Research


Article 1: 1-Take Video
Article 2: Efficiency
Article 3: Reflective Practice
Article 4: Relationships

The 1-Take method of recording video lectures opens the door for more effective use of class time, provides a more personalized approach to learning, and helps build better relationships among students, teachers, and parents.

Teachers using the 1-Take method develop and reflect upon their own series of efficient video lectures specific to their content area (e.g., algebra, biology, etc.). Students can watch the video lectures for homework or any time during the class period, which allows teachers to use more of the class time for application, differentiated instruction, and student collaboration; in effect, flipping the classroom. Making the teacher-created video lectures accessible creates more flexibility in student learning. Students can access learning material anywhere and anytime. This self-paced learning environment can lead to increased achievement, [13] in part because students are able to review a video as many times as needed. Additionally, research has shown that video-based lectures can be used to motivate learners by better focusing their attention on the content [16]. Video-based teaching/lecturing can also enhance learners’ retention of the classroom information [13]. Increased attention & retention can lead to increased achievement.

The 1-Take of creating video lectures has three basic requirements: (1) Each video must be recorded in a simple 1-take style, (2) the teacher must appear in the video, and (3) the teacher must model handwritten notes.

Some may ask why the 1-take style of video is required. The “hit record, present your material, then hit stop – and your product is done” style of video creation is something that any teacher or student can start using tomorrow in order to create content. Additionally, research supports the use of simple, concise videos. Videos that include unnecessary examples, images, and content can be a distraction and cause extraneous load on student’s working memory [14, 15]. Reducing the unnecessary information in a video presentation will lead to higher efficiency of learning content and thus better learning outcomes. A great strategy for ensuring that only the most important information is included is to use the 1-take style, along with a simple whiteboard and markers, to create each video lesson. This ensures that little distraction will be included in the content video.

Some may question why the teacher must be in the video. The answer lies in the importance of using facial cues, eye contact, and gesturing. Researchers [3] argue that the face is a very important source of emotional cues. This insight has been used in the advertising industry for a long time; advertisers found that photographs and videos of familiar faces attract more attention and create a powerful and meaningful response that is more engaging than just text or non-facial images. Findings from neurologists also support this notion. They have demonstrated that face-processing is performed in a highly developed brain region separate from other regions that deal with textual or visual information [4].

Other researchers [5] argue that to achieve effective human-to-computer interaction (such as a video lecture delivered via computer), the user needs to interact naturally with the computer media, similar to the way human-to-human interaction takes place. Therefore it is critical that the teacher be in the video to use facial cues, eye contact, and gesturing during the delivery of content to make the videos reflect that human-to-human interaction. The more a video lecture reflects a human-to-human interaction, the more engaging and effective student learning can be.

Some may wonder why the modeling of handwritten notes is necessary. For teachers, modeling is a critical strategy that allows students to see their thought process, which increases students’ understanding of the teacher’s methods [6]. Each video lecture created by a teacher provides an opportunity to model the important skill of both note taking and efficient presentation through writing their content on whiteboards and verbalizing their unique thought process (inductive/deductive reasoning) and organization of the material. Modeling is critical for the 1-Take method because the goal is to have students use the same content creation process during class time. Also, similar to students, teachers can utilize handwritten notes to process the content in a deeper way.

For students, using handwriting is the most powerful method of note taking when processing and synthesizing new information [7]. If students record handwritten notes during a lecture, they can recall more of the lecture material [8]. Unfortunately, during a typical live lecture, many students fail to take down as much as 40% of the important points [10] and students new to the note taking process can miss over 90% of the important points due to not having the ability to listen and take notes at the same time [11]. With video lectures, students can slow down or pause the content so that they can successfully gather the handwritten notes they need, even re-watching the lecture if necessary. This is key because research shows that the more handwritten notes a student takes, the more they are able to recall, leading to higher achievement on assessments [9]. Being able to pause the lecture, take down the notes, and process the material significantly improves student comprehension and retention of the lecture content [12].

The 1-Take method offers the best possible opportunity for students to connect with their teacher and the content in order to achieve academic success. These teacher-created videos give students a virtual front row seat, where students can see the teacher’s facial cues, eye contact, and gesturing. Students can also slow down the content to their custom speed so that they can successfully gather the handwritten notes they need, reviewing information if necessary. Using the 1-Take, teachers can offer their students the most engaging and personalized delivery of classroom content.

Review a 2014 study (from edX data) about video production and student engagement.

