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Video in Educational Research

A starter kit for investigators of learning

These pages present a wide variety of  facts you will need to use video to capture and analyze learning. Contents include:

  • General - Basic facts about video that every researcher should know
  • Equipment - Tips for choosing wisely
  • Checklists - Take these with you for a successful classroom shoot
  • Tips - Videography rules of thumb
  • Audio Details - High Level vs low level Inputs and other details explained
  • Video Details - High Level vs low level Inputs and other details explained
  • Strategies - How to handle video data
  • Budget - Simple Budgets for equipment purchases
  • Future - The new consumer digital standard, what it means to you.

Why use video for educational research?

Video is becoming the medium of choice for collecting images and sound for educational andsocial science research projects.The reasons for choosing video are many: Videotape can preserve more aspects of interaction including talking, gesture, eyegaze, manipulatives, computer displays. Moreover, video allows repeatedobservation of the same event, and supports microanalysis and multidisciplinaryanalysis. Video can get researchers out of controlled laboratory settings andinto the naturalistic field work. Finally, video provides analytical benefits:it can support grounded theory, whereby the emergence of new categories fromsource materials is carefully disciplined. Video can avoid the"what I say" versus "what I do" problem that can occur in self-reports. Video supports a critical incident methodology, but also allowsexamination of the lead-up and downstream consequences of the critical event.

About the authors of this Section

Jeremy Roschelle is a software designer and learning researcher based in San Francisco.He currently works for the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, on the SimCalc Project.This project is developing simulations for calculus learning.

 Jeremy personally finds video data especially important for his research on how children learnwith software. This interest led him to develop CVideo, one of the most popular software packagesfor video analysis. These pages are based on a course Jeremy taught with Michael Sipusic at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in San Francico, April l995. The coursenotes were converted to HTML for the National Design Experiments Consortium.

Raul Zaritsky is a Learning Sciences Researcher at NCSA. For twenty five years previous to returning to graduate school at Northwestern University, Raul produced educational and documentary films and videos as an independent filmmaker and a member of the faculty of the Media Center of the University of Illinois Chicago. His works have been invited to many major festivals including the London Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival. He currently works on a number of innovative projects at NCSA in the Division of Education. Raul's orginal work in Psychology was as a student of the late Israel Goldiamond, a major behaviorist theorist and experimenter who is a father of behavioral therapy.

 Raul's father was a filmmaker for the Federal Government, and Raul's acquiring of an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago seemed quite predestined. Much of the material was presented to the Learning Science Community during a talk in late October.


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