Not drowning, waving: The role of video in a renewed digital learning world


  • Meg Colasante Deakin University



higher education, teaching practice, educational design, postdigital, video, typology


While online teaching involves a range of contemporary digital tools, there are strong indicators for an ongoing place for video in a new digital learning world. For example, the use of video during the pandemic, to urgently translate on-campus lectures to online content, refocussed the argument on the role of video into the next phase of digital learning. Beyond a much-appreciated tool of convenience, what is video’s pedagogical role in higher education? This article draws from the literature, including reviews, theory, and case examples, to offer a typology to represent the role of video in university teaching practices, including intentional reasons to employ video beyond passive viewing. The typology is offered in three role types: functional purpose, academic focus (or knowledge type), and pedagogical strategy. It is recommended that university educational practitioners (including teachers, developers, and designers) consider video as multidimensional, and consult all three role types when designing video-based learning experiences, to maintain the human design processes within the complexity of teaching and learning. The typology is dynamic and adaptable to further emerging contexts.

Implications for practice or policy:

  • A typology of video roles demonstrates the multidimensional nature of video as a university teaching and learning tool, and thus signals the inherent complexity in digital teaching design practice.
  • The video typology is offered for university educators to consult for intentional video-based learning design choices including to prompt considerations beyond passive student viewing.
  • The typology is open for further adaptation into the future, for example, upon application to new cases.


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How to Cite

Colasante, M. (2022). Not drowning, waving: The role of video in a renewed digital learning world. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 38(4), 176–189.