Teaching Comprehension Strategies Through Video

While the use of video has become increasingly popular in education, students can still struggle with comprehension. Teach Thought, a learning brand dedicated to empowering teachers, offers a useful sequence of steps for students to take to enhance their comprehension strategies while watching videos.

In the article, Teach Thought offers 40 ways to improve comprehension strategies, making watching videos a little more like reading a book. The 40 steps are broken into four segments.

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This section involves preparatory work for students to begin thinking about the video they’re about to watch. During this time, students are encouraged to start by setting a viewing purpose and previewing the video. The goal is for students to make predictions about the video and to make preliminary connections. Some of the tasks outlined in this stage are concept maps, summary of existing knowledge and an anticipation guide. A personal blog would be very useful as students begin forming their opinions, then building upon the blog in a journaling format at they work through each stage.

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As they watch the video, students will start to assess their predictions and make even deeper connections. In this stage, students should stop, clarify, questions and infer. They can pause the video to review some of their Before work. It also helps to rewind and re-watch to clarify further what students are learning. As students are watching the video, they should continue to make predictions, but related those predictions more closely to the actual video rather than the initial preview.

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Once the entire viewing process is complete, students can more to the After stage. Here is where they will summarize the video and analyze what they’ve seen. They should still connect the dots with their initial predictions from the Before stage. After is also a place where students can begin to engage their peers by sharing and socializing what they’ve learned. They can create their own images and videos to illustrate what happened in the video and recall their own learnings. The After stage is also a good time for students to share their ideas over chat or text messages to get a good idea of their peers’ experiences. In addition to addressing the overall plot of the video, students can also analyze organization and modality, similarly to how they would when reading a book.

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The final stage is dedicated to reflection. Students take their summary and try to connect it to the preparatory work in the Before stage. The Extended stage is also the place where students should think more deeply about role, audience, format and topics. Although it’s the last phase, there should still be some cyclical aspects where students create an anticipation guide for future viewers, helping them start their own cycle. The anticipation guide would be an excellent opportunity for students to make use of a class website for future students to use as a reference.