June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.1390.1 - 13.1390.12
Watching Videos Improves Learning? An Effective Use of Short, Simple, Instructor-Made Videos in an Engineering Course Abstract
Keeping up with trends in technology use among students is always a challenge. Students, like much of society, are increasingly “pulling” their desired content from the web (news, entertainment, etc.) rather than simply acting as passive receivers. The growth of on-demand internet viewing on YouTube and NetFlix in combination with the diminished power of the big three networks is a great example of this trend. Education, however, remains generally out-of- sync with this trend; we still rely primarily on a “push” approach. Today’s students desire more and more control over how they get their information both in their courses and in their lives. This paper reports on a notably successful attempt to create a resource which augments traditional classroom instruction and can be used at the time and place of the student’s choosing. By creating short, simple videos using easy-to-use technology, instructors discovered that students not only appreciate having the resource available, they also improve their learning with its use. Students in the civil engineering program at the United States Military Academy who used these videos as they prepared for mid-term exams performed better than those students who chose not to make use of the resource. In addition to the marked improvement in academic performance, feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive.
These videos are unique compared to other web-based learning objects in a number of ways. First, they are created using very simple, easy-to-learn technology and do not require assistance from outside the department. Second, they do not duplicate any of the material presented in the course or the traditional classroom activities; rather, they augment the course content and provide an additional resource for students to consult when studying and solving assigned problems. Third, they are short and focused on a single concept; they do not require a large time investment for a student to benefit. We believe that this resource blends traditional presentation and current technology in a unique way that is demonstrably beneficial and does not require significant time or computer “know-how” on the instructor’s part.
This paper summarizes the initial implementation of short, instructor-created tutorial videos in our introductory engineering course, Fundamentals of Engineering Mechanics and Design, and includes quantitative support for the conclusion that using these videos improves academic performance and students’ attitudes. This paper also includes an explanation of how to create the videos using inexpensive and easy-to-learn resources, outlines our lessons learned, and concludes with a discussion of best practices.
Keeping up with trends in technology use among students is always a challenge. Our students, like much of society, are increasingly “pulling” their desired content from the web (news, entertainment, etc.) rather than simply acting as passive receivers. The growth of YouTube in combination with the diminished power of the big three networks is a great example of this trend.
Bruhl, J., & Klosky, J. L., & Bristow, E. (2008, June), Watching Videos Improves Learning? Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3773
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