Exploring physics students' engagement with online instructional videos in an introductory mechanics course

Shih Yin Lin, John M. Aiken, Daniel T. Seaton, Scott S. Douglas, Edwin F. Greco, Brian D. Thoms, Michael F. Schatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The advent of new educational technologies has stimulated interest in using online videos to deliver content in university courses. We examined student engagement with 78 online videos that we created and were incorporated into a one-semester flipped introductory mechanics course at the Georgia Institute of Technology. We found that students were more engaged with videos that supported laboratory activities than with videos that presented lecture content. In particular, the percentage of students accessing laboratory videos was consistently greater than 80% throughout the semester. On the other hand, the percentage of students accessing lecture videos dropped to less than 40% by the end of the term. Moreover, the fraction of students accessing the entirety of a video decreases when videos become longer in length, and this trend is more prominent for the lecture videos than the laboratory videos. The results suggest that students may access videos based on perceived value: students appear to consider the laboratory videos as essential for successfully completing the laboratories while they appear to consider the lecture videos as something more akin to supplemental material. In this study, we also found that there was little correlation between student engagement with the videos and their incoming background. There was also little correlation found between student engagement with the videos and their performance in the course. An examination of the in-video content suggests that students engaged more with concrete information that is explicitly required for assignment completion (e.g., actions required to complete laboratory work, or formulas or mathematical expressions needed to solve particular problems) and less with content that is considered more conceptual in nature. It was also found that students' in-video accesses usually increased toward the embedded interaction points. However, students did not necessarily access the follow-up discussion of these interaction points. The results of the study suggest ways in which instructors may revise courses to better support student learning. For example, external intervention that helps students see the value of accessing videos may be required in order for this resource to be put to more effective use. In addition, students may benefit more from a clicker question that reiterates important concepts within the question itself, rather than a clicker question that leaves some important concepts to be addressed only in the discussion afterwards.

Original languageEnglish
Article number020138
JournalPhysical Review Physics Education Research
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 18

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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