Aim: To investigate the effect of using videos on learning Mathematics.

Background: Every student was issued with an iPad for use in school and at home. In a ’flipped‘ classroom an introduction to a topic was in the form of an online video set as homework before the lesson, with lesson time then devoted to using the skills learned.


Year 1: 300 videos on key mathematical topics were collected as a resource on the school’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). A baseline survey of students’ use of online videos in their learning was conducted. Videos were used in various ways:

  • for flipped learning
  • as part of revision schedules
  • to review homework
  • to provide personalized feedback on mock exam papers
  • for personal study for students to research topics that interested them
  • in lessons

Year 2: Surveys showed that, broadly, students felt using these videos had a positive impact. The online database was expanded to include 500 videos and they were published on two department blogs. Following training during the year, all Mathematics teachers used videos with their classes. The department also ran training for all staff at Mount’s Bay on the use of videos and online technologies, in particular blogs.

Year 3: The use of videos and podcasts in lessons became more widespread across the school as an additional tool for promoting learning. It became clear that, when introducing topics, there were some times when the use of videos was more appropriate than others. As far as homework was concerned, flipped homework was set at the start of a topic and “conventional” homework set towards the end of a topic to assess understanding.

Evidence: Pupil surveys.

Impact: Approximately 20% of students were surveyed each year. It is notable that in 2015 over 80% of students felt the use of ICT had a positive or very positive effect on learning. 78% of students felt watching videos before the lesson had a positive or very positive effect on learning. Over 80% felt watching videos during a lesson or as part of a revision lesson had a positive or very positive effect. 65% felt watching a video that talked through a past paper was positive or very positive although 18% had not used this resource. This compared favourably to 2012 when the majority of students had not used videos either in lessons or outside lessons on an individual basis.

Reflections: From an outside perspective it is easy for the general public to believe that online videos can replace teachers. We have seen this to the extent that the popular press has promoted Khan Academy in the last few years. This project has shown that there is indeed a place for teachers; however, videos used independently by students have a place as a powerful additional tool to advance learning.

Contact: Samuel Kent, Deputy Director of Mathematics,; Karyn Frayne, Director of Mathematics,