Learning and Motivation from Basic versus Enhanced Statistics Video Lessons


Presented by:

Jennifer Cooper, Wesleyan University

Abstract

Producing videos for students to view outside of class increases the hands-on and instructor-assisted time available during class. In this research, we considered the effects of two different formats of video lectures that students viewed on their own time: a basic video in which PowerPoint slides were narrated by an off screen lecturer and an enhanced video in which on-screen narrators were accompanied by contextual illustrations, varying backgrounds, animation, additional on-screen text, and more extensive use of color to signal information. Video clips were from Passion Driven Statistics (Dierker et al., 2012; passiondrivenstatistics.com), with the variations supported by theories emphasizing the role of motivation in instructional design (e.g., Magner et al., 2013) and also considering the research from cognitive theories of multimedia learning (e.g., Clark & Mayer, 2011). Combining both cognitive-based and motivationally-based modifications is an important step because it reflects a more authentic approach that would be taken in producing documentary-quality videos as course materials. Seventy-four undergraduates in introductory psychology viewed a 10-minute video lesson introducing the chi square test of independence before giving their opinions about the video and completing conceptual questions to assess their learning. Half of the students watched the basic video while half watched the enhanced video. There were no overall condition differences on accuracy. However, after viewing a short clip from the other condition, students did report a relative preference to learn from the basic video compared to their preference for the enhanced video for what would be most motivating or preferred. Unexpectedly, this sample of students reported generally positive attitudes towards statistics and over two-thirds had previous statistics coursework. These unexpected characteristics of the sample raise of the question of how applicable these findings are to learners with less experience or more negative attitudes. It is possible that the effects on motivation and preference would be of more consequence with a different sample. We will briefly discuss how student responses to the videos in the experimental study relate to comments from students enrolled in a course which viewed some video lessons from each set of materials. This research has implications for instructors considering how to develop videos that can be viewed by their students, either in a flipped class format or as additional resources. Technology enables us to give the students' replay-able lessons, and it is important to consider the content and format of those lessons as teaching via video is not necessarily the same as teaching in person.

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Teaching a Flipped or Blended Course
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