Data Research and Development Center header
Picture of a circuit board
About the DRDC Navigation link
What We Do Navigation link
Our Research navigation link which falls under the What We Do category
Building Capacity navigation link which falls under the What We Do category
IERI Research Community navigation link

News navigation link
Related Links navigation link
IERI Just the Facts brochure


Video Research in Education
separator line
Questions and Guidelines for Researchers and Reviewers

In December 2005 the Data Research and Development Center (DRDC) organized and co-hosted with NSF the second in a series of workshops to enhance capacity to conduct scientific educational and scale-up research: the Video Research in Education Meeting. Chaired by Sharon Derry, the meeting brought together over 40 researchers from a wide range of disciplines to share insights and expertise regarding the use of video research in peer, informal and naturalistic settings; theories and methods for conducting video research on classroom and teacher learning; the use of advanced technologies for video collection, analysis, and archiving; and standards for video coding and analysis. Together these experts considered both the most fundamental and the newly emergent issues facing investigators considering the use of video to develop or to study the impacts of interventions designed to improve educational outcomes:

bulletWhen and how can video collection be used to produce data for basic research on teaching and learning processes in classroom settings?

bulletWhen and how can video collection be used to produce data for basic research on learning in informal settings (including museums, and homes)?

bulletHow do people learn with and from video?

bulletWhat factors need to be taken into account in deciding how to produce and index video recordings?

bulletWhat factors influence designs for selecting segments of video recordings for analyses?

bulletWhat considerations shape analysis plans and the selection of analytic tools?

bulletHow can studies plan for – and what are the constraints and limitations on – sharing and reporting video work?

An explicit goal of the meeting was to move the field towards identifying best practices and establishing guidelines for video research in education—especially in regards to coding, analyzing, and sharing video data—to be documented in a "white paper" on video research in education. The white paper Guidelines for Video Research in Education: Recommendations from an Expert Panel is now available online as a PDF file. Authored by twelve experts in the use of video for research purposes and enriched by comments and contributions from many others, the Guidelines address important practical, conceptual, and ethical issues investigators face in planning studies that incorporate the use of video (and audio) recordings to capture and transmit data (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Guidelines for Video Research in Education – contents and contributors

Guidelines for Video Research in Education:
Recommendations from an Expert Panel

bulletIntroduction to the Guidelines
Sharon J. Derry

bulletStrategies for Video Recording: Fast, Cheap, and (Mostly) in Control
Rogers Hall

bulletSelection in Video
Ricki Goldman, Frederick Erickson, Jay Lemke, Sharon J. Derry

bulletAnalyzing Data Derived from Video Records
Brigid Barron, Randi A. Engle

bulletSharing and Reporting Video Work
Roy Pea, Jay Lemke

bulletResearch on How People Learn with and from Video
Miriam Gamoran Sherin, Bruce L. Sherin

bulletEthical Concerns in Video Data Collection
Sharon J. Derry, Dan Hickey, Timothy Koschmann

Following is a list of major topics these experts address which are likely to be of particular interest to those planning and reviewing proposals for educational studies that incorporate video technologies. Included are references to sections of the Guidelines where the panel's recommendations are detailed. Designed as a roadmap—hyperlinked to assist online viewers in navigating the PDF version of the report—we hope investigators, reviewers, and funders will find this overview and the Guidelines helpful in stimulating thinking about the requirements and opportunities for using video to develop educational interventions and study their impact.

separator line

in designing, conducting, and reviewing proposals for educational studies that employ video technology

Planning to capture video data

It is important to "think carefully about how to allocate funds to technical infrastructure, to recording equipment, and to time for analysis on research projects."

(See Hall)

bulletPlanning—and adapting—field work strategies
See pages 4-6 of the Guidelines

bulletRecording observations
See pages 6-12 of the Guidelines

subbulletEquipment for capturing video and audio recordings

subbulletCamera configurations & the use of multiple recording devices

subbulletField notes

bulletIndexing recordings for subsequent analyses
See pages 12-14 of the Guidelines

Selecting elements for analyses

". . . [D]ata selection — a process of focusing on particular information in accordance with the theoretical frameworks, research questions, and instruments a researcher chooses" is critically important in "depicting or telling a narrative account of some phenomenon; and creating a source for information storage and retrieval that will support the identification and analysis of data."

