This article reflects on the opportunities and challenges of using digital video (DV) technology as a visual research tool in qualitative research. The ideas are derived from a multiple case study that examined ten high school students’ metacognitive thinking as they created video representations of their own. The article begins with a brief history of visual research, and an introduction to the context, problem, and definition of metacognition within the study. This is followed by a literature review that examines the use of video in qualitative research and an explanation of the research questions and methodology. As revealed by the embedded video exemplars within this paper, many instances of students’ metacognitive thinking, behavior, and feelings were inferred from video observations of students working on their video artifacts, discussing ideas with their group members, or responding to my questions. In the discussion, I explore the opportunities and challenges of drawing definitive conclusions about students’ metacognitive thinking within video imagery and the multiple possible ways of interpreting this information.


Metacognition, Visual Research, Digital Video, Multiple Case Study, Knowledge Representation

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.