Summary of "Lights, Camera, Action: Advancing Learning, Research, and Program Evaluation through Video Production in Educational Leadership Preparation"

One Sentence Summary

This study advances a framework for digital video production as a learning and teaching tool, research instrument, and evaluation and innovation tool in educational administration preparation.


Jennifer Friend and Matthew Militello

Research Questions

This article investigates the following research questions:

  • How will technological advances, specifically speed of dissemination and the public nature of diffusion, affect the preparation of future school leaders?

  • What will be the impact on educational research?

Major Findings/Discussion Points

This article provides a three-part framework for video production in educational leadership preparation.

Supports Learning

Through film production, students learn to use technology and collaborate with their peers. They are empowered to create their own narratives, capture diverse voices in their communities, and integrate their own leadership experiences.


The primary goal of filmmaking as a research methodology is to share a story using images and sound. There are six elements of video production: site selection, participant selection/ informed consent, video equipment, data collection (participant prompts), data analysis (selection of clips), findings/ discussion/ recommendations (sequencing of clips and post-production editing), and findings (sharing the film with an audience).

These six steps occur over three phases: pre-production (creating storyboards and designing study), production (gathering data through film and audio recordings), and post production (analysis, selection, and organization of video clips, collection of B-roll footage, and editing).

Video as a research instrument has the potential to transform research from something we do to subjects into something we do with participants - co-generation of knowledge through inclusion of authentic voices that can be shared with a wide audience.

Evaluate Programs and Share Innovations

Video can be used to improve the quality of the evaluation of educational administration preparation programs. There are opportunities for evaluation in three stages of video production: data collection (honouring participant voices), data analysis (gathering rich descriptive data), and sharing findings in the form of an executive summary. As evaluations are primarily written, video technology provides a different dimension to the evaluation of administrator preparation programs.

Video can also be used to share new practices with educational administrator preparation students, highlight program features and innovations that inspire new discussions to improve the educational leadership.

Full Citation

Friend, J., & Militello, M. (2015). Lights, camera, action: Advancing learning, research, and program evaluation through video production in educational leadership preparation. Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 10(2), 81-103.

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