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Making the most out of educational videos

Posted by on Monday, August 31, 2015 in News, Resource.

by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Assistant Director

Faculty Focus recently released the results of a survey on the flipped classroom, reporting that approximately three quarters of the >1000 respondents had tried flipping the classroom—and that most of them (>60%) found the experience positive for themselves and their students. While about three-fourths of the respondents found that the approach increased student engagement, only about half reported improved student learning.

What makes the difference? And what can instructors do to maximize learning in their flipped classroom?

One way to promote learning in a flipped classroom is to make the most out of students’ pre-class preparation—and in many cases, that means figuring out how to make pre-class videos effective teaching tools. A review of the literature suggests that three elements are important in making effective educational videos: cognitive load, non-cognitive elements that impact engagement, and features that promote active learning.

When considering cognitive load, instructors should introduce elements that help their students with thinking and processing that contribute to the learning goals…and that minimize cognitive effort that does not help the learner toward the desired learning outcomes. For example, research on cognitive load suggests that videos that include signaling—that is, highlighting the most important elements of a concept—and segmenting—which breaks complex lessons into student-controlled portions—help manage cognitive load in a way that maximizes learning.

To read more about how to structure and deliver effective educational videos, check out our new teaching guide.


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