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VITAL: Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning


Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) is a Web-based learning environment that enables students to view, analyze, and communicate ideas with video. The VITAL project began in 2002 as a partnership between CCNMTL and Herbert P. Ginsburg, Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Since then, VITAL has been deployed in a wide range of courses and disciplines across Columbia University, from the School of Social Work to the School of the Arts.

Students who use VITAL learn to master close viewing skills and articulate their ideas with both text and video, utilizing multimedia for active expression rather than passive reception. VITAL features tools that enable students to edit, annotate, and store clips that they select from a course’s video library. Students then use these clips as multimedia citations in essays that are published within the VITAL environment for review and critique by the instructor and classmates.

VITAL also offers a guided lesson template that allows instructors to create linear, question-by-question exercises. These lessons mimic real-time events in which students must make an interpretation or decision based on limited information. After answering a question, students might read an expert’s commentary, encouraging them to reflect and refine their thinking.

VITAL has been the subject of numerous studies, papers, and presentations examining its impact on student learning, new pedagogical approaches to the classroom and online, and applications such as pre-professional training. For more information, please see the VITAL project’s public Web site.

CCNMTL is committed to working with faculty partners to make VITAL an effective pedagogical tool that enhances both teaching and learning for each course. For more information or to view a demonstration, please contact us at


VITAL 3.0 Application

Executive Directors
Frank Moretti
Maurice Matiz

Production Direction
Ryan Kelsey 2006-present
Ted Bongiovanni 2004-2006

Project Management
Michael Preston 2006-present
Rae Brosnan 2005-2006

Programming Direction
Jonah Bossewitch

Eric Mattes, lead
Schuyler Duveen
Eddie Rubeiz
Jin Chen, intern

Interface Design
Elizabeth Day, lead
Zarina Mustapha
Marc Raymond

Video Production Direction
Stephanie Ogden

Video Production
Michael Deleon
Brian O’Hagan
Gerard Zoehfeld

Quality Assurance Testing
Brian O’Hagan
Mark Jeonghan Lee, intern

VITAL is based on an original concept by David VanEsselstyn.

VITAL: Early Childhood Mathematics Education

Curriculum Development
Prof. Herbert P. Ginsburg, Teachers College, Columbia University
Prof. Joon Sun Lee, Hunter College School of Education (CUNY)
Tracy Curran
Janet Eisenband
Genevieve Hartman
Susan Jang
Michael Preston
Noa Rom

Michael Deleon

Curriculum Review
Prof. Arthur Baroody, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

Project Evaluation
Cornelia Brunner, Center for Children and Technology

For a complete list of partners and more information about this project, please visit the VITAL project’s public Web site.

PloneVITAL Test Environment

Jonah Bossewitch
Schuyler Duveen
Eddie Rubeiz

Interface Design
Elizabeth Day, lead
Zarina Mustapha

Usability Testing
Rae Brosnan
Elizabeth Day

Development of the VITAL project is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.