California Educator

February/March 2023

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 59

a 2020 study. Research from 2015, meanwhile, concluded that college students who watched videos with embedded questions were more likely to take notes, experienced less anxiety about the final test, and felt as though watching the videos was less "mentally taxing." Meanwhile, classroom-friendly video-creation tools such as Edpuzzle and Screencastify provide usage-based auditing trails for teachers, which can inform feedback, instruction and even grading. Which students watched your videos? Did they watch the entire video or just a part of it? Which lessons got little screen time and might be improved or discarded? Videos support flexible review (and re-review) Decades of research support the power of review and retrieval practice to reinforce learning. Inherently, video learning pro- vides "a cost-effective, location-free method of flexible study, one that is available at all hours" and allows students to "view material repeatedly if necessary," researchers explain in a com- prehensive 2018 analysis that encompassed 270 studi e s on instr uctional v i d e o s. Live lectures are linear, by contrast, and can't be replayed, rewound or paused to consider a point more deeply. at last point is a significant one. A 2011 study found that even when students were encouraged to ask questions, they frequently avoided raising their hands and interrupting the teacher, largely out of politeness and a desire to keep the classroom running smoothly. A video library gives students "the ability to access the con- tent when it is needed, such as when they are reviewing and preparing for exams," a time when the need for retrieval of information is particularly crucial, explains Nisha Malhotra, a professor of economics at the University of British Columbia. After creating a series of instructional videos based on his lec- tures, he surveyed his students and discovered that a majority of them watched the videos at least twice — a strong signal that a single lecture would not have sufficed. Videos allow kids to replay 'the muddiest point' "Sometimes it's helpful to see if students understand why something is incorrect or why a concept is hard," writes edu- cator Laura omas. Asking students to explain "the muddiest points" is a common way to address "where things got confusing or particularly difficult." In practice, though, students may not feel comfortable raising their hand to ask the teacher to go over the concept again during class time. Failing to master a challenging but foundational concept, meanwhile, can wreak havoc on the rest of the quarter. When students watch videos at home, they can rewind as often as necessary, reviewing concepts they find confusing while jotting down questions to discuss with their peers or teacher. A 2022 study concluded that even a simple pause button helped stu- dents to "prevent cognitive overload," significantly easing the task "of paying continuous attention to a steady stream of new information that has to be integrated with existing knowledge structures." Videos dramatically improve content clarity and impact You think you're giving a brilliant, off-the-cuff example that ties everything together, but when you see yourself on video, you realize that the connections you made aren't as clear as you thought. Videos tend to improve lectures because they give you plenty of time to orga- nize your thoughts and allow you to watch yourself and fix the inconsistencies and logi- cal leaps that are often sprinkled through an in-person lecture. While in-person lessons can be thrown off- track by digressions and distractions, videos are more time-efficient and allow teachers to "make content more coherent, and add design principles that they would not perfectly exe- cute in class (e.g., timing key points with slides; highlighting important information)," researchers explain in a 2021 study. ey discovered that teachers were more likely to "prioritize core content" when making videos, editing out irrelevant details that diverted students from the learning objectives. But don't aim for perfection, insists Farah, who said that making mistakes and letting your "authentic personality shine through" work best as you create videos, a point that the learn- ing-video pioneer Sal Khan seconded when we interviewed him in 2020. "Research shows that videos in which the instructor speaks in a natural, conversational manner, with an enthusiastic tone, are the most engaging," Farah and Barnett conclude. "In our experience, students really appreciate knowing that it's their actual teacher behind the video." is story originally appeared in Edutopia. "Classroom-friendly video-creation tools such as Edpuzzle and Screencastify provide usage -based auditing trails, which can inform feedback, instruction and even grading." 42 Teaching & Learning

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - February/March 2023