Point-of-view

First-person perspective showing what the demonstrator is looking at.

Introduction

First-person point-of-view (FPPOV) videos focus the field of view on what the speaker, narrator or instructor is doing, seeing or describing. Common examples in an educational setting include ‘down the microscope’ videography, ‘hands in the lab’ demonstrations of laboratory techniques, or medical videos showing surgical or anatomical detail. Technology can also open up new points of view that are traditionally difficult or impossible to view with the naked eye, such as aerial ‘drone’ videography, time-lapse, infrared ‘night vision’, slow and ultra-slow motion, 3D or 360 degree video.

Example

Pasture soil analysis, video recorded field trip, University of Melbourne 2017

When teaching pasture soil analysis to Parkville based students, Michael from the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences incorporated aerial photography into a video field trip for students unable to visit University of Melbourne’s Dookie campus.

What the research says

FPPOV videos are not as widely effective as some other videos styles listed here but they are highly effective for teaching and demonstrating discipline-specific skills. The FPPOV means that the demonstrator and students are able to contextualise the desired knowledge and skills in a highly detailed way. A demonstrator is able to narrate exactly what is happening on the screen, providing a robust link between theoretical and practical understanding.

Production tips

  • Cheap point-of-view (POV) cameras like GoPro and more recently, 360 degree cameras like Samsung Gear have made this kind of specialist film making more affordable.
  • As with any video production, film a test-clip, then examine and evaluate it critically. Is your video clearly demonstrating/showing what the viewer needs to see?
  • Effective demonstration videos often use POV footage, but then add a separately recorded narration afterwards.
  • While expensive to produce, a professionally filmed demonstration, case study or scientific video can be a great investment, particularly if your cohort is too large to allow all your students to get the ‘on location’ experience
  • Filming a video with a 360 degree camera may capture an ‘immersive’ scene, but do your viewers have access to an appropriate immersive headset viewing technology?

Further resources

Visit Learning Environments’ virtual reality and immersive technologies page

Join a hands-on Immersive learning with virtual reality masterclass

Further reading

Hansch, A., Hillers, L., McConachie, K., Newman, C., Schildhauer, T., & Schmidt, P. (2015). Video and Online Learning: Critical Reflections and Findings from the Field. SSRN Electronic Journal.