by Dennis Olsen, London School of Film, Media and Design

In 2019, I conducted some research on the impact of camera angles in learning videos on students’ perception of teaching excellence and student engagement. While the research focused on pre-recorded learning videos for virtual learning environments, I am confident that the findings can also be applied to online teaching with live video communication and thus might be useful for colleagues.

Accordingly, to improve students’ experience over the coming weeks, the following should be considered:

  1. Although presenter-centred video communication is most commonly used in online learning (that is, pointing the camera towards you), its use should be re-evaluated and probably not form colleagues’ standard approach during the coming weeks.
    When it comes to online learning, students seemingly much prefer the use of visual support—e.g., slides, the virtual whiteboard on Blackboard Collaborate, etc.—with additional voice-over by the presenter.

  2. Where presenter-centred videos are necessary—e.g., during virtual tutorials w/o slides, or pastoral one-to-one conversations—, colleagues should ensure that the camera is positioned on eye-level of the presenter. For most inbuilt cameras, this means that the laptop or desktop computer needs to be slightly elevated, e.g., by putting it on a box or similar (make sure it still stands securely!).

These adjustments to our online teaching practice, although small, appear to have a positive impact on students’ experience and perception of teaching quality.

If you have any questions regarding these aspects, or my research more generally, feel free to contact me at


Research output on this topic

Full research paper submitted to academic journal and currently under peer review.

Olsen, D. A. (2019) Considering students’ perception of teaching excellence in learning videos for the creative industries. Learning and Teaching Symposium: Connected Students, 19 September, University of East London, London.

Olsen, D. A. (2019) The impact of camera angles in learning videos on the perception of teaching excellence and emotional connectedness of students. Festival of Learning and Teaching, 3 July, University of West London, London. (Awarded best poster)