Digital video as a resource for teaching physics – A preliminary evaluation of effectiveness and some tips on how to do it better


  • Adam P. Micolich


Recent developments in digital video technologies allow video footage to be captured, edited and presented far more easily than was possible with older analogue techniques (e.g. 35mm film, VCR, etc.), making the widespread use of video in lectures a more viable possibility. Here I will discuss my recent experiences with using digital video to improve the effectiveness of examples and anecdotes in my lectures and to enhance, supplement or replace live physics demonstrations. I will include some tips on how to better use digital video as a teaching tool along with a preliminary evaluation of the success of digital video in lectures based on student feedback. Of particular note, the feedback shows that students almost always prefer live demonstrations to videos, even if the demonstration is unsuccessful or difficult to see, suggesting that digital video is not an effective ‘low-cost’ substitute for demonstrations in the teaching of physics.