This year edX gave researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) data on the second-by-second viewing habits of more than 100,000 learners perusing more than 6.9 million video sessions.
In a paper published this spring, the CSAIL team outlined some key findings on what online learners want from videos. These include:
- Brevity (viewers generally tune out after six minutes)
- Informality, with professors seated at a desk, not standing behind a podium
- Lively visuals rather than static PowerPoint slides
- Fast talkers (professors seen as the most engaging spoke at 254 words per minute)
- More pauses, so viewers can soak in complex diagrams
- Web-friendly lessons (existing videos broken into shorter chunks are less effective than ones crafted for online audiences)
The researcher created their own tool based on these research finding: LectureScape. LectureScape uses data on viewing behavior to present MOOC videos in a way that’s more intuitive, dynamic, and effective:
- A timeline shows which parts other users have most frequently watched
- An interactive transcript lets users enter keywords to find relevant segments
- A mechanism automatically creates word clouds and summaries of individual sections, as well as the whole presentation
- Content from popular slides automatically appears in the following slide, as users will likely want to refer back to that information
Interesting is that some of the features in LectureScape are similar to the tool of Feedback Fruits.
Download paper (PDF)