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The Efficacy Of Screencasts On Diverse Students In A Large Lecture Course

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Using Technology to Enhance Education

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1210.1 - 14.1210.18



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Paper Authors


Tershia Pinder-Grover University of Michigan

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Tershia Pinder-Grover is the Assistant Director at the Center for Research on Learning in Teaching (CRLT) at the University of Michigan (U-M). In this role, she is responsible for teacher training for new engineering graduate student instructors (GSIs), consultations with faculty and GSIs on pedagogy, workshops on teaching and learning, and preparing future faculty programs. Prior to joining CRLT, she earned her B.S. degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the U-M. Her current research interests include the effect of instructional technology on student learning and performance, effective teaching strategies for new graduate student instructors, and the impact of GSI mentoring programs on the mentors and mentees.

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Joanna Mirecki Millunchick University of Michigan

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Crisca Bierwert University of Michigan

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Lindsay Shuller University of Michigan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Efficacy of Screencasts on Diverse Students in a Large Lecture Course

Screencasts, Lecture Recordings, Student Usage, and Large Lecture


University lecturing is changing as a result of larger class sizes, a more diverse student body, and the advent of technologies that could be used to enhance classroom instruction (i.e. Tablet PCs, personal response systems, etc.). One of the newest technological developments is screencasts, which are recordings that capture audio narration along with computer screen images. This study documents the strategic use of screencasts in an introductory Material Science and Engineering (MSE) course, and examines the impact on student learning and satisfaction in the large lecture environment. This course has an average of 200 students per semester representing all class levels and more than eight engineering majors. One teaching challenge is that the background and motivation of the students are quite diverse. Another is that the course content spans the entire range of a very multidisciplinary field. This paper analyzes the use and benefit of screencasts across the social and academic diversity of the students.

As a way to address these challenges, the instructor develops and posts several types of screencasts to the course management website to supplement the typical course resources. These types include lecture recordings; explanations of homework, quiz, and exam solutions; and explanations of topics that students identified as being unclear. To assess screencast effectiveness and design course refinements to enhance their use, we collected data for two terms on student perceptions of screencasts, their screencast usage, their course performance, and student demographics. The results from the first term were used to make revisions to the course design for the second term. The data were also used to correlate students’ success in the course with their demographic and academic backgrounds. The responses from an online survey show that the vast majority of students believe these screencasts are “helpful” and used the screencasts to clarify misunderstandings, to supplement the lecture material, and to review for exams. Our initial analysis of screencast usage shows that the class is evenly divided between students whose use of the resource is low, medium, and high. Analysis showed further differences by gender, race, and student major. Analysis to date does not correlate screencast usage with performance in the course; however, more detailed analysis is underway. Results from 2007 are being compared with those from 2008 to determine the impact of course refinements on these statistics. This study suggests that the use of screencasts maybe be an effective way to supplement lecture material in large courses for all students.

1. Introduction

Emergent technologies are transforming higher educational practice, proliferating at a rate far faster than that of research that analyzes how they are being used, whether they are making a difference to student learning, and whether such difference is equitably distributed among students who vary in academic and social backgrounds. Lecture recordings are one of the newest technological innovations to serve teaching and learning. Will their availability empty

Pinder-Grover, T., & Mirecki Millunchick, J., & Bierwert, C., & Shuller, L. (2009, June), The Efficacy Of Screencasts On Diverse Students In A Large Lecture Course Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5308

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015