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4 Tips on Successful Video Use in a Criminal Justice Classroom

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using video to teach online

See how video helps to elevate the most important concepts in your criminal justice course by making the content relatable and enabling students to understand where it all fits.  

Video can help students see the realities of the criminal justice system with Prison Tour videos, or help them practice discretion and ethical-decision-making in scenario-based videos, or expose them to various careers in the field as practitioners offer practical advice and provide insights into a wide range of professions, or help humanize individuals involved in the criminal justice system as they share their experiences.

While video use in the classroom is fun and helpful, it is important to plan what you want your students to get from the videos. Here are four tips to take into consideration when integrating video into your course.

1. Time/Brevity: Ideally, a video should be five to ten minutes long. If videos are longer than that, students may lose interest. The shorter the video, the better. If that’s not possible, and videos go past thirty minutes, segmenting the video to break up the content can make it easier for your students to stay engaged with the content.

2. Guided Handouts: Guided handouts help pull out and prioritize specific material in the videos to help students focus on the most important content. These handouts can even help students score a higher grade on a later test. Use guided handouts to: 

  • Ask specific questions about the video

  • Define important terms

  • Emphasize key points

Guided handouts can serve as valuable supplements that students can refer back to at any time to refresh their memory.

3. Quizzes: Like guided handouts, assigning quizzes after students have viewed a video helps them process what they just watched, and accentuates the key points in the video that directly relate to the course. That’s why selecting digital course tools that offer assignable video with built-in assessment is important. This ensures you get maximum impact from the videos you assign and helps ensure students are watching them.

4. Lecture Capture: When doing lecture captures, two key considerations to keep in mind are time and tone.

  • Tone: The tone of the lecture should be conversational and informal.

  • Time: Time considerations include both how long the video is and how much time is spent creating it. Some lecture videos can be used over and over again for semesters to come. In that case, spending a few hours on a video makes sense. However, creating a video that can only be used for one semester/class is usually not a time-effective decision.

Need video for your criminal justice course? 

Below, explore a wide range of original video that will engage your students and give them a better understanding of the core concepts.

  • Criminal Justice in Practice: These videos present a situation a criminal justice practitioner may encounter in the field and then ask students how they would respond in that situation, giving students the chance to practice using discretion and ethical-decision making in a low-stakes environment.
  • Analyze the Evidence: These video activities give criminal investigation students the opportunity to put what they've learned into practice by analyzing actual crime scene photos in an interactive video format. 
  • Careers in Criminal Justice: These videos encourage students to imagine a future career within the criminal justice system through the eyes of real life criminal justice professional. Students will hear from a variety of professionals discussing their day-to-day work and current issues related to technology, diversity, and cutting-edge developments in their field.

Share one of these free videos with your students today:

Criminal Justice in Practice

Criminal Justice in Practice:
How would you respond
to a call for burglary

Vantage Career Video Sample

Careers in Criminal Justice:

Access more videos. Sign up for complimentary access to Sage Vantage, which is available with the following titles: