They classified the 842 videos of 4 EdX courses in four categories:
a.) a recorded classroom lecture,
b.) an instructor’s talking head,
c.) a Khan-style digital tablet drawing (popularized by Khan Academy),
d.) a PowerPoint slideshow.
They then mined the edX server logs to obtain over 6.9 million video watching sessions from almost 128,000 students.
They found 7 main findings:
- Shorter videos are much more engaging. Engagement drops sharply after 6 minutes.
- Videos that intersperse an instructor’s talking head with PowerPoint slides are more engaging than showing only slides.
- Videos produced with a more personal feel could be more engaging than high-fidelity studio recordings.
- Khan-style tablet drawing tutorials are more engaging than PowerPoint slides or code screencasts.
- Even high-quality prerecorded classroom lectures are not as engaging when chopped up into short segments for a MOOC.
- Videos where instructors speak fairly fast and with high enthusiasm are more engaging.
- Students engage differently with lecture and tutorial videos.
These finding confirm our statement that we don't want to use collegerama (classroom lecture) recordings in our online courses. It also follows our rule to minimize post-production by putting extra time in good preparation. This is something that teacher have to get used to. They can't make their slides the day before the recording. There is a extensive process in between as shown in the image below.
The full paper can be downloaded from their blog.