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Week 10- Activity 1 “Affordances of Video”

Week 10- Activity 1 “Affordances of Video”

Looking at the affordances summarized in Woolfit’s article, I think the ones most most relevant to my teaching context are “Telling stories,” “Virtual field trips” and “Building Rapport”. Using video to tell stories helps the learners to make connections to material, and as a history teacher it can be powerful for students to hear and see stories which connect them to the lives and events experienced by people long ago. Likewise, virtual field trips can help learners to access places that they would not be able to otherwise, and they can be brought to see geographical locations, historical spaces and culturally significant environments that would otherwise by impractical for a class to visit. Videos which build rapport focus on connecting the instructor and the learner and often show the instructor introducing themselves, using a conversational tone, and using humour to establish rapport with their students. (Woolfit, 2015). 

I could see myself using video to tell stories that would help students to be able to explain different perspectives that past peoples may have held. For example, by telling the story of a scribe from ancient Egypt preparing a copy of the Book of the Dead, I would be able to help students get a sense of the different attitudes toward death and the afterlife that an Ancient Egyptian might have held.

 In building a video like this, I would want to couple my voice with graphics which helped to explain what I was talking about, and I would follow the principles laid out in Mayer et al.,’s 2020 work, “Five ways to increase the effectiveness of instructional video” by ensuring my work used the Dynamic drawing principle. This means that I would draw on a tablet or whiteboard during the video rather than referencing already-drawn graphics (Mayer et al., 2020). I could see myself drawing a cartouche with hieroglyphics inside, and explaining what they meant, or drawing a shabti doll, or a graphic showing how a body would be prepared for mummification, instead of using an already prepared graphic.

I think that one thing I would also be sure to keep in mind would be the seductive details principle. This principle is based around the idea that people do not learn better from a multimedia lesson when interesting but extraneous video is added (Mayer et al, 2020). It might be tempting to include an animation showing Apep the serpent god devouring a soul, but I think this might be a distraction that would actually make it difficult for the viewer to stay focused on the main points of the story.

Finally, I would want to use Mayer et al.’s generative principle to ensure that my video provided breaks and pauses for students to create summary notes, or write explanations based on what they had just watched. This way students would be engaging in three cognitive processes during learning: selecting, organizing, and integrating (Mayer et al., 2020).


Mayer, R. E., Fiorella, L., & Stull, A. (2020). Five ways to increase the effectiveness of instructional video. Educational Technology Research & Development, 68(3), 837–852.

Woolfit, Z. (2015). The effective use of video in higher education (Rep.), 10-38. Retrieved October 2, 2018, from https://www.inholland.nl/media/10230/the-effective-use-of-video-in-higher-education-woolfitt-october-2015.pdf

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