Effects of lecture video styles on engagement and learning


Lecture videos are an integral part of distance education. Much has been done to investigate the effects of lecture video styles, but many of the studies have methodological issues and confounding variables. The current study focused on the amount of motion in two types of lecture videos (hand-drawn and narration-over-PowerPoint) and investigated motion’s effect on learners’ perceived engagement and learning outcome. Participants watched lecture videos with varying amount of within-video motion, rated the engagement levels of the videos, and completed recall and knowledge transfer tasks. The study was conducted in a laboratory setting that simulated an online learning environment. Our findings indicate that a hand-drawn type of lecture video was rated as most engaging and supported recall performance of individuals with low prior knowledge of content materials. Knowledge transfer performance was affected by learners’ prior knowledge but not by the amount of motion in lecture videos. Pedagogical implications are described in the discussion section.

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Correspondence to Hung-Tao M. Chen.

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Appendix 1

Sample audio text material transcript

Video 1

The airplane is one of the most significant achievements of modern science. Human beings have long aspired to fly like birds. Although airplanes have dramatically changed since the time of the Wright brothers, the principles that allow airplanes to fly have not changed. In this article, we will discuss the forces that allow airplanes to fly and the ways that engineers have designed airplanes to conquer the principles of flight.

Let’s begin by considering the forces that make it difficult for airplanes to achieve flight.

The most obvious force that must be overcome to achieve flight is the weight of the airplane itself. Modern commercial aircraft weigh hundreds of tons. Yet the weight of a well-designed airplane is kept to a minimum in two main ways.

Engineers build the body of an aircraft in several steps that are designed to create a structure that is hollow and light yet durable. First, a series of circular metal rings linked by long metal rods are installed along the length of the body. This skeletal structure is then covered by a sheet of metal skin to protect the skeletal structure. This construction allows the airplane’s body to be durable while using minimum amount of material.

The first airplanes were built with a relatively heavy wooden skeletal structure. Modern airplanes are built with a combination of aluminum alloy and carbon fiber. These materials are lighter than wood but much more durable.

The Earth’s atmosphere has a density that resists the movement of objects through it. This resistance is called “drag” and it is the other force that engineers must keep in mind. A well-designed airplane will include design details that minimize drag.

Most commercial airplanes have a rounded nose cone attached to its cylindrical body. The rounded nose cone keeps the air flow attached to the plane. Having air flow attached to the plane reduces drag and leads to a more fuel efficient flight.

The smoother a surface, the less friction that occurs when air passes over it so engineers do all that they can to make the surface of an airplane as smooth as possible. Most modern airplanes are coated with a special type of paint that contains nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are able to fill even the tiniest uneven part of the surface and prevent adherence of dirt and other contaminants. This nanoparticle coating allows the exterior of the plane to remain extremely smooth and thereby reduces surface friction.

Appendix 2

Sample recall & knowledge transfer questions

Sample recall questions

  1. 1.

    List the force discussed in the third lecture segment that affected airplane flight.

  2. 2.

    List and explain all the ways in which the airplane’s wings allow the airplane to fly.

Sample knowledge transfer questions

  1. 1.

    How could the wings’ design be improved to achieve airborne more rapidly?

  2. 2.

    Using what you've learned about how an airplane’ wings contribute to flight, explain how a helicopter’ rotor blades allow it to fly.

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Chen, H.M., Thomas, M. Effects of lecture video styles on engagement and learning. Education Tech Research Dev (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09757-6

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  • Distance learning
  • Lecture videos
  • Instructional design
  • Education technology