Effective Teaching and Blended Learning Through Educational Videos

Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (YLLSOM)

Dinesh shares how he includes educational videos as part of his blended learning sessions, and what aspects of teacher preparation he takes into account to ensure that the videos constitute a productive part of the students’ learning experience.


Srinivasan, D. K. (2022, November 18). Effective teaching and blended learning through educational videos. Teaching Connections. https://blog.nus.edu.sg/teachingconnections/2022/11/17/effective-teaching-and-blended-learning-through-educational-videos/

In higher education teaching and learning the process is shared, with responsibilities on both the student and teacher to contribute to its success. According to Choi and Vries (2011), the teachers’ most important role is planning and controlling the educational process in order for students to be able to achieve comprehensive learning. The recommendations for teacher preparation by Klug et al. (2013) outline questions educators can ask themselves regularly throughout the process (Figure 1). In this post, I will elaborate on how I made use of some of these questions to reflect on and do a rethink of my current teaching approaches and learning activities.

Figure 1. The recommendations for teacher preparation (Klug et al., 2013).
Figure 1. The recommendations for teacher preparation (Klug et al., 2013).

In terms of ways to increase students’ motivation and help them feel confident about solving problems leading to enhanced quality of learning, educators can consider the following strategies and tools. For instance, the quality of learning could be improved through using conceptual maps, emphasising student-centred learning, and ensuring students develop the skills needed for employment, which are some strategies outlined in lifelong learning, particularly in higher education (Byun et al., 2009). In my classes, I used tools such as Panopto to track students’ participation in online learning activities, and PollEverywhere (PollEv) for students’ performance in classroom activities to modify my teaching practices based on data. Through analysis, I also evaluated students’ strengths and weaknesses, given that the most effective teachers monitor progress and assess how their changed practices have impacted students’ outcomes (Macsuga-Gage et al., 2012). To connect with students and impact their personal and professional lives, teachers must be student-centred and demonstrate respect towards students’ background knowledge, principles, beliefs, and learning styles. The best teachers use differentiated teaching, the ability to communicate effectively, and offer positive feedback on the students’ academic performance (Macsuga-Gage et al., 2012). 

Another important tool in higher education is the educational video, which serves as a key knowledge delivery mechanism in massive open online courses (MOOCs) (Schmid et al., 2014) and a cornerstone of many blended courses, including the Blended Learning 2.0 initiative, which has become an important feature in the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (Srinivasan, 2022). The pedagogical importance of educational videos is also reflected in the literature. A meta-analysis conducted by Schmid et al. (2014) has shown that technology can enhance learning and videos can be a highly effective educational tool, especially short videos which can potentially improve online student learning (Allen & Smith, 2012; Rackaway, 2012; Hsin & Cigas, 2013).

To ensure videos are incorporated as a productive part of the students’ learning experience, it is important for the educator to consider three elements of video design and implementation (Figure 2):

  • cognitive load
  • non-cognitive elements that impact engagement
  • features that promote active learning
Figure 2. The elements educators should consider for educational video design and implementation (Brame, 2015).
Figure 2. The elements educators should consider for educational video design and implementation (Brame, 2015).

An active learning approach improves students’ communication skills, increases the development of critical thinking, promotes study skills and an interest in their learning (Zarshenas et al., 2010). Taken together with cognitive load and non-cognitive elements that inform student engagement, these considerations provide a solid base for the development and use of videos as effective educational tools (Brame, 2015). Thus, I adopted blended learning strategies such as the use of pre-recorded full-length or bite-sized educational videos for directed self-guided learning (see an example in Figure 3), and using the MS Teams platform for interactive in-person or online classes. To facilitate the interactive session, I incorporated digital technology such as PollEv, Panopto, Entrada, and more.

Overall, the blended learning sessions were well-received, and students provided very positive feedback that the sessions were fun, engaging, and informative (Srinivasan, 2020). Progressive implementation of e-learning strategies would be crucial for continuing medical education reforms, providing new challenges, and opportunities for anatomical sciences educators (Srinivasan, 2020; Trelease, 2016).

It is concluded that the implementation of effective teaching and successful blended learning, and the inclusion of educational videos can provide a range of other positive outcomes including developing a learning environment that caters for students with different pace of synchronous or asynchronous learning. In summary, educators should continue to engage with blended learning using educational videos to come up with innovative approaches to train students, as new educational methods are always appreciated by students and have the potential to provide better engagement compared with traditional didacticism (Huynh, 2017).



Dinesh Kumar SRINIVASAN is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anatomy at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. His research interests include higher education pedagogy, technology-enhanced learning, diabetes and tissue Engineering. He was awarded NUS Annual Teaching Excellence Award (ATEA) in 2022, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Teaching Excellence Award in 2022, 2021, 2020, NUHS Teaching Excellence Award in 2020, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Fortitude Award in 2020, NUS Medical Education Grand Innovation Challenge (MEGIC) Award in 2020 (Team) and the Distinguished Long Service Medal from the Ministry of Education (MOE) Singapore in 2015 for his contributions to education and service.

Dinesh Kumar can be reached at antdine@nus.edu.sg.



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Brame, C. J. (2015). Effective educational videos. Center for Teaching. http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-videos/.

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Rackaway, C. (2012). Video killed the textbook star? Use of multimedia supplements to enhance student learning. Journal of Political Science Education, 8(2), 189-200. https://doi.org/10.1080/15512169.2012.667684


Schmid, R.F., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Tamim, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Surkes, M. A., Wade, C. A., & Woods, J. (2014). The effects of technology use in postsecondary education: A meta-analysis of classroom applications. Computers & Education, 72, 271-291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.11.002


Srinivasan, D. K. (2020). Medical students’ perceptions and an anatomy teacher’s personal experience using an e‐learning platform for tutorials during the COVID‐19 crisis. Anatomical Science Education, 13(3), 318-319. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1970


Srinivasan, D. K (2022). Anatomy education during and after the COVID-19 pandemic: Revisiting traditional and modern methods to achieve future innovation. Proceedings of the 6th International Anatomical Sciences and Cell Biology Conference 2022, 20-23 Feb 2022 (p. 16).


Trelease, R. B. (2016). From chalkboard, slides, and paper to e‐learning: How computing technologies have transformed anatomical sciences education. Anatomical Science Education, 9(6), 583–602. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ase.1620


Zarshenas, L., Momeni Danaei, S., Oshagh, M., & Salehi, P. (2010). Problem-based learning: An experience of a new educational method in dentistry. Iranian Journal of Medical Education. 10(2), 171–9. http://ijme.mui.ac.ir/article-1-1236-en.html



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