What Makes a Good Educational Video?

When it comes to watching videos, everyone has their own opinion about what they are watching. Is is good? Is it bad? Of course, there is a great deal of subjectivity in personal preference. But when it comes to educational video, there are perhaps a few objective criterion we can attempt to apply when assessing whether or not a particular video is doing a good job at educating the target audience.

Creating a definitive list for assessing educational video is almost impossible, as the criteria are going to vary with the subject matter. However, there are some very general things we can look for in all videos to assist us with our assessment. Consider this short list:

  • visual quality
  • audio and narration quality
  • content accuracy
  • pacing and length
  • content and lesson organization and presentation
  • developmental appropriateness
  • appropriate use of multimedia
  • camerawork and framing
  • editing, transitions
  • titling and visual enhancements

There are no doubt other things to consider. What’s more important than “yes or no” answers is that we as educators give careful thought to how we are going to present ideas in video form.

Really, the construction of a video should be given at least the same consideration as a lesson delivered in person. Most teachers give careful thought to how their lesson materials are organized, how visually appealing they are, if the content is appropriate, etc. etc. – why shouldn’t a video be given the same considerations?

If you’re just getting started with educational video, it can be helpful to view already-made videos with a critical eye. Watch the following video while considering the list above, then ask yourself what kind of improvements YOU would make if you had the opportunity to re-make the video yourself.

By Josef Martha

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