Initial Publication Date: December 6, 2013

Learning outcomes for student media producers

Jump Down To: Social learning through media production |

Video production offers a project-based learning experience in which students can delve into a particular topic and find creative ways to express their understanding of that topic. In climate change education, in particular, video production offers students an opportunity to engage with content that is often highly complex and difficult to grasp. Media production involves finding or creating visual representations of concepts or ideas, a process that requires students to accurately define and represent the concepts they want to convey.

Similarly, the editing process, which requires students to review the material iteratively, offers an opportunity to reinforce content knowledge and aids in retention of information. For example, when students were asked how effective they thought a video project was as a tool for learning about climate change science compared to more traditional assignments such as a term paper, poster project, or oral presentation, their response overwhelmingly favored the video project.

Student comments include:

  • "Retention of material was very good because we had to go through it so many times."
  • "Watching the videos and working hard on them helped me retain info."
  • "It had more learning impact than a traditional paper."
  • "Very effective. Researching and pairing visuals with concepts made a much larger impact."
  • "I enjoyed the project and was proud of my work."
  • "Compared to a poster presentation or PowerPoint... people are more likely to pay attention to a video and understand the information more clearly."
  • "You walk out of a test and everything is gone minutes afterwards, but this will stick."

Video editing

Social learning through media production

Because video production is, by necessity, a group endeavor (e.g., a director, producer, camera person, and editor are all needed), it creates an opportunity for students to learn in a social context. This social component can play an important role in helping students address their misconceptions and develop robust mental models of climate change and its potential impacts.

Through learning in a social context throughout the project, as well as through dissemination of their media projects, students often take advantage of an opportunity to educate others about climate change and, in doing so, gain a sense of empowerment.

Our project evaluator reported that, "Many [students] felt that making the video was a great experience... Many had not realized how difficult it would be to get a message across in a one minute video and how hard it would be to make even a short presentation, and they found the experience eye-opening. They also spoke about the benefits of the skills they had gained from the experience."