly common and pedagogically powerful, but they need preparation and technology to succeed.

P.S. Here’s a nice short guide from Wired on how to make a film with a phone.

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8 Ways to Help Students Watch Video Critically (Instead of Zoning Out)

Because classroom “movie day” doesn’t mean turn off your brain.

Teacher Helping Student on iPad – 8 Ways to Help Students Watch Video Critically

Learn more about teaching critical video viewing at Common Sense .

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The old classroom stereotype is that when a teacher cues up a video, it’s zone-out time on the part of the teacher and the student. Not so anymore! There is so much great video content available, and it has never been more accessible. But there is a fine art to using video in the classroom in order to maximize comprehension and develop critical-thinking skills in your students. The goal is for kids to be engaged, active viewers. Students should understand the videos they watch and be able to formulate opinions about the content. As for teachers, it may take a bit of additional prep time, but these eight tips will help set the scene for a blockbuster learning experience.

1. Choose wisely.

Make sure that the video resources you choose are relevant, specific to the topic you’re teaching and engaging. No kid wants to sit through 20 minutes of a boring movie for one minute of crucial information. A good rule of thumb to follow is to use high-quality, high-interest video from a trusted source. In addition, make sure the video is accessible for all of your students. Consider making written transcripts or using closed captioning if it is available. If you have English-language learners in your class, review vocabulary before viewing.

2. Keep it brief.

There has been much research conducted that shows the average adult attention span lasts anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes. For kids and teens, it’s even shorter. So it’s a good idea to keep educational videos brief. If you can, crop and edit content to highlight the most relevant pieces. By showing one or two short sequences, you will actually cover more ground, in more depth, than showing a longer sequence without a break.

3. Set the stage.

Before the viewing, introduce the video by giving a brief synopsis of what they are about to view. Lay out the purpose for watching it and highlight specific information you want them to look for as they watch. This will up the engagement and get your students invested in the topic before the film even rolls. Most importantly, formulate an essential question that you want your students to focus on. Write it on the board. Have them write it in their journals or on a note-catcher. In order for them to be successful, you’ve got to give them something to grab onto.

4. Create accountability.

Make it clear to your students that during the video, their role is not to sit back and relax, chat with their neighbor or check their phone. Set the expectation that while the video is rolling, they will have work to do.

One technique to try is called WSQ (pronounced “whisk”), developed by teacher-blogger Crystal Kirch. The three tasks involved are:

  • W atch: Students take notes while they watch the video. Keep in mind that this is a highly developed skill, so be sure to provide enough structure and support around this task. Use a note outline that is pre-populated with some content, laid out in the order of the video. Or use a graphic organizer like this video/audio response sheet.
  • S ummarize: Asking students to write a brief summary after viewing will reveal whether or not they understood what they watched. If not, some partner work or a class discussion is in order, or perhaps even a second viewing.
  • Q uestion: After viewing, students write a question about the video. Check out Kirch’s blog for guidance on three types of questioning.

Inner-city high school teacher and best-selling education author Larry Ferlazzo recommends using this student question and answer sheet , particularly with English-language learners. Before the video, students make two predictions based on the video title. After viewing the video, they report whether their predictions were correct or not. Then, they each compose three questions about the video. Students swap questions and grade one another’s responses.

5. Use a back-channel tool.

A back-channel tool is an online discussion board that runs concurrently with a face-to-face activity. Tools like TodaysMeet, Chatzy and even Twitter provide students with an outlet to engage in conversation while watching the video together. Kids can react to the video and to other students’ comments, and the teacher can introduce deeper questions as the conversation unfolds.

For more tips on using tech to get the most out of video, check out this page on Common Sense Education , including the Cheat Sheet.

6. Pause and interact.

Keep students focused by peppering in moments to pause the video and ask purposeful questions. Make them fact-based questions aimed at comprehension and make sure your queries always point back to the essential question established in the preview. You can also pause the video at a suspenseful point and have students make predictions or form hypotheses. This will help them be invested because they will want to see how it turns out.

7. Take time after the video to reflect.

A well-chosen video is a great resource for stimulating a structured discussion, and it can make more efficient use of classroom time. Divide students into two- or three-person groups to answer discussion questions. Or create a whole-class summary by calling on students one at a time to retell a section of the video (in chronological order) from their notes.