[1] Benedict, M. & Hoag, J. “Seating Location in Large Lectures: Are Seating Preferences or Location Related to Course Performance?” The Journal of Economic Education (2004)
[2] Goddard, R., Tschannen-Moran, M., & Hoy, W. “A Multilevel Examination of the Distribution and Effects of Teacher Trust in Students and Parents in Urban Elementary Schools.” The Elementary School Journal (2001)
[3] Riegelsberger, J. “The Effect of Facial Cues on Trust in E-Commerce Systems.” (2002)
[4] Farah, M. J. “Is face recognition ‘special’? Evidence from Neuropsychology.”Behavioural Brain Research (1996)
[5] Cohen, I., Sebe, N., Garg, A., Chen, L., & Huang, T. “Facial expression recognition from video sequences: temporal and static modeling.” Computer Vision and Image Understanding (2003)
[6] Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
[7] M Thomas, J Dieter (1987) The Positive Effects of Writing Practice on Integration of Foreign Words in Memory. Journal of Educational Psychology, Volume 79, Issue 3, Pages 249-253.
[8] Bligh, D. (2000). What’s the use of lectures? San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.
[9] Johnstone, A. H., & Su, W. Y. (1994). Lectures-a learning experience? Education in Chemistry, 31 (1), 75-76, 79.
[10] Hartley, J., & Cameron, A. (1967). Some Observations on the efficiency of lecturing. Educational Review, 20 (1), 30-37.
[11] Locke, E. A. (1977). An empirical study of lecture notetaking among college students. The Journal of Educational Research, 77, 93-99.
[12] Bonwell, C., & Eison, J. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom (ASHE‐ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1). Washington, DC: George Washington University.
[13] Zhang, D., Zhou, L., Briggs, R. O., & Nunamaker Jr., J. F. (2006). Instructional video in e-learning: Assessing the impact of interactive video on learning effectiveness. Information Management, 43(1), 15–27
[14] Van der Meij, H., & van der Meij, J. (2013). Eight Guidelines for the Design of Instructional Videos for Software Training. Technical Communication, 60(3), 205–228
[15] Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Aids to computer-based multimedia learning. Learning and
Instruction, 12(1), 107–119
[16] Jun Choi, H., Johnson S. D. (2005). The Effect of Context-Based Video Instruction on Learning and Motivation in Online Courses. The American Journal of Distance Education 19(4), 215–227


The 1-Take method of recording lectures has many benefits, such as the opportunity for reflective practice, building stronger relationships with students, parents, and administrators, and increased class time for student engagement and differentiation. But probably the most critical benefit is efficiency. Consider the following:

The teacher is standing at the front of the room, lecturing. Just as she is about to give an example to illustrate a point, someone from the main office knocks on the door – “Tanya’s mother is here to pick her up.” The student leaves the room. The remaining students are a bit distracted by this interruption and the teacher quiets the class down, refocusing them on the content. A few minutes pass and two students begin talking in the back row and a third has put his head down on the desk, which causes the teacher to stop the lecture in order to address their behavior. The teacher then refocuses on the content. Not long after that, a student asks a question…

Cognitive interruptions create inefficiencies in high school, college & university classrooms.

This is snapshot of a typical class period for many teachers; however, not many people notice the inefficiencies in this traditional teaching method or why these inefficiencies exist. Research from fields like cognitive psychology can help to explain.

Individuals have finite cognitive resources [1]. The working memory of a person, which is responsible for things like problem solving, decision making, and organizing information [2], can be overloaded when there are too many demands. In the above scenario, the teacher’s primary task is lecturing – the goal is to introduce and explain content to the students. The task of lecturing involves speaking, scanning the room for visual feedback from students (e.g., do they “get it?”), and perhaps writing or drawing diagrams on a board, among other things. Lecturing can require a sizable amount of processing capacity, which some might consider an inefficient use of cognitive resources.

The next thing that happens in the scenario is an interruption from the main office. An interruption can be defined as an event that is externally generated, randomly occurring and that breaks a person’s cognitive focus on a primary task [3]; typically this event requires immediate attention [4]. The interruption by the person from main office required the teacher’s immediate attention, thus disrupting focus on the primary task of lecturing. This is also an instance of inefficiency, in that the lecture time is now made longer due to starts and stops.

The two students who were caught talking in the back row, the student with his head down, and the student asking a question are all part of the environment of a typical classroom; but they are also considered interruptions. Some researchers argue that interruptions themselves can place greater demands on cognitive processing, increasing information load [5]. Interruptions force a person to ration cognitive resources [6] and they can result in a person forgetting some of the information needed for processing the primary task. As the intensity or number of interruptions increases, the resulting cognitive overload causes a deterioration of the person’s performance [6]. For a teacher, each interruption requires a switch from the primary task of lecturing to those other tasks (e.g., correcting behavior, answering a question), pushing the teacher toward cognitive overload and potentially reducing lecture quality. With every interruption, there is a chance that the teacher could leave out a critical piece of content, forget to use a particular example, etc. This is yet another occurrence of inefficiency. If the teacher’s lecture performance suffers due to various interruptions, some students won’t hear the necessary content, which will lead to the teacher having to re-lecture the content at another time.

Consider also that this scenario is a snapshot from a typical class period. Keep in mind that many teachers repeat the same lecture several times a day; the lectures are also repeated year after year. These inefficiencies can have a compounding effect over time, contributing to teacher stress and burnout.

Cognitive inefficiencies seen in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Filming lecture videos using the 1-Take method can help a teacher avoid these particular inefficiencies. With a video lecture, the teacher can be certain that all content is included and that all necessary examples are provided. There are no interruptions to detract from the primary task of lecturing while filming a lecture video. By filming content, a 40 minute live lecture can translate to a 9 minute video lecture, which is considerably shorter because there are no interruptions causing starts and stops in lecture performance. Having students watch these short content videos at the beginning of class or even as homework means that lecturing is no longer the teacher’s primary task during class time. Now, the teacher has freed cognitive resources, reducing the risk of overload, which reduces stress and burnout. Things that were once interruptions, like managing behavior or addressing students’ questions, can become the primary task.

Review a 2014 summary of survey data illustrating the efficiency of video lectures across different grade levels and content areas.

[1] Jackson,T.W., & Farzaneh, P. (2012) Theory-based model of factors affecting information overload. International Journal of Information Management, 32, 523-532.
[2] Zull, J. E. (2002). The art of changing the brain: Enriching teaching by exploring the biology of learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Pub.
[3] Corragio, L. (1990). Deleterious effects of intermittent interruptions on the task performance of knowledge workers: A laboratory investigation (Unpublished doctoral dissertation: University of Arizona).
[4] Covey,S.R.(1989).The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. NewYork. Simon and Schuster.
[5] Speier et al., (1999) The Influence of Task Interruption on Individual Decision Making: An Information Overload Perspective Decision Sciences, Volume 30 Number 2.
[6] Normon, D. A., & Bobrow, D. G. (1975). On data-limited and resource-limited processes. Cognitive Psychology, 7,44-64.



Though the term “reflective practice” may sound unfamiliar, many people have reflected themselves or have seen others reflect on their practice. Take sports, for example. After a game, athletes and coaches typically watch a recording of the game in order to understand what went wrong and where improvements can be made. They reflect on their performance. Musicians regularly use reflective practice in order to improve their skills; they listen to recordings of themselves, identifying areas that need improvement. People who want to build their confidence with public speaking may film themselves while alone and watch it back in order to become more comfortable with delivering a speech. Those who want to reach their potential utilize reflective practice in order to improve.

What does it look like?
Reflective practice in the classroom
Reflective practice dance experiment
Reflective practice during music lessons

The concept of reflective practice is commonly used in education, but the focus is typically on the students reflecting on their learning. What about teachers? Teachers are professionals. Their job requires them to impart knowledge to others, explain concepts, and provide structure, among other things. They lecture. And like athletes or musicians, teachers can use reflective practice in order to improve their teaching and reach their potential as educators.

Early educators like John Dewey[1] promoted reflective thinking as a way to understand how decisions are made, how we learn, and how we use information. Schon[2] popularized the concept of reflective practice in teaching, using reflection to improve professional practice. Some might argue that experience alone will help a person improve their craft; the old adage “practice makes perfect.” Dewey and others argue that experience is not enough. “We do not actually learn from experience as much as we learn from reflecting on experience”[3]. Simply having years of experience in teaching will not automatically lead to being a great teacher. When teachers have the time and opportunity to reflect upon their teaching and to compare, contrast, and revise their views, they come to understand the nature of exemplary teaching[4].

Using the 1-Take method provides a way for teachers to be reflective of their teaching, improving their professional practice. Teachers using the 1-Take method film short video lectures using a camera, whiteboards, and markers. The simplicity of this method keeps the focus on the teacher’s lecture. Watching yourself on video can be an extremely powerful and effective method for reflective practice[5], so teachers are expected to watch their lecture videos, noting strengths and weaknesses in their performance. They reflect on their practice.

