Logo Utrecht University


Knowledge Clip Month


A knowledge clip is a short, 5 or 10-minute video explaining a single, specific subject. In preparation for classes, students watch knowledge clips online and complete any included assignments. This means they arrive at their lecture, tutorial or practical well-prepared to participate. This frees up classroom time for in-depth exploration of the subject matter.

  • In-depth teaching: students prepare for class from home using knowledge clips, then discuss what they have learned in depth with their teacher.
  • Increased motivation: students are given (even more) responsibility for their own study process (any time, any place).
  • More accessible materials: teachers can share and reuse recordings within courses, within curriculums, throughout UU or even with the outside world. 3,000 knowledge clips were used in the 2017/2018 academic year. 1,000 were freshly recorded this year, and 2,000 were reused and/or repurposed existing recordings.

Blended learning means offering a blend of in-person and online teaching methods. The prevalent way of explaining the subject matter before classes is through knowledge clips (short weblectures in which the teacher succinctly explains a single subject). A study by Van Leeuwen, De Vink and Corbalan (2018) evaluated three types of knowledge clips. In type 1, the teacher looked directly into the camera and used slides to explain things without any interaction. Type 2 was video of the teacher being interviewed on the subject (which included interaction). In type 3, the teacher was presenting to an audience of students visible in the video who would occasionally ask questions (interaction taking place). Most students (74%) indicated a preference for type 1: This type offered clear structure, clear presentation and freedom from distractions.

The scientific literature also offers interesting recommendations on the development and deployment of knowledge clips (e.g., Brame, 2016): (a) Minimise students’ cognitive load. Highlighting important information and chunking important information together are both helpful strategies; (b) Maximise student engagement by, for instance, keeping your knowledge clips short (around 6 minutes) and speaking relatively quickly and energetically; (c) Make students act on what they see in the knowledge clip. You could, for instance, integrate questions into your knowledge clips, use leading questions and treat your knowledge clips as building blocks in a carefully designed course.

Brame, C. J. (2016). Effective educational videos: Principles and guidelines for maximizing student learning from video content. Life Sciences Education, 15, 1-6.

Van Leeuwen, A., De Vink, I., & Corbalan, G. (2018). Studentpercepties over drie typen kennisclips. OnderwijsInnovatie, 2018 (2), 33-35.

Suggested reading:

Kester, L., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. G. (2013). Effectief leren van multimediale leerbronnen. Weten wat werkt en waarom, 2, 14-51.

Mayer, R. E. (2014). Cognitive theory of multimedia learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning second edition (pp. 43-71). Cambridge University Press.

Educate-it offers two ways to record your knowledge clips and can offer didactic support for both:

  • Record yourself in one of our DIY studios. These studios in the inner city and De Uithof are open to teachers and students from all faculties wanting to record knowledge clips (or anything else).
  • Record yourself from your desk.

Once recorded, you can use your knowledge clips any number of times.

How can Educate-it help?


Take the blended training course – This consists of an online section and in-person workshops. You can also choose to take part only in the online part, or only in the workshop(s).

Do a workshop

Or a workshop outside of our themed month

‘Meet the Expert’ - Come to a Meet the Expert session on Knowledge Clips.

SIG Video – Come to the SIG Video

Take the online training course – This online training course is all about the dos and don’ts of using and creating knowledge clips. You’ll learn what knowledge clips are, how best to use them in your teaching, what to look out for when you start recording and using your own knowledge clips, and what resources Utrecht University has available to assist you. Go to the training course.

Come to the Open StudioOn January 28th and February 20th, we’ll open the studio doors to all comers between 11:30 and 14:00 at the DIY studio in room 2.48 at the University Library (UBU) in De Uithof. No need to register.

Strengthen-your-education-week - Do you want more interaction in your classroom? Students who come to class well-prepared? Some idea of what your students don’t know, so you can help them? A way to offer feedback more flexibly? Blended learning can help fulfil all these desires.

Or visit the Educate-it Academy

Educational Tools

  • Vyond
    Vyond is an web application for creating your own animations.
  • MyMediasite
    You can record your own knowledge clips with MyMediasite.
  • Scalable Learning
    Scalable Learning is an online platform for publishing knowledge clips and weblectures.
  • FeedbackFruits 2.0 interactive video
    This tool allows you upload videos, including knowledge clips, so your students can access them.

Talk it through – Discuss your plans with a didactic advisor for targeted advice or a custom solution.

Visit the Academy circle – For some background information on knowledge clips, click on knowledge clips in the circle.

There’s more to us than knowledge clips?

Have you been inspired, but are you mostly interested in what we can offer besides knowledge clips?


Questions? Looking for support? Contact Educate-it.

Is now not a good time? There’s another Month of the Knowledge Clip coming in June 2019.

Your fellow teachers share their experience

Interview with Science teacher Monique Slijper about Knowledge clips in her teaching.