8. Rewind and watch it again.

Multiple viewings are key to comprehension, but most teachers will admit that students don’t always like revisiting something they’ve already spent time on. One way to tackle this is to assign a project, ideally something creative, that requires multiple viewings in order to rehash the details. This assignment should challenge your students to think critically and synthesize what they have learned. For example, students could create a poster or mini-book. Or they could reenact the video as a play. Older students could use online tech tools to annotate or even remix the video by adding notes, changing the dialogue or creating a mash-up.

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Working with Video (Kaltura, Canvas, Zoom, and PowerPoint)

Creating a Video Submission Assignment

It’s easy to create an assignment, either using the Canvas Assignment tool or the Discussion tool, where students can submit a video to you directly or share it with the class. Examples of assignments using student video include class introductions, student individual and group presentations, “on-location” reporting such as visiting a particular type of location or event, interview assignments or role-plays with pairs of students, or demonstrating a procedure or activity.

Setting up an assignment that students submit to you (Canvas Assignment tool)

Using the Canvas Assignment tool, you set up the assignment as you would any other assignment just making sure to set the Submission Type to Text Entry . Even though Media Recording and File Upload seem like more obvious options, using Text Entry, allows students to use Kaltura to submit their video which will create a better experience for you when you are grading them. Using Kaltura, you can control the playback speed, see the video in full-screen, and, if you instruct students to edit their automatically generated captions , view the closed captions for the video.

video assignment for students

Setting up an assignment where students share their video with the class

If you want other students to see the video as well and provide peer feedback, you can set up your assignment using either Canvas Discussions or Kaltura Media Gallery.  There are pros and cons to both methods.

The Canvas Discussions tool

  • allows you and your students to easily refer to other videos and comments within the discussion,
  • lets you  use SpeedGrader to be able to see all of a single students posts in one place
  • can take a long time to load a full discussion, especially on a slow or spotty internet connection

The Kaltura Media Gallery tool

  • allows you and your students to make comments at a specific point on any given video
  • uses less bandwidth since you are loading a single video at a time
  • does not provide a way to see all comments for a particular student in one place.

Using the Discussion tool

To use the Discussion tool, you can create the assignment just as you would for any other discussion. There is nothing different in the setup process as students can embed video in discussions by default. If you are wanting students to post a video in a group discussion , please see Video in Canvas group discussions . The integrated Kaltura tools are not available in group discussions but there is a work-around. If you do not have any students who require captions, and if you and your students are comfortable with their videos being stored on an Amazon Web Server where they cannot find and delete them, they can use the native Canvas Add/Embed video tool instead. Alternatively, you can use VoiceThread for video-based discussions in small groups.

Using Kaltura Media Gallery

If you have not already done so, the first step is to enable Kaltura Media Gallery in your course navigation .

To use Kaltura Media Gallery, you would create an assignment in the Assignment tool with the submission type being “no submission” and provide instructions for students to submit their video by sharing it with the course Kaltura Media Gallery. The instructions should include the specific naming convention you would like students to use for their video (i.e. their name, the assignment name, etc.) and anything that you would like them to add to the video description (i.e. anything that you would normally have them add in a discussion post).

Media Gallery Settings

video assignment for students

Setting up an assignment where students submit their video to you only

Submitting a video assignment.

Make sure to provide students with instructions on submitting a video. You can’t assume that your students know how to do this already. Please feel free to share the links to the appropriate instructions below with your students.

  • Embedding a video in a text editor box in Canvas
  • Adding a Video to Kaltura Media Gallery

Creating a video for an assignment

  • Personal video in discussions and assignments using Kaltura Express Capture
  • Submitting a previously recorded video (useful for recording with a mobile device)
  • Recording an individual presentation with Kaltura Personal Capture
  • Recording an individual or group presentation with Zoom
  • Recording an individual or group presentation with PowerPoint 365 or 2019
  • Video in Canvas group discussions

Click Next in the red bar below to continue to the instructions for students.

A Canvas Semester Checklist Copyright © by Trustees of Indiana University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Teaching Entrepreneurship

Experiences teach skills..

Video assignments

Video Assignments: More Reflection (and Less Grading)

March 1, 2021 doan winkel comments 0 comment.

Quizzes have no place in an entrepreneurship class. Video assignments do!

