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Mar 29 2018 - 08:00 PM
These Six Features Make Video Lectures More Interactive

One of the great challenges when creating an online lecture is figuring out how to make it engaging. There’s no denying that one’s focus wanes more easily with a video than with a traditional, in-person lecture, yet more and more online courses are using video lectures to convey information. To address this issue, researchers experimented with an embodied interactive video lecture (EIVL) to keep viewers focused and boost their learning.

The research team designed an EIVL around a TED Talk, My Stroke of Insight, using comments from the talk’s discussion forum to guide the interactive content they added to the video. Unlike standard video lectures, the EIVL included activities, questions, and exercises embedded into the original video. In addition, learners controlled these features by using their voice and gestures rather than by clicking or typing.

The interactive portion of the video was designed as follows:

  • First, an instructor character popped up on the screen and greeted the learner.
  • Second, the instructor asked the learner a question and gave them 30 seconds to reflect before answering.
  • Third, the instructor asked the learner to perform a small exercise.
  • Fourth, the instructor reiterated a crucial learning concept from the video.
  • Fifth, the instructor provided an example for interpreting a learning concept.
  • Sixth, the learner had a chance to ask questions from a pre-established set and receive answers.

All of these activities occur on the bottom corner of the screen, not obstructing the main video lecture, which automatically pauses when the activities pop up.

After 30 participants watched the EIVL, and 30 others watched a standard video lecture without interactive components, they completed exercises testing their comprehension, retention, and cognitive load. The researchers found that the participants who watched the EIVL had significantly higher levels of lecture comprehension, and they retained this information better one week later than those who watched the standard video lecture. While high cognitive load could impede learning, the researchers found that both groups reported comparable, moderate levels.

This experiment demonstrates an effective design for online video lectures to boost student engagement and learning. The only drawback is how time-consuming this process could be for instructors and course designers. If there were a platform already in place to support this type of interactive video learning, it’s likely that teachers would be more willing to adopt this practice into their online or flipped classes.

Hung, I-C., Kinshuk, & Chen, N-S. (2018). Embodied interactive video lectures for improving learning comprehension and retention. Computers & Education, 117, 116–131.

Image: by Sam McGhee via Unsplash
|By: Sara Hardman|1793 Reads