Effective Video Integration in Health Education

I’m delighted that our guest blogger this week is a health professional who I hold in the highest regard. Brian Griffith, a secondary health/PE curriculum specialist for Frederick Public School, Maryland, has the habit of dropping bombs of knowledge into every online health conversation on social media, and he’s as impressive in real life. He’s on my list of people that I MUST spend time with at #SHAPENashville.

Think about a movie you went to see this year. Think about the length of the movie and how much it cost to produce. You probably went to this movie for enjoyment rather than educational purposes but think about what you remember about the movie. What were the key points?

One of the movies I saw in the theater was “Wonder Woman.” The movie lasted two hours and twenty-one minutes and cost about $149 million to make. The scenes I remember the most are the scenes that were released in different trailers and some of the key points that were highlighted.

Think of a movie that you saw recently, can you remember the entire movie or just key parts? Will you be able to provide a detailed summary next year? Will you remember all the key parts when the sequel comes out?

Why do we use videos in health education? Unfortunately some people use videos to keep them from having to teach. More than likely, those teachers aren’t reading blogs about teaching, they’re reading the sports page while teaching.

Effective teachers use videos to flip the class to allow class time to focus on student centered instruction. Effective teachers use videos to support cultural diversity, share a concept or a skill with students. Some videos allow a school system to share the same message throughout multiple schools. Some videos tell stories to create an emotional connection with a subject. Videos have lots of effective use in education.

BUT . . . How do we know students are engaged in the video? Some teachers believe students are engaged if they are quietly listening. Is our goal for students to enjoy themselves or actually learn something from the video?

Effective video integration is similar to effective reading instruction.

  1. Preview the material

Watch the video multiple times, if possible have someone else watch the video as well. Identify which segments support your objectives.

  1. Segment or Chunk the video

Identify the critical segments and mark the time of each. Cynthia J. Brame from the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University suggests limiting video segments to six minutes (Brame, 2015). Keep the segments short and focused on your objective. Watching “Rudy” to demonstrate achieving your goals is not an effective use of time.

  1. Create previewing activities

Develop activities to activate prior knowledge, allow the students to predict what they may be watching in the video based on the title, the objective, or even a still image from the video.

  1. Create during video activities

Create concept maps that students will complete while watching the different segments. Allow for collaboration during the video breaks to check for understanding. Use tech tools like Play Posit (https://www.playposit.com/) or Ed Puzzle (https://edpuzzle.com/) to embed questions into the videos.

  1. Create post viewing activities

Skills based health education teaches students to use skills. Hopefully the video you selected incorporated some skill cues or information to support skills based health. Check out RMC Health for skill models and cues for different grade bands.


Allow students the opportunity to rewatch important segments. Use Padlet (https://padlet.com/) so students can compare thoughts and summarize important pieces. Create an activity where students use their new knowledge to advocate for a health topic.



Brian hits the nail on the head when it comes to effective use of videos in the classroom. Earlier in my career I’ve been guilty of showing a full movie before and tenuously justifying it – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to look for stressors and coping strategies!?! Thankfully with experience, and confidence in my teaching, I am more aware of when, and how much of a movie I should show to my students.

Check out Brian’s bibliography and list of resources below. Also, I urge you to check out his awesome blog post Supports to Teaching Skills-Based Health Education on Jessica Lawrence‘s amazing blog site. I’m also adding the link to a tweet from Mr Health Teacher in which he too shares some resources…

Brame, C.J. (2015). Effective educational videos. Retrieved October 30, 2017 from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-videos/.

Groessler, A. (2017). Video for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved October 30, 2017 from http://www.uq.edu.au/teach/video-teach-learn/index.html.

BBC Active (2010). Education Videos: Ten Ways to Use them Well. Retrieved October 30, 2017 from http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/EducationvideosTenwaystousethemwell.aspx.

NYU (n.d.). Guidelines for Video in Teaching and Learning. Retrieved October 30, 2017 from https://www.nyu.edu/faculty/teaching-and-learning-resources/strategies-for-teaching-with-tech/video-teaching-and-learning/guidelines-for-video.html.
Serrato, M.G. (2016). ‘Watch-Think-Write’ and Other Proven Strategies for Using Video in the Classroom. Retrieved October 30, 2017 from https://ww2.kqed.org/education/2016/08/23/watch-think-write-and-other-proven-strategies-for-using-video-in-the-classroom/.

5 thoughts on “Effective Video Integration in Health Education

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