How Video Lectures Improve the Quality of a Course


Video can often improve the quality of a course. Fresno Pacific University partners with The Great Courses for teachers to meet professional development goals.

One of the central tenets of education is that people learn differently, which is why educators familiarize themselves with a variety of teaching methods. One method that can make a significant impact is video-based learning. It’s become an effective way for teachers to improve the quality of a course by engaging students and helping them to better absorb and retain information.

The key to video education is the type of video used. Students, after all, expose themselves to hours of media every day, much of it video. Finding an educational video that keeps students actively engaged is difficult when they have seen so many on their own.

To give teachers the chance to pick up valuable skills in this important area, Fresno Pacific University’s Continuing Education program began a partnership with The Great Courses, a highly regarded video education company that offers courses on many topics. 

Through Fresno Pacific University, teachers can earn professional development credits while learning through courses with titles Life in the World’s Oceans and The American West. They also see many examples of videos that are engaging, educational and entertaining.

Why Use Video Media in the Classroom?

Research has found people learn abstract and new concepts easier when they receive the information verbally and in visual form. Some students also simply retain more information from video-based learning, which explains why they can remember what they saw on a YouTube video more than what is said in a lecture.

Of course, they also are engaged with that YouTube video. Studies have shown that creating engaging content is key. For example, a 2019 study by researchers in Colorado measured the difference in knowledge acquisition between medical students using video content and those reading from a textbook. Students retained more information when watching an engaging, 4 ½ minute video than they did reading from a textbook.

“Video delivery of educational content was associated with higher student satisfaction and relative improvement in score compared to a textbook,” the researchers wrote. 

Many experts expect video to improve learning, especially for key facts and figures. According to a study from Forrester Research,  90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and people process visual information 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

Why Fresno Pacific Partnered with The Great Courses

The Great Courses has a well-earned reputation for producing visually stunning, highly engaging educational videos. Fresno Pacific University always looks for ways to provide the best professional development courses possible, and the courses from The Great Courses certainly fall into this area.

The Great Courses excels in maximizing what Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics calls one of the biggest advantages of video: the ability to use high production quality to showcase complex ideas in a short period of time. This helps students develop quantitative reasoning skills.

Starting Point also identified these advantages of using video to teach students.

  • Scenes with strong emotional content provoke discussion and assessment of one’s values and self
  • They connect learners with culturally relevant events
  • Students familiarity with video helps to capture and maintain their interest
  • Students can take what they learn about videos watched in class and apply it to what they see when they watch things on their own

By taking The Great Courses classes, teachers learn not only the topics covered but also how to apply video to improve the quality of a course in their classroom. Through these engaging and educational videos, they can expand their knowledge on the use of video-based education.

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