« Here are our seven main findings and corresponding recommendations for creators of online educational videos:
- 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. This is the most significant recommendation!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 rewatching and skimming, such as inserting subgoal labels in large fonts throughout the video. »