Learning Technology

Friday pointers: links to useful tools, research and advice

December 5th, 2014 at 02:12

Links this week cover preparing video resources and learning styles. Some older resources, some newer; dip into what interests you!

Video resources

Issues in creating and using video resources in language teaching. A recording of Teresa Mackinnon’s presentation from the ALT joint SIG on Open Education (27 Nov 14) (video)

How Video Production Affects Student Engagement:  An Empirical Study of MOOC Videos (Guo, Kim & Rubin, L@S 2014, March 4–5, 2014, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. ACM) (PDF)

This is a large-scale study that makes the following recommendations about creating online educational video content:

  1. Shorter videos are much more engaging. Engagement drops sharply after 6 minutes. Recommendation: Invest heavily in pre-production lesson planning to segment videos into chunks shorter than 6 minutes.
  2. Videos that intersperse an instructor’s talking head with PowerPoint slides are more engaging than showing only slides. Recommendation: Invest in post-production editing to display the instructor’s head at opportune times in the video. But don’t go overboard because sudden transitions can be jarring. Picture-in-picture might also work well.
  3. Videos produced with a more personal feel could be more engaging than high-fidelity studio recordings. Recommendation: Try filming in an informal setting such as an office to emulate a one-on-one office hours experience. It might not be necessary to invest in big-budget studio productions.
  4. Khan-style tablet drawing tutorials are more engaging than PowerPoint slides or code screencasts. Recommendation: Introduce motion and continuous visual flow into tutorials, along with extemporaneous speaking so that students can follow along with the instructor’s thought process.
  5. Even high-quality prerecorded classroom lectures are not as engaging when chopped up into short segments for a MOOC. Recommendation: If instructors insist on recording traditional classroom lectures, they should still plan lectures with the MOOC format in mind and work closely with instructional designers who have experience in online education.
  6. Videos where instructors speak fairly fast and with high enthusiasm are more engaging. Recommendation: Coach instructors to bring out their enthusiasm and reassure them that they do not need to purposely slow down. Students can always pause the video if they want a break.
  7. Students engage differently with lecture and tutorial videos. Recommendation: For lectures, focus more on the first-time watching experience. For tutorials, add more support for re-watching and skimming, such as inserting sub-goal labels in large fonts throughout the video.

Learning styles

Find out your learning style using the VARK definitions (Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic sensory modalities that are used for learning information) – one of the best known of the learning styles inventories. [Accessed 5 Dec 2014]

But are learning styles really relevant at all? In Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning: A systematic and critical review  Coffield and colleagues (2004) examined 13 different learning style models and concluded that they are very different, used in different ways and give different results in their impact on learning and that there is no consistent discrimination of factors that affect success of learning.

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

No comments for “ Friday pointers: links to useful tools, research and advice ”