Instructional Videos

What Does the Reseach Say?

Script and references for video

Best Practices

  • Classroom-length lectures are not effective

      • “To maximize student engagement, instructors must plan their lessons specifically for an online environment. Presentation styles that have worked for centuries in traditional, in-person lectures do not make for effective online educational videos.” - Guo, Kim, & Rubin (2014)
      • Video of full length, classroom lectures “may be too long for students to usefully watch at one sitting.” - Whatley & Ahmad (2007)  
      • …long videos are frequently discouraged for several reasons, eg., difficulty in maintaining student’s attention…” - Hsin & Cigas (2014)
      • “The longer the video, the less likely a student will watch it completely.” - Dong and Sun Goh (2015) 
      • “Students engaged less frequently with assessment problems that followed longer videos.” - Guo, Kim, & Rubin (2014)
  • Segment content into short videos, ideally less than 3-6 minutes

      • “The shortest videos (3 minutes or less) had the highest engagement and much less variance than all other groups” - Guo, Kim, & Rubin (2014)
      • “…the results suggest the desired length as the average length watched was 4.37 minutes.” Vivian, Falkner, & Falkner (2014)
      • “The longer the video, the less students remain engaged. Shorter videos of 4-5 minutes will keep viewers attention to the end–chunk your videos into bite sized lectures.” - Faculty eCommons
      • “Segment videos into short chunks, ideally less than 6 minutes.” - Guo, Kim, & Rubin (2014) 
      • “We find that the average duration for (a video) access session is 4 minutes, 30 seconds.” - Brotherton & Abowd (2004)
      • “A longer video should be divided into shorter segments with interactive
        elements in between.” - Dong & Sun Goh (2015)
  • Include interactive elements between videos

      • “People learn better from a multimedia lesson that is presented in user-paced segments, rather than as a continuous unit.” ’Segmenting Principle’ from Dr. Richard E. Mayer’s 12 Cognitive Principles of Multimedia Learning
      • “…interpolating an online lecture with testing can help students to quickly and efficiently extract lecture content by reducing the occurrence of mind wandering, increasing the frequency of note taking, and facilitating learning ” - Szpunar, Khan, & Schacter (2013)
      • “…interpolating a video-recorded lecture with brief memory tests helped to boost learning.” - Szpunar, Khan, & Schacter (2014)
      • “…learning environments with macro-level interactive functions (e.g., note-taking, supplemental resources, and practice questions) provide students with affordances to become actively engaged in their learning and to invest or spend more time in the learning process, resulting in enhanced or superior learning outcomes” - Delen , Liew, & Willson (2014)