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Learning from mistakes

Mistakes are an opportunity to learn more about a subject, if it is caught and discussed. With a video about mistakes, you as a teacher can give all your students that opportunity and at the same time, effectively deal with common misconceptions. It also expands students' ability to put the subject in different contexts.

Mistakes demonstrate context

Simply presenting facts and what you want to achieve can reinforce students' erroneous assumptions and block them from seeing the big picture. If you depict common misconceptions, you can help students understand how different concepts connect to each other, so-called conceptual knowledge.

Video has great potential for visualization

Video allows you to visualize errors and mistakes in an organized form without wasting resources unnecessarily, as the video can be re-used. Below are some examples of what you can visulize with a video:

  • Mistakes too expensive to repeat every course round.
  • Slow-motion, multiple angles and other camera tricks to make it easier to follow what went wrong.
  • Dangerous mistakes in a lab without exposing students to risks.
  • Include images or video clips from real mistakes or accidents.

Discuss every step

You can start a video in a simple way, for example by saying: "You might think that ... but it's incorrect." Following that, it is important that you help your students understand why something is a mistake. It is beneficial to have a follow-up dialogue about, for example:

  • what has happened
  • how it should be
  • how to correct it.

Showing and discussing the consequences of mistakes related to a subject increases reflection on the complexity of the subject, including surrounding quirks.