“[Reflective thinking] involves willingness to endure a condition of mental unrest and disturbance”[1], because in reflecting, we must be critical. But in order to change our thoughts and beliefs about our performance, reflective practice is crucial. You are your best teacher. Reflecting on your own work is the quickest and most powerful method of making real change to your professional practice and improving your skills[6].

Review a 2013-2014 summary of survey data illustrating the power of recording and reflecting on video lectures for teachers across different grade levels and content areas.

[1] Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. Boston: D. C. Heath and Co.
[2] Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.
[2] Schön, D. A. (1987). Education the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
[3] Posner, G. J. (1985). Field Experience: A guide to reflective teaching. New York: Longman.
[4] National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. National Academy Press: Washington, D.C.
[5] Bryan, L., Recesso, A. (2006). Promoting Reflection among Science Student Teachers Using a Web-based video analysis tool. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, v23 (1), 31-39.
[6] Haney, J. J., & McArthur, J. (2002). Four case studies of prospective teachers’ beliefs concerning constructivist teaching practices. Science Education, 86, 783–802.
[6] Yerrick, R., Parke, H., & Nugent, J. (1997). Struggling to promote deeply rooted change: The “filtering effect” of teachers’ beliefs on understanding transformational views of science. Science Education, 81, 137–159.



Ask a teacher why he or she chose the teaching profession and you will likely hear some variation on the response “I like to work with kids.” Even a quick Google search reveals a long list of results touting “Top 5” or “Top 10” reasons for becoming a teacher, all of which include some focus on the students. As simple as that statement seems, in practice it holds a lot of meaning. Teachers serve as mentors and role models for their students. They educate students, help shape their interests, help them form good work habits, and encourage them to reach their potential. And at the core, all of these activities come down to one thing: relationships.

Relationships are an important part of life and teacher-student relationships can be critical for success. A healthy and positive relationship between the student and teacher can improve both academic and social development [1]. Of course, parent and peer relationships can also play a huge role in student success; but if either of those areas of support are lacking, teacher support can compensate because of the huge role a teacher plays in the everyday life of a student [2]. Many teachers will “go the extra mile” to build trust and relationships with their students and this effort does not go unnoticed. Students who perceive their teacher putting in more effort believe that their teacher really cares about them and their success. This, in turn, can lead to students investing more in the relationship and to higher achievement [3].

Unfortunately, barriers exist that can keep teachers from cultivating those important teacher-student relationships. Class sizes are large and they continue to grow. Some teachers report having anywhere from 30 to 40 students in one classroom, which makes connecting with each and every student a challenge. Most classrooms contain a diverse set of learners, with some students requiring more attention than others. However, teachers will tell you that the biggest barrier is time. There is a lot of content to cover in a single class period, which typically means a teacher is lecturing for the majority of the time they spend with students. The traditional lecture takes away from potential relationship building.

With the 1-Take method, teachers can better focus on the reason they started teaching in the first place – the students. The personalized video lectures, created by the teacher, can help strengthen relationships and build trust with students. Students will see that their teacher, a published master found on YouTube, has put in time and effort to create these lectures, which can lead to students investing in the teacher-student relationship as well as higher student achievement. The video lectures create space and time in the classroom that teachers can use to focus on building and strengthening these critical teacher-student relationships. Even with a diverse set of 35 students, a teacher now has time to work on strengthening relationships with each and every student. Additionally, when teachers are involved with students during the class period in the role of a guide (rather than a lecturer), students are more likely to have a positive perception of the teacher; this can strengthen the teacher-student relationship and lead to achievement [4].

[1] Gregory, A., & Weinstein, R. S. (2004). Connection and regulation at home and in school: Predicting growth in achievement for adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 19, 405–427
[1] Hamre, B., & Pianta, R. (2001). Early teacher–child relationships and the trajectory of children’s school outcomes through eighth grade. Child Development, 72, 625–638.
[2] Harter, S. (1996). Teacher and classmate influences on scholastic motivation, self-esteem, and level of voice in adolescents. In J. Juvonen & K. Wentzel (Eds.), Social motivation: Understanding children’s school adjustment. New York: Cambridge University Press
[3] Midgley, C., Feldlaufer, H., & Eccles, J. S. (1989). Student/teacher relations and attitudes toward mathematics before and after the transition to junior high school. Child Development, 60, 981–992.
[4] Skinner, E. A., & Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects of teacher behavior and student engagement across the school year. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 571–581.

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