This paper proposes a video-based discussion learning exercise to consider in addition to the traditional online discussion board format. While the traditional written interaction between students in an online classroom is beneficial, the mass adoption of video technology, along with limitations associated with online discussion boards, led to the development of a new way to facilitate group communication using video communication technology. Utilizing the theory of social presence, we demonstrate the effectiveness of this video discussion format, allowing students to virtually “get to know” each other and collaborate in an environment that more closely resembles a traditional face-to-face classroom experience. Following multiple trials of online synchronous video discussions across both small and large class sections, results demonstrate students’ preferences for the video-based discussion format over the traditional, text-based discussion boards supported by their institution’s learning management system. Findings from two studies support that the video-based discussions enhance learning outcomes and foster a sense of classroom community.