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Two sides of the same coin: video annotations and in-video questions for active learning


Video in education has become pervasive. Globally, educators are recording instructional videos to augment their students’ learning and, in many contexts, replace face-to-face lectures. However, the mere act of watching a video is primarily a passive learning experience likely leading to lack of student engagement hindering learning. Active learning strategies such as video annotations and in-video questions have the potential to shift the passive experience of watching an instructional video to a more active one by engaging students with learning strategies designed to promote self-regulated learning and improve content knowledge. This experimental study investigates the impact of in-video questions compared to video annotations on learning and self-efficacy in an experimental setting. Findings revealed that learners who annotated videos had higher self-efficacy than those who completed in-video questions likely due to the immediate feedback received from the in-video questions. The study further concluded that prior knowledge plays a critical role in selecting appropriate active learning strategies, suggesting that video annotations be considered when students have prior knowledge about a topic whereas in-video questions with immediate feedback be interspersed in videos when students do not have prior knowledge about a topic.

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Correspondence to Negin Mirriahi.

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The authors are not aware of any conflict of interest that would have influence or bias the work presented in this manuscript.

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The research was conducted after receiving ethical approval by the University of South Australia’s Human Research Ethics Committee with all participants providing informed consent.

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Mirriahi, N., Jovanović, J., Lim, LA. et al. Two sides of the same coin: video annotations and in-video questions for active learning. Education Tech Research Dev 69, 2571–2588 (2021).

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  • Videos
  • Prior knowledge
  • Video annotations
  • In-video questions
  • Self-efficacy
  • Video-based learning