Ever thought of using original videos or streamed video clips from the web in your IL sessions? There are a number of benefits to this approach:

  • A short video can help focus attention and provide variety within a presentation/workshop.
  • A video will give students a welcome break from the presenter and give you some breathing space too.
  • A well-chosen video will help make more memorable the points which you have presented in your session. Note: video clips should be used to reinforce the content of your session, not merely to deliver information.

Possible means for obtaining IL videos are:

  1. Use a video which has been prepared externally

Video sharing web sites such as YouTube offer an increasing number of videos on IL themes such as identifying source types, referencing, the research process etc. The quality of production and content varies considerably. Many videos are of US origin so may not necessarily be appropriate within a UK context. It is advisable to seek permission from the copyright owner to use them. This is particularly important in cases where the video includes 3rd party copyright content which the creator does not own.

  1. Use a video which has been prepared internally

Check out the Resource Hub area of the Information Literacy Resource Bank. There are a number of both live action and screencasting videos which cover key areas of the information research process.

  1. Engage experts to help create professional videos

If you have complex requirements, you will need to engage experts who can assemble a video in a professional manner. This can be time consuming and expensive, requiring meticulous planning and lengthy discussion. However, IL videos such as “Citing and Referencing: Taking the Frights out of your Cites”, which were created by ULS with the help of the University’s Media Resources Centre, illustrate that the end result can make the effort worthwhile.

  1. Create your own simple IL movies

You don’t need a film crew and a lot of equipment to create some effective IL movies quickly and easily. Vodcasts can be created with just a webcam with a microphone and simple videos with tablets (e.g. ‘voxpop’ style). However, there is a range of equipment available within ULS, including a high-quality digital camera, tripod, headset and microphone, along with a Camtasia licence.  Cardiff University Library staff can contact the ULS PA team to borrow the equipment.

The University now has a licence for Panopto, which can be used to film live lectures as they are delivered, or to record on-screen demonstrations of electronic resources, for example.  For Cardiff University members, Panopto help (login required) including a link to register to use our local version of the software, is available.


It’s also possible to liven up your teaching materials with the addition of copyright-free images. The following resources all enable you to limit your search results according to the re-use rights with which they have been tagged:

Google Images and Flickr both allow you to run your search then restrict the results to the re-use licence with which they have been tagged, so you can filter out images that require payment for permission to re-use.

MorgueFile and Pixabay offer images which are all free to use.  Contributers of images to MorgueFile may specify that they wish to be acknowledged; images on Pixabay require no attribution.


In the next section we look at using online tutorials in your teaching.