(See Goldman, Erickson, Lemke, Derry )

bulletSelecting video clips—deciding how to decompose complex events
See pages 16-18 of the Guidelines

bulletSelecting for narrative power
See pages 19-20 of the Guidelines

bulletCombining purposes
See pages 20-21 of the Guidelines

bulletSelection strategies – inductive, deductive, and narrative-evolving
See pages 22-23 of the Guidelines

Analyzing data

"Potential criticisms . . . about generalizability of findings from video research can be countered by paying explicit attention to the logic of one's inquiry, including one's approach to selecting or collecting records, and by articulating the processes used to create explanations and generate claims."

". . . [V]ideo analysis can range from discovery-oriented approaches, in which the hope is to reveal unanticipated phenomena, to top down approaches, in which the records are used to identify and code events that have been mostly conceptualized before the data was collected. . . . An explicit multi-stage analytic approach can strengthen the likelihood of generating strong findings that are both reliable and valid."

(See Barron & Engle)

bulletA checklist for beginning researchers
See pages 24-26 of the Guidelines

subbulletGuiding questions

subbulletExpecting the unanticipated

subbulletSocial practices for viewing

bulletRepresentations for data selection & pattern finding
See pages 26-29 of the Guidelines


subbulletMacro level coding

subbulletNarrative summaries


See Appendix A: Common Transcription Choices

bulletMaking a case with video data
See pages 29-32 of the Guidelines

subbulletReporting analyses ‘play-by-play'

subbulletCoding, counting, and statistical analyses

subbulletRefining hypotheses

subbulletRe-representing video records

Sharing and reporting video work

"... [T]hose who conduct educational research based on video records are more likely to advance cumulative knowledge building if a major part of their research activity includes sharing and vetting the boundary objects that are integral to the socio-technical practices of video research." Examples of these boundary objects include "technical practices, tool selection, data selection, coding schemes and practices, video data banks, metadata schemes for video, theories and conceptual frameworks for guiding video research practices, institutional review board (IRB) forms and practices, and video reporting practices and genres."

(See Pea & Lemke)

bulletBoundary objects for video research
See pages 36-42 of the Guidelines

subbulletVideo software tools—analysis tools; tools for developing & sharing video cases

subbulletFormats for sharing video research

bulletSharing video as data sources for research
See pages 42-45 of the Guidelines

subbulletMetadata schemas

subbulletVirtual repositories and collaboratories

bulletNorms and practices for attribution and reuse
See page 45-46 of the Guidelines

How people learn with and from video

bulletIssues in the design of video learning environments
See pages 48-49 of the Guidelines

The attention biases "that cause viewers to notice some aspects of classroom interactions and not others, the attributional stances that affect how viewers interpret what they see, and the epistemological beliefs that temper what they learn from viewing are not unique to videotaped representations of classroom processes. In fact, recent research suggests that video representations may provide a means of overcoming such biases."

(See Sherin & Sherin)

subbulletTechnological infrastructure

subbulletVideo content

subbulletTask structure

subbulletSocial structure

bulletLearning outcomes
See pages 50-52 of the Guidelines

bulletVideo assessment
See page 54 of the Guidelines

bulletParadigms for video-based professional development
See pages 54-58 of the Guidelines

subbulletVideo clubs

subbulletProblem solving cycle

subbulletLesson study

subbulletProblem-based learning models

subbulletVideo case applications of cognitive flexibility theory

Ethical concerns in video data collection

bulletGeneral issues regarding use of human subjects in video research
See pages 59-62 of the Guidelines

bulletIssues regarding broad sharing of video data sources
See pages 62-64 of the Guidelines

bulletProtocols and informed consent
See pages 65-66 of the Guidelines, and Appendix B: Sample informed consent forms

The Data Research and Development Center (DRDC) is a research and technical center funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI), a collaborative effort of NSF, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in the National Institutes of Health. Since 1999 these three agencies have funded over 100 IERI scientific research studies designed to develop and/or investigate the effectiveness of educational interventions in classrooms across the United States. DRDC conducts research to understand the factors that are essential for scaling up promising educational models, programs, and strategies. DRDC also works to identify and address the methodological and other challenges that arise when conducting scale-up research, and to support IERI investigators in the conduct of their research.

To learn more about the work of the Data Research and Development Center and the IERI projects it supports, please explore this website or contact: Sarah-Kathryn McDonald (773 256 6199 ) or Kevin Brown (773 256 6024).

Data Research and Development Center
NORC at the University of Chicago
1155 East 60 th Street
Chicago , Illinois 60637

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0129365. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Logos of the University of Chicago and the National Organization Research Center