Entrepreneurship is about developing a mindset and a set of skills ; quizzes cannot assess either of those. Instead, the recommended tools for assessing entrepreneurship students are reflective assignments .

Of course, quizzes are faster to grade than traditional written reflections, so quizzes are still common. Fortunately, there’s a better way. There’s a way for students to quickly reflect on the experiences they’ve had in class, multiple times throughout the course, that will take you minutes , not hours to grade.

Structured video reflections : a fast, and rigorous way to assess entrepreneurship students.

Video Reflections Take Less Time

Traditional written reflections take a long time to grade because they require you to read lengthy responses from every student in your class, and then grade what you’ve read.

Video reflections take less of your time because:

  • Students are required to keep them short . Typically 1 – 3 minutes
  • You can play them back at double-speed
  • You can grade while you’re watching

You can literally…

Grade video reflections in 30 – 90 seconds .

Example Reflection Video & Rubric

Enter your teaching email address below to see:

  • A sample video reflection
  • Rubric for grading one
  • Demo of what it looks like to grade in your LMS
  • Keys for successful video reflections

The Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum we produce uses video reflections extensively to help students document the evolution of their business models . For example, in the first iteration of their business model canvas, they hypothesize their:

  • Customer segment
  • Value proposition and

They also demonstrate how they developed those hypotheses, and reflect on why they are important entrepreneurial steps to take. Below is a sample video reflection submission.

Demo of Grading in Canvas

Below you can see how efficient it is to grade a submission in Canvas. With just a few clicks you are already providing feedback, both quantitative and qualitative. Our professors appreciate how quickly they can digest and assess students’ work. Students appreciate getting feedback quickly, so they can move forward before they lose momentum.

Tips for Successful Reflection Videos

Video reflections will save you a lot of time in the long run, but they require some prep work upfront:

  • “You have a time limit of 2 minutes for this video presentation.
  • About  15 seconds  to summarize your  Customer Segment  and  Problem (i.e. Value Proposition)  hypotheses.
  • About  45 seconds  (or less) to describe how you believe your  Early Adopters  behave and the  Channels  where you assume you can find them. You can present using this mental model:

“I think our Early Adopters  (describe their behaviors) , and as a result, I should be able to see them  (describe their Externally Observable Behaviors) , so I assume I can find and interview them  (describe your channels). ”

  • About  30 seconds  to share your thoughts and  learnings  about the entrepreneurial steps you’ve taken so far.
  • About  30 seconds to explain why an entrepreneur would/should take the following steps.”
  • Provide examples . Your students likely won’t have done this kind of assignment before so you’ll want to show them an example video of precisely what they should be shooting for.
  • Teach them how to use Loom . Loom is an amazing tool, a Google Chrome extension that is super simple to use. Thousands of ExEC students have used it on Mac and PC to present their process, and hundreds of faculty use it to quickly provide feedback to those students (because it allows you to play videos back at double speed!). Loom offers an expanded educational version that allows for longer feedback videos for those times when you want to go really deep with your feedback.
  • Keep them short . As mentioned before, you want to keep them short (1 – 3 minutes). Short videos require students to practice presenting concisely (an extremely important skill for entrepreneurs), and it means you’ll spend less time grading.

Early Adopters Assignment Rubric

  • Allow students to share additional materials. When students submit a video reflection, they should include a link to any written work that provides more details on their experiences. For instance, as they are iterating on their business model canvas, they provide a link to slides of their multiple canvases in addition to their video link.

Video Reflection Bonuses

In addition to the time savings, there are several added benefits to using video reflections:

  • Students generally prefer them . Students naturally consume and create video content and we often get comments from students asking why they can’t do this in all of their classes. Offering them the opportunity to explain their process by talking to their phone will result in happier (i.e., more engaged) students.
  • Students get to practice speaking concisely . Communicating efficiently is an incredibly important skill, no matter whether students become entrepreneurs or not. These 1 -3 minute videos help students develop more effective communication skills.
  • Students can’t get a “free-ride” on video assignments . Students share quiz questions and written assignments can be “inspired” by other students, but it’s nearly impossible for a student to fake their way through a video recording. Just the act of speaking their reflections out loud helps them internalize their experiences and lesson learned along the way.

Want Faster Assessment Next Semester?

If you’re interested in using video reflections without having to design them yourself, check out the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum .

Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Logo

Students complete a set of video reflections through the ExEC exercises, each of which has a detailed rubric and can be easily integrated into your LMS.

What’s Next?

In upcoming posts, we will share tips for a better pitch class, and how to own a class if/when you inherit one!

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video assignment for students

Get a copy of the  lesson plan on Google Docs:

video assignment for students

Or you can just view it here .


Student Recording & Video Assignments

Assign, record, and grade video assignments within your lms. vidgrid makes video easy to use for both faculty and students..

Student Recording & Video Assignments


Play Video

Dedicated Student Recording

A simple, integrated interface that helps instructors quickly assign and grade video responses. Students are able to submit video assignments with ease on any device.

Integrated in your LMS

All major LMS systems support Student Recording within the interface. Instructors can create and assign video assignment within their courses in the LMS. Students then complete the video assignments through a process that is familiar and integrated in their daily use.

Integrated in your LMS

Intuitive setup for instructors

Instructors create assignments with directions and point values attached, as with any typical assignment. A course assignment folder is selected and the assignment is ready to be published. Instructions for creating the video are built into the student experience, so instructors don’t have to add any more instructions than a normal assignment.

Easy 1-click recording for students

Students access the assignment through their course in the LMS. Record or upload a video; then play it back, title it, and click submit - ridiculously simple.

Easy 1-click recording for students

Quickly grade video assignments

All videos appear instantly in the course assignment folder. If your LMS gradebook supports it, videos appear directly in the course gradebook for instant feedback and grading from the instructor.

"Student recording is a thing of beauty! You have delivered and my faculty and students will be over the moon about it."

Mark White Director of Instructional Technology, College of Saint Mary

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Man or bear? Hypothetical question sparks conversation about women's safety

Women explain why they would feel safer encountering a bear in the forest than a man they didn't know. the hypothetical has sparked a broader discussion about why women fear men..

video assignment for students

If you were alone in the woods, would you rather encounter a bear or a man? Answers to that hypothetical question have sparked a debate about why the vast majority say they would feel more comfortable choosing a bear.

The topic has been hotly discussed for weeks as men and women chimed in with their thoughts all over social media.

Screenshot HQ , a TikTok account, started the conversation, asking a group of women whether they would rather run into a man they didn't know or a bear in the forest. Out of the seven women interviewed for the piece, only one picked a man.

"Bear. Man is scary," one of the women responds.

A number of women echoed the responses given in the original video, writing in the comments that they, too, would pick a bear over a man. The hypothetical has people split, with some expressing their sadness over the state of the world and others cracking jokes. Some men were flabbergasted.

Here's what we know.

A bear is the safer choice, no doubt about it, many say

There were a lot of responses, more than 65,000, under the original post. Many wrote that they understood why the women would choose a bear.

"No one’s gonna ask me if I led the bear on or give me a pamphlet on bear attack prevention tips," @celestiallystunning wrote.

@Brennduhh wrote: "When I die leave my body in the woods, the wolves will be gentler than any man."

"I know a bear's intentions," another woman wrote. "I don't know a man's intentions. no matter how nice they are."

Other TikTok users took it one step further, posing the hypothetical question to loved ones. Meredith Steele, who goes by @babiesofsteele , asked her husband last week whether he would rather have their daughter encounter a bear or a man in the woods. Her husband said he "didn't like either option" but said he was leaning toward the bear.

"Maybe it's a friendly bear," he says.

Diana, another TikTok user , asked her sister-in-law what she would choose and was left speechless.

"I asked her the question, you know, just for giggles. She was like, 'You know, I would rather it be a bear because if the bear attacks me, and I make it out of the woods, everybody’s gonna believe me and have sympathy for me," she said. "But if a man attacks me and I make it out, I’m gonna spend my whole life trying to get people to believe me and have sympathy for me.'"

Bear vs. man debate stirs the pot, woman and some men at odds

The hypothetical has caused some tension, with some women arguing that men will never truly understand what it's like to be a woman or the inherent dangers at play.

Social media users answered this question for themselves, producing memes, spoken word poetry and skits in the days and weeks since.

So, what would you choose?


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    A video assignment is any project that asks a student to film themselves or another subject. Video submissions can be the entirety of an assignment, or they can be a one part of a larger assignment. These projects can range from a simple, one-shot recording of an oral presentation to more complex projects requiring multiple camera shots edited ...

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