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December 10, 2020 • 1 minute read
By: Saskia Watts

As 2020 comes to an end, we want to recognize your continued hard work and adaptability in responding to the dramatic changes in education.

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Blog > Change one thing – how to enhance your video lectures: Teach Online Toolkit 'Refresher'

November, 5, 2020 . 2 minute read

Change one thing – how to enhance your video lectures: Teach Online Toolkit 'Refresher'



Getting to grips with what may be a new way of teaching for you, can be overwhelming. When planning your video lectures, live or pre-recorded, it can be helpful to try one new technique, or incorporate one new feature of the tech you’re using each time. This way, it is easier to gauge the ease of use and efficacy for yourself and your students.

One way of encouraging student engagement with their learning materials is by sharing your eTextbook during your online lectures. Week by week, this is an effective way to tie core learning materials to specific learning outcomes, whilst also encouraging your students to dive deeper into their reading.

Tips for using your eTextbook for teaching:

  • Share your screen with your open eTextbook visible whilst recording your lecture, or presenting it live, to point your students to key sections of their reading. You are also able to tell them the areas they do not need to read, ensuring their time spent studying is fruitful and strengthens their knowledge of concepts you are teaching.

  • Actively add notes and highlights to the text during the class to demonstrate how to use study tools available whilst clearly signposting key passages. This will also encourage your students to make their own notes and highlights, and follow any you create.

  • Share the text ahead of an assignment, and add questions to the content that spur students to do further research, or to understand the task in a different light. Ask your students to also post and share their own comments on the text, and then discuss them together.

  • Remind your students to ask questions around your notes and highlights – these will be more targeted than if they were just left to read the whole chapter, and can lead to even deeper understanding.

  • Make use of the video and audio embedded in some of your eTextbooks to add variety to your lectures, and break up your time with them.

Jon Hubert, Tutor and Programme Leader: University College Estate Management

Hear more from Jon on how he uses eTextbooks to engage his students and enhance his video lectures:


jon hubert 3 final-1


"eBooks prompt more responses... it becomes a more personal thing, and you get to engage much more
with those students."

Sharing your eTextbook during your lectures is a simple way in which you can make the most of the EdTech available to you, whilst also and lead students to engage with their materials in a natural way.

Learn more: Engaging your students

In our new, soon to be released whitepaper with Kaplan Open Learning (KOL), looking at the relationship between engagement and learning outcomes in an online learning environment, we found that there is a statistically significant positive relationship between the number of study sessions with a VitalSource eTextbook and a student’s final grade. In an eTextbook pilot also run by KOL, it was found that modules with tutor annotations had a higher number of study sessions.

Join us on 11th November for a webinar hosted by Anu Laitakari and Stephen Livesey from Kaplan Open Learning, in which they will be looking in-depth at our Investigating the relationship between engagement and learning outcomes in an online learning environment whitepaper, and discussing other key findings.
Register for the webinar

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