How do I structure a flippedhistory video?

This week I have been thinking about how to structure the videos/worksheets I have been creating to ensure that they cater for all my learners needs. In the process I have hit upon a few things.

Firstly structure is as important in a video as it is in a lesson. It is a peculiarity of videos that they lend themselves to a narrative, linear form of learning. In a sense they can become merely “telling the story” something I generally try to avoid. However I think there is a balance to be struck here as there is no harm in presenting information in a linear way, as long as a more analytical approach is adopted later, either in the actual lesson or at the end of the video/worksheet.

In terms of structure I think it is really important to treat the video like a lesson. Therefore I have been starting with an enquiry question and a learning outcome to make it clear the main point or message the students are learning about.

The next stage has caused me some difficulty. In a lesson I would be looking for some way to start some discussion and bring some understanding of the issues being raised, perhaps by relating it to the world today. However this is obviously quite difficult with a video students are passively watching. So far I have tried to pique their interest by asking a speculative question, getting them to consider and reflect on some of the key issues and pause the video. Some of my students like this, some admit they ignore it! I feel that perhaps including some interesting stimulus and asking some questions of it could be a different approach that I will be trying on my next video.

In many ways I find the next bit the easiest, presenting the content I want the students to be introduced to before the lesson. If the question or topic is thematic I present the themes and then look at them one by one. If it is more chronological, perhaps looking at how things changed, it is presented in order. In a sense I really like this aspect of flipped learning. I used to spend hours agonising how to take a chunk of content and present it in an engaging way in the classroom to make sure it sticks with the students, but now I create the video and allow students to digest it at their own pace and return to it if it does not stick first time.

I always try and include a summary as I feel it is an important way of reviewing and reinforcing the main content briefly.

Lastly (before the cheesy plug for my blog and other resources!) I have been experimenting with introducing a higher order, analysis question. This is for three reasons. Firstly it provides an opportunity to reinforce their understanding and use the information provided. Secondly it starts to introduce the kind of focuses that lead to higher order thinking, which normally links to the exam questions (or certainly the higher mark ones!). Lastly it provides a way to start the next lesson with a focus on the key, higher order question that the students need to understand and can be drilled down to support their views on it with factual information.

This is how I have been structuring my videos, would be very interested to hear how others are doing it to. Please comment below!

Also should probably say so far I have been quite simple and traditional and have stuck to recording my voice over a PowerPoint and then converting to MP4, but I am sure others have more innovative approaches! Again, comments welcome

To view one of my videos please go to
To see my resources please go to

Votes for women –

Home Front in WW1 –

USA in the 1920’s –

All my flippedlearning resources –

Follow me on Twitter @flipyourhistory


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