Texas Tech University

Accessible Instructional Video

Best Practices for Instructional Video Use 

To respond to federal requirements for accessibility as related to video captioning and audio transcriptions, particularly in light of recent legal cases, Texas Tech University is working to establish the following guidelines to address these requirements. Any materials used in any TTU course for any purpose are required to be presented in a fully accessible format. Simply put, if a video is used for instruction in a course, it needs to be captioned. If audio is used, transcription must be included, regardless of whether or not a student has requested it. There are no exemptions to this federal requirement.

TTU eLearning and Academic Partnerships (elearning.ttu.edu) manages the university's captioning resources. TTU Worldwide eLearning staff are available to assist faculty with captioning needs. Given the cost of captioning videos, instructors are encouraged to follow best practices for thoughtful inclusion when using video in the classroom.

A few considerations are as follows:

  • Any video used in the course should enhance the content of the course and advance learning.
  • In general, short videos (3-5 minutes or no longer than 10 minutes) in face-to-face classes or online courses are typically sufficient and offer a change in the class format as well as an engaging supplement to course materials.
  • If you are using a video from a third-party vendor, it is the publisher's responsibility to caption the material. If it is not captioned, it should not be purchased. If you are using an older video, consider asking the publisher if they can caption it for you or asking if you can have permission to have it done.
  • If you record your own videos, consider writing a script, using a conversational tone, rehearsing and practicing OR choosing an informal discourse and accepting natural pauses and restatements.

Again, in most cases, a shorter video is more likely to be viewed to completion by your students. It should be noted that in some cases, students favorably report that longer lecture videos can be stopped, paused, and re-watched.

Rational for videos in courses

Increase student's learning

Much research has proved the benefits on integrating videos into courses. Positive outcomes on student learning and retentions are evident with the selection of well appointed video clips with in the unit/module objectives and lesson plan (McConville & Lane). Videos benefit students by encouraging conceptualization of difficult and abstract topics (White). The cognitive theory of multimedia learning shows that it is necessary to select relevant information and organize it into a verbal and pictorial model (Mayer). Video technology has an important niche in an educational environment because it provides audio-visual stimulation (Sever, et. al.)

Motivation for learning

Showing video clips has positive effects on the learning process including multisensory, dynamic, and engaging students' attention (Ljubojevic, et. Al.) Supplemental video in instruction is achieved when the video directly reflects the unit/module objective. Entertainment video is not as educationally relevant, but is effective in engaging and motivating students' learning. Video has a positive impact on students' attitudes and contributes to the increase of their academic achievement (Sever). Video clips generate excitement and student engagement, which has been proven to lead to more enjoyable classes and a greater retention of information(Stephan).

Approaches to using video in the classroom (English)

Blending video into the existing curriculum and course.

  • The instructor assigns the content and learning environment and provides activities for students as they learn the video content.
  • Consult with the students to make sure they are making progress and on task.
  • Teachers might also use print materials made specifically for the videos.
  • Instructors choose video content that compliments the objectives of their course.
  • Videos are chosen for the module/unit objective.
  • Videos are blended into and part of the official course curriculum.

Using video as a supplement for engagement or re-enforcement.

  • Videos are used only at the beginning of a lesson or as supplemental material for the lesson.
  • Video that will supplement the existing course curriculum and provide context and reinforce the learning objectives.
  • Supplemental videos increase student activity and efficiency of the teaching process. (Ljubojevic, et al.)

Suggested activities for showing the video (Challis)

Before showing

  • Preview the content to be sure it is appropriate.
  • View related print and Web materials if there are any available.
  • Consider which segments that are applicable to the module/unit objective. Showing video clips has positive effects on the learning process including multisensory, dynamic, and engaging students' attention (Ljubojevic, et. Al.).
  • Video clips from websites of business and news channels can be more effective when they are short, more current (Stephan).
  • Prepare video: ensure quality, review/add closed captions, double check the link plays video.
  • Define learning objectives for video clips (Stephan).
  • Ask students to write about what they know on the subject before seeing the video.

During showing

  • Give students a specific assignment to focus on while viewing.
  • Include specific questions that pertain to the video clip, allowing the instructor to determine whether the objective has been met (Stephan)
  • Show one segment at a time so that you can direct the learning experience

After showing

  • Encourage group work and discussions


  • Challis, L. (n.d.). Best Practices for Using Video Tools in the Classroom. Retrieved November 3, 2015 from http://ipt286.pbworks.com/w/page/10618929/Best%20Practices%20for%20Using%20Video%20Tools%20in%20the%20Classroom . English Central (n.d.). Using videos in the classroom. Retrieved on November 3, 2015 from http://ddeubel.edublogs.org/files/2011/06/Using_Video_In_The_Classroom-20mn397.pdf .
  • Ljubojevic, M., Vaskovic, V., Stankovic, S., Vaskovic, J. (2014). Using supplemental video in multimedia instruction as a teaching tool to increase efficiency of learning and quality of experience. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15(3): 275-291.
  • Mayer, R. (2001) Multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press. McConville, S. & Lane, A. (2006) Using on-line video clips to enhance self-efficacy toward dealing with difficult situations among nursing students. Nurse Education Today, 26(3): 200-208.
  • Sever, S., Oguz-Unver, A., & Yurumezoglu, K. ( 2013). The effective presentation of inquiry-based classroom experiemnets using teaching strategies that employ video and demonstration methods. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 29(3).
  • White, C. (2007). Students' perceived value of video in a multimedia language course. Educational Media International, 37(3): 167-175.


Justin Louder, Ed.D.
Susanne Tapp
Larry Phillippee, Ed.D.
Andrea McCourt
Vantrahn Phan, Ed.D.
Jackie Luft, Ed.D.

Online Accessibility at Texas Tech