| Introduction to VITAL

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Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) is a web-based video analysis and communication system created by CCNMTL and Professor Herbert Ginsburg of Teachers College, Columbia University. VITAL comprises tools for editing and annotating video and for writing "multimedia essays" with text and video, embedded in an online course syllabus, and housed within a community space where instructors and peers can review work published within the system and build up a personal repository of video and written content. Students who use VITAL learn to observe closely, interpret what they see, and develop arguments using cited video content as evidence.

The VITAL environment affords a number of benefits:

  • The persistent accessibility of video illustrating key concepts, which students can view as often as they wish;
  • A personal workspace enabling students to identify and isolate material, to pinpoint precise moments in the videos, take notes, and save their work; and
  • Analytic exercises that require students to develop arguments and support them by citing evidence from selected video clips and references to readings.
VITAL demonstration: this short video demonstrates the functionality of VITAL.

Beyond Columbia University and its affiliates, VITAL is being piloted at the Hunter College School of Education (CUNY), the Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY), Georgia State University, Howard University, Rutgers-Newark, Vanderbilt University, and the University of San Diego. VITAL NSF Web site.