Aaron Timoshanko, ‘“Warning! Graphic Content Ahead”: Advocating for Graphic Video in the Teaching of Animal Law’ (2016) 26(1) Legal Education Review 115.


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The educational benefits associated with the use of video in learning environments are well-known. For an animal law educator wanting to leverage these educational benefits, the use of video presents a dilemma. Much of the video relevant to animal law is confronting, distressing or difficult to watch, which may cause some students to experience a negative affective state. It is also largely unknown whether the educational benefits associated with non-graphic video continue to apply when the content is graphic in nature. This article aims to address this gap. It argues that student engagement, comprehension and knowledge acquisition, critical thinking skills, information retention and recall, and student interest can be improved with the use of graphic video. It also argues that educators have a role in shaping students’ values and opinions, and graphic video can help in this regard. To reduce the likelihood of students experiencing a negative affective state, five principles are presented which educators may employ when using graphic video. These five principles are then applied to a YouTube video depicting the surgical castration and tail docking of a piglet. By employing these principles, the risks associated with graphic video can be effectively managed while leveraging the educational benefits of video.

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