VideoClipQuests as an E-Learning Pattern

VideoClipQuests as an E-Learning Pattern

Ulrich Kortenkamp (University of Education Karlsruhe, Germany) and Axel M. Blessing (University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-144-7.ch015
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From a teacher’s perspective, the main advantages of VCQs are that they allow great latitude concerning the subject and the topic as well as the assessment; they can be created very easily, and they work with a multitude of learning platforms. As first evaluation results show, learners rate VCQs as being highly motivating. Thus, VCQs can be one effective element to sensibly integrate the opportunities and advantages of the virtual world into teaching.
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Videoclipquests As An E-Learning Pattern

“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail” – Mark Twain

Today’s teachers face an enormous change: Modern computers, e-learning, and the Internet are new tools that start to be commonly available. While it is undoubtedly true that these bear a lot of new possibilities for teaching, it is also true that these are not exploited as they could be. We will not investigate the multitude of reasons that leads to this situation, but we want to focus on one aspect. As the quotation by Mark Twain suggests, teachers are bound to their standard repertoire of teaching, and, based on our observations with in-service and also pre-service teachers, they tend to use the computer as another nail for their routine teaching.

Typically, e-learning courses are computerized versions of print-out text, sometimes with “multimedia enhancements” that correspond to the rest like a parsley decoration to a Wiener Schnitzel1. The fact that these could be removed from the course without actually losing anything effectively demonstrates that there is no real gain in creating an electronic version of a course text in the first place (Mayer, 2001).

As stated by Schulmeister (2001), much educational material on the Internet reveals a lack of didactical imagination of the authors. This is a typical situation where patterns (Alexander, 1977; Gamma et al., 1995) can help authors by providing a guideline for the composition of their course. The VCQ Pattern, short for VideoClipQuest Pattern, below is an easy to implement and effective way to use the rich media that is available on modern computers as a building block for courses that support students motivation and encourage a constructivist approach to learning.


The Videoclipquest Pattern

The VCQ (or VideoClipQuest) Pattern was designed with a certain set of expectations in mind that were formulated by expert teachers and lecturers:

  • 1.

    The concept must be easy to use for both the teacher and the learner

  • 2.

    It should not be restricted to a single subject or topic

  • 3.

    It should support the learning management system of choice

  • 4.

    There has to be a real benefit, i.e. the learning process has to be supported properly

  • 5.

    It should not replace traditional methods, but add to them

  • 6.

    There should be a way to share such material between colleagues

  • 7.

    It should use the possibilities of the computer beyond showing text and images

These expectations can also be regarded as additional forces. We will discuss them in the rationale below.


Students work in a motivated manner on an assignment that is presented using a combination of a video clip and a task.


Teachers have to introduce new topics time and again. They usually try hard to pitch the new subject matter to their students but mostly get hold of only some of them, if any.

Students have access to computers, either by special arrangement for one course, or in a blended learning scenario, or in a purely e-learning based course. The computers are capable of playing video clips. Access to the Internet is also available.2

We would like to challenge students to work on a certain topic that might not be within their current field of interest for various reasons. The topic is not easily accessible for direct experiences necessary for a constructivist approach, but still we would like the students to become involved with it.

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