Video tutorials are commonly used in education but are rarely utilised in classrooms with a practical focus, or workshops. Due to the recent distribution of iPads at Rostrevor College all students now have the technology to access video tutorials and self-paced online assessments.

Video tutorials are not designed to eliminate teacher demonstrations but, when assigned as homework tasks, will allow students greater opportunity to enter the classroom with the knowledge needed to perform practical tasks safely. With this knowledge not only can students become more proactive with their questioning; but the teacher can also begin to question students in order to reinforce the knowledge they already hold about materials, processes, equipment setup, and safe operating procedures.

Our research and trial implementation of video tutorials and self-paced online assessment in the practical classroom environment endeavours to provide a solution to the following issues:

  • Teachers in practical subjects are often required to repeat demonstrations and procedures a number of times due to the limited number of machines available to students. In some instances students will be given a particular instruction but will be unable to apply the knowledge acquired from this demonstration for up to two weeks.

Video tutorials will allow students to revise skills within hours of commencing practical work under the teacher’s supervision. 

  • The use of workshop equipment can be distributed more effectively if students can choose to perform tasks in different sequences.

Tutorials will allow students to demonstrate knowledge during one-on-one demonstrations reducing the time necessary to assess individuals’ understanding.

  • Student absenteeism creates a justice problem for teachers. Capable students with high attendance need help to extend their knowledge whilst students returning from absence also need assistance due to missing demonstrations in previous lessons.

Video tutorials linked to automated online quizzes will provide the teacher with a record of students’ basic understandings before guided practical work begins. Data from online assessment can also be recorded for the purpose of Occupational Health and Safety. 

  • Large class sizes create problems when demonstrating procedures that require a high level of accuracy, while some students can get close enough to view the detail, others often cannot.

Video tutorial are predicted to allow every student an opportunity to see and hear instructions clearly.