Knowledge Clips: Definition, Characteristics and Different Types

Knowledge Clips: What Are They?

A short 3-to-5-minutes-long video clip concisely explaining one particular topic, concept or basic principle is called a knowledge clip. Knowledge clips can be used to brush up a particular student group’s prior knowledge, to provide additional clarification on difficult learning contents, or to visualize specific instructions (e.g. practicals guidelines, software manuals)… Knowledge clips, in short, enhance deeper learning, and are therefore ideal self-tuition material.

Knowledge Clips: Characteristics and Added Value

  • A good knowledge clip is at the same time brief and effective. Since they focus on one specific topic, students immediately know what they are about. In so doing, they stimulate in-depth processing.
  • Knowledge clips more easily capture and sustain the students’ attention.
  • Students can watch knowledge clips at their own leisure: they can pause and/or rewatch the video as many times as they want.
  • Of real added value are knowledge clips that have been enriched with short pieces of text, additional literature, a discussion assignment, a forum contribution, … and have been integrated into a Ufora learning path.
  • Increase your students’ involvement by (briefly) appearing on screen.

Knowledge Clips: When to Use them

A knowledge clip can be used to:

  • activate students’ prior knowledge;
  • smooth away differences in prior knowledge among students (e.g. in case of a course unit being taught to students from different study programmes);
  • provide additional support;
  • bring together basic knowledge on a certain topic;
  • illustrate a process or step-by-step plan that students need to go through;
  • illustrate the solution to a problem or exercise;
  • illustrate practical skills
  • accompany an assignment with the necessary instructions
  • give feedback to students
  • answer frequently asked question;

Knowledge Clips: Different Types

(1) Micro-video: a Knowledge Clip on a Basic Concept

Knowledge clips are very suitable to explain basic and/or frequently used concepts within a specific discipline. Be sure to limit yourself to 1 single concept per clip. Making knowledge clips on several different basic concepts enables you to build up a repository of basic knowledge. For example:

  • a series of clips on the different types of variables in statistics;
  • a series of clips on the meaning of constructivism in education;
  • a series of clips on the Lewis’s theory containing all the criteria for a stable electronic structure.

Knowledge clips on basic concepts enable you to:

  • activate students’ prior knowledge;
  • smooth away differences in prior knowledge among students if your course unit is attended by  students from different study programmes;
  • anticipate and avoid frequently asked questions

In the video clip below, Valery Labarque discusses the human skeleton (among other things).

(2) Knowledge Clips on Complex Topics

Topics, concepts or theories that are more complex or abstract can be explained in 3-to-5 minute-long video clips. Find out what students experience as difficult by: 

  • going over frequently made mistakes in exam papers;
  • organizing a poll, in which you invite students to indicate what they found difficult;
  • inviting students to post questions on the discussion forum;
  • summarizing the three most complex topics at the end of class and/or to explain those topics in a knowledge clip.

Knowledge clips on complex topics enable you to:

  • offer students the opportunity to process more complex learning contents at their own leisure;
  • avoid repeatedly giving the same explanation in class;
  • anticipate and avoid frequently asked questions.

In the video below, professor Jan De Neve explains a few noteworthy types of (statistical) distribution:

(3) Tutorial or “How-to” Clip: Process Illustration in a Knowledge Clip

Knowledge clips can also be used for process illustration. For example:

  • a step-by-step plan to solve a problem or an exercise (e.g. the criteria that are necessary to solve a case, the different steps in a mathematical calculation, …);
  • a set of actions within the context of a specific computer program;
  • the ins and outs of an online databank;
  • guidelines on how to use a specific website.

Make a general clip on the different steps students need to take to solve an exercise, a practical example, … and use that clip as a starting point for the students. Make an additional clip containing the solutions to that exercise, for which students had to go through a certain process.

Tutorials or ‘How-to’ Clips enable you to:

  • help students who experience difficulties when making exercises – they can watch and rewatch the clip as frequently as they wish;
  • avoid repeating the same instructions over and over;
  • offer answers to frequently asked questions;
  • provide students with collective feedback.

Students often have their own ways of explaining things. In order to build up a varied repository of solutions to exercises, you might want to ask your students to make their own clips on solving a particular exercise.

The following screencast demonstrates the editing software Camtasia:

(4) Training Video: Skills Demonstration in a Knowledge Clip

A knowledge clip can be used to demonstrate technical or clinical skills (e.g. How to use a pipette?). This type of knowledge clip can be made available to students either in advance of a class, e.g. by way of preparation to a practical, or after class, e.g. in case a demonstration in a large lecturing hall was not clearly visible to everyone present.

Training videos enable you to:

  • offer students an opportunity to prepare for an upcoming practical;
  • offer students an opportunity to practice a particular (set of) skill(s) at their own leisure after the practical.

In the video below, dr. Peter Vanlangenhove demonstates the different types of interventional radiology.

(5) Instructional Videos   

Knowledge clips can be used to visualize instructions for an assignments instead of writing them. In the clip, you explain the assignment’s purpose, the learning goals, and the assessment criteria.

Instructional Videos enable you to:

  • avoid frequently asked questions;
  • allow students to better prepare;
  • provide additional explanation to written instructions.

In the video below, Anse Stevens explains the exam assignment for the course unit Police and Judicial Organisation. Please note that this is an illustrative excerpt, taken from a longer video.

How to Make Your Own Knowledge Clip?

The Education Tip on How to Make Your Own Knowledge Clip minutely explains:

  • how to make a knowledge clip;
  • which tools are available;
  • how to book a professional Ghent University recording studio;
  • which training sessions to take if you want to learn how to edit video clips;
  • how to upload video clips to Ufora.

Note: did you know that old lecture recordings can serve as a template for a (series of) knowledge clip(s)? 

Lecturers can choose to make last year's recordings available to students instead of making new lecture recordings. Please note, however, that old lecture recordings must never replace this year's teaching activities.  

A good way to 'recycle' old lecture recordings is to turn them into knowledge clips. Before doing so, take a look at the tips below: 

  • use these editing tools to retrieve relevant sections from the recordings, and add assimilation assignments;  
  • be sure to provide an online alternative for active/activating parts of your lecture: e.g. an interactive webinar
  • have students fill out a poll (e.g. wooclap) or post answers on a forum. Only afterwards show them the answers of their fellow-students; 
  • with right-or-wrong questions, use Quizzes in Ufora. Ask students to write down their answers, and give them an answer key; 
  • encourage students to take notes while watching lecture recordings, give them guiding questions, and ask them to submit their notes. Give them interim questions, e.g. ask them to summarize, outline, and/or link the teaching materials to other course units… 
  • ask them to post their own outline on the forum, to look at two other outlines, and, if necessary, to complete their own outline.   



UGent Practices

Last modified Oct. 1, 2021, 1:36 p.m.