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  5. Improving student engagement during online-only courses through the use of interactive question-embedded videos

Improving student engagement during online-only courses through the use of interactive question-embedded videos

Project leader(s): 
Bryan Singer and Rafael Hidalgo

Video presentation is a critical feature of online distance learning. Various publications have reported how online videos are useful educational tools that enhance knowledge. Despite this, the viewing of online videos tends to be a passive activity for students; this is antithetical to pedagogical studies that suggest how active learning promotes the understanding of the material. Furthermore, watching long videos can negatively impact cognitive load and thus reduce an individual’s ability to encode and retain learned information into memory. Accordingly, we hypothesise that dividing online videos into multiple interactive segments may improve understanding and retention of course material.

We will take a selection of course videos (SDK100) and embed questions into them. During playback, the video will pause following the presentation of valuable information and the student will be required to answer a question before resuming. Existing passive videos will be upgraded into interactive videos using software provided by the university and capable of being inserted into current course modules.

The VLE 'Conditional Activities' tool will randomly assign students to groups that either experience traditional or interactive videos. Students viewing the traditional videos will be quizzed after the video with identical questions as posed during the interactive video. This design ensures that all students experience the same module material.

All questions will be software-marked. We will assess the effectiveness of interactive/traditional videos by comparing student performance on the questions. Also, we will determine if presenting interactive videos early in the module encourages viewership later in the module. Finally, some students will be surveyed regarding their opinions on the videos.

We hope these findings will provide helpful guidance for using interactive videos to improve student performance and satisfaction. Given the ease of converting old videos into interactive multimedia, interactive videos can quickly and positively influence current and future module presentation.

Bryan Singer and Rafael Hidalgo poster