Classroom lecture videos are are shot in a traditional classroom setting ... professor, blackboard, PowerPoint slides on a large screen, and, of course, students.  The video is usually shot from bell-to-bellthe entire class session. And there is rarely any editing. There are a number of individual videos in the lecture series, one for each lecture session in the semester.


What to Expect

Advantages of classroom lecture videos:

  • You can "attend" a full semester of classes at a prestigious university.
  • You can learn from some of the most prominent professors and scholars of our time.

Disadvantages of classroom lecture videos:

  • You have to tolerate (or fast-forward) through a lot of classroom housekeeping chores that are not relevant to online users.
  • You sometimes encounter professors who might be reputable scholars but terrible teachers.
  • Some make frequent references to the class textbook, which you most likely do not have.

Free-Ed.Net is mindful of the disadvantages, and we recommend only those classroom lecture videos where the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Besides, you can see that the disadvantages are really more in the category of annoyances than significant challenges to the learning process.

Here are a few more notable characteristics of classroom lecture videos:

  • The information is aimed at the class and not necessarily the online viewer who is separated in time, place, and culture.
  • The videos typically run about 40 minutes—the length of a typical class.
  • The presentations are generally sporadic in the density of the information they convey. Sometimes the professor discusses a small point at great length, and other times he/she seems to cram a week's work into at 1-minute explosion of ideas.

How to Use Them

You should be prepared to watch a classroom lecture at least three times.

  1. The objective of the first viewing is to get a sense of the content of the lecture and where the useful material appears. Outline the content of the lecture and mark the times where useful content begins and ends.
  2. On the second viewing, begin taking notes in your Learning Journal. Pause the video to jot down new terms and ideas. Take note of questions that should be forming in your mind. And after this second viewing, turn to your notes and research the Web to expand and round out the material in your notes.
  3. You are now fully prepared to run through the lecture one more time. Approaching it with a lot more knowledge and experience with the topics, you will be able to pick up details you might have missed in earlier viewings and see some of the professor's ideas from a more informed perspective.


Classroom lecture videos invite the entire world into some very prestigious classroom settings and sometimes into  the presence of highly renowned instructors. The downside is that the videos are most often raw and unedited, meaning there are frequent segments of class time that are spent with in-house announcements and housekeeping matters that are of no interest to the outside observer.




David L. Heiserman, Editor

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All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015