Interactive Learning Videos for Fun and Effective Education

· Critical Thinking,Motivation,Interactive Videos

From YouTube lectures to video classes, educational videos are popping up everywhere—and for good reason. Videos can be an extremely effective, engaging, and enjoyable way to foster student learning in a variety of subjects. Let’s take a look at how teaching videos are used today, the benefits they provide for students and teachers, and how Thinking Habitats interactive learning videos can help teach critical thinking in a fun and compelling way.

The Rise of Video Learning

Over the past few years, video learning has become increasingly popular in education. The ability to watch and learn from videos has revolutionized the way students and educators approach teaching and learning. From video lectures to YouTube educational videos, the medium of short film has become a staple not only in today’s society, but in the classroom as well.

Let’s explore some of the formats these videos take and the ways they benefit student learning.

Types of Educational Videos

Styles of educational videos commonly seen around the web include:

  • Lecture videos: These videos are a recording of a live lecture delivered by an instructor or teacher. They can be used to review missed classes or to reinforce what was learned in class.
  • Explainer videos: Explainer videos are designed to help students understand complex concepts in a simple and memorable manner. These videos commonly use animations, graphics, and narration to simplify topics.
  • How-to videos: These videos are designed to demonstrate how to do something step by step. They are often useful in more hands-on subjects like science, art, and engineering, and can be an excellent tool for skill development.
  • Documentaries: Documentaries provide a real-world context for a subject or topic. They can be used to supplement textbooks and lectures.
  • Interactive learning videos: A cross between lecture videos and explainer videos, interactive learning videos teach students about various topics and add ways for the students to interact with the lesson. This can include methods for submitting work and receiving feedback, taking quizzes, tracking learner proficiency, completing fun educational games, and more.

Benefits of Video Learning

Video-based learning is effective for many reasons and has great power as an educational tool. In particular, educational videos are beneficial due to:

  • Accessibility: Videos can be accessed anywhere, at any time, and on any device. This allows students to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule.
  • Engagement: Videos can be more engaging than traditional lectures or textbooks. They can incorporate visual aids, animations, and sound effects to make learning more interesting.
  • Personalized learning: With video learning, students can choose the pace of their learning and go back and review material as many times as needed. This type of personalized learning can lead to better comprehension and retention of material.
  • Flexibility: Video learning is flexible, as it can be used in a traditional classroom setting, fully online, or in hybrid learning environments.
  • Improved student performance: Studies have found that using videos in education could improve students’ academic performance by 20%.

Keys to Effective Educational Videos

While the video format itself helps make educational videos a fantastic teaching tool, there are also elements within videos that can make them even more effective. “Effective Educational Videos: Principles and Guidelines for Maximizing Student Learning from Video Content” in CBE Life Sciences Education found that there are three main aspects that increase the effectiveness of educational videos: cognitive load, student engagement, and active learning.

Cognitive Load

Cognitive load refers to the brain’s ability to perceive, process, and store information. In the context of educational videos, it’s important to keep in mind that students can only effectively learn so much information at once. Instead of bombarding students with too many terms, concepts, or problem sets, it’s more advisable to break the necessary information into smaller chunks. “It is important,” writes author Cynthia Brame, “to prompt working memory to accept, process, and send to long-term memory only the most crucial information.”

Student Engagement

This aspect of video effectiveness looks at the ability of the video to capture and maintain student attention. The best tips for this are to:

  • Keep it short
  • Use a conversational style
  • Speak relatively quickly and with enthusiasm
  • Convey relevance

Active Learning

Finally, videos can promote active learning by:

  • Using interactive questions or quizzes
  • Allowing students to control progression
  • Asking guiding questions to frame the lesson
  • Using videos as supplement to other classwork or homework

THINKING PRO Interactive Learning Videos

Our THINKING PRO Interactive Learning Videos cover all these bases with online video content that is expertly packaged, engaging, and ripe for active learning! The heart of our technology innovation and funded by a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, our videos are the THINKING PRO toolbox that enables students to build their critical thinking and reading comprehension skills. The video suite adjusts to student ability levels and learning pace and assesses their proficiency for each skill. Our critical thinking videos are loved by students and teachers alike, and have shown incredible impacts on student learning.

Each video models a specific cognitive skill, provides opportunity for practice, and tracks student proficiency. Our interactive learning videos adjust to individual students' ability levels and learning pace. They also provide teachers with formative assessment data, empowering them to make informed decisions about their daily instructional practice. Try a demo video today!

Here at Thinking Habitats, we use thinking tools to empower young people to lead successful lives and contribute to the wellbeing of their communities. Our online platform has helped students improve their critical thinking, reading comprehension, and news media literacy, and has had significant individual and community impacts. Try THINKING PRO today, and join our students who feel more empowered in decision-making, more mindful with their news engagement, and more connected to their local community!

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Arizona State University. (n.d.). Benefits of using YouTube for your online education. Arizona State University. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from 

Brame, C. J. (2016). Effective educational videos: Principles and guidelines for maximizing student learning from video content. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 15(4). 

Giving Compass Network. (2022, August 11). The importance of videos for teaching and learning. Giving Compass. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from 

Harvard University Center for Education Policy Research. (n.d.). Leveraging Video for Learning. Cambridge.Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. (2022, March 16). The use of videos in teaching could improve academic performance by 20%. Retrieved March 6, 2023, from