Videos in higher education: Making the most of a good thing
Keywords:video, screencast, multimedia, instructional video, cognitive load, educational video
There has been a noticeable rise in the use of, and research into, educational videos in tertiary education in the past decade. This is due in no small part to the reduction of expensive barriers to their production and storage, and an increase in access to streaming services that make videos playable anywhere, anytime. Research into educational videos broadly falls into three categories: improving video design, investigating platforms and technologies that increase student engagement, and developing pedagogical approaches that take full advantage of the affordances of videos. A review of key findings in this journal – considered in light of the broader literature – reveals productive lines of inquiry for future research. Notably, experimental research using the lens of Cognitive Load Theory has established that videos should be short, uncluttered, and restricted to one clearly identified learning goal. There is also robust evidence to suggest videos should be accompanied by learning activities, rather than watched passively. In addition to the experimental research findings there is a wealth of research through case studies, such as exploring video based pedagogies liked flipped and blended learning. However, there are key opportunities for further research, such as the need for replications of experimental design principles in real learning contexts, and the development of pedagogical approaches that utilise the particular affordances of educational videos.
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