Reflecting on my VBL Critical Inquiry Experience

Over the past few weeks, my learning and technology research has led me down the path of video-based learning (VBL) technology; more specifically, I have investigated the asynchronous VBL delivery system to understand its true capabilities regarding learning outcomes. At the onset of my research, asynchronous VBL technology seemed somewhat straightforward: Design and shoot an instructional video for a specific educational context, conduct some post-production edits of the footage, and launch the video once modifications are complete; however, as I delved more deeply into the literature on VBL, I soon realized the technology is much more complex than I initially thought. 

There is a wide array of delivery system characteristics that impact the educational experience for learners. First, the level of control between the learner, instructor, and the technology strongly influences the learner’s ability to comprehend, practice, and retain the learning material. Second, and to no surprise of my own, the asynchronous learning model presents educational challenges for some learners, including a lack of engagement and connectedness with the instructor and students. Third, the video content and production value strongly influence student engagement and learning. There are so many elements to asynchronous video production that I could have focused my research efforts on content design and production alone. Forth, support for social connectedness can be limited or even non-existent in many VBL systems, which may negatively affect the educational experience for learners who require or prefer community connectedness for social or learning purposes. Lastly, each VBL delivery system’s design must accommodate the science of human learning and integrate technological innovations appropriately, which is perhaps the most significant challenge I have faced throughout my research thus far. However, such complexity does present an exciting opportunity to further study VBL technology, along with other forms of multimedia. 

After reading some of Richard E. Mayer’s work on multimedia learning, I have realized the richness of the field of multimedia learning. Considering my background in music production, sound design, and education, I now wish to dedicate my learning and technology research career to multimedia learning. Since the beginning of the MALAT program, I have been trying to determine a solid research angle to pursue, and thanks to the LNRT 526 course, I now have some direction. If only I had figured this out before the MALAT thesis application deadline!

5 thoughts on “Reflecting on my VBL Critical Inquiry Experience

  1. You mention that one of the weaknesses of Video Based Learning (VBL) is the lack of connectiveness. Have you seen any examples or ways to combat this? Is there a way to create good VBL while still maintaining a connection to the teacher and other students in the class?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Patrick.

      I haven’t seen anything that particularly stands out as of yet, but I am still searching for proven communications solutions. All of the asynchronous VBL studies I’ve read so far incorporate the usual distance learning communication strategies: Chat, discussion forums, COI’s like Discord, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary. Social connectedness in asynchronous VBL seems to be dependant on both the learner’s and instructor’s motivation to communicate, no matter the digital technology used. If I run into any specific communication tools, I’ll be sure to let you know!

  2. It’s exciting, Jonathan, to hear that you’ve found some direction for your research! Congratulations. I too feel strongly about this subject. I’ve always been pretty strong in visual production, but this program has encouraged me to strengthen my audio production skills, which have been hugely rewarding.

    I see what you’re saying about the possible lack of connectedness that may be associated with asynchronous learning. It certainly takes more creativity and work… which isn’t appropriate for all learners. Those of us who thrive in this environment are fortunate, but we need to facilitate interactions for all students. I was introduced to a program called https://www.frame.io/ today, which I thought was really cool. It’s a platform that allows for collaboration and community building in the video editing sphere. Pretty cool stuff and definitely worth a look!

    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Christopher.

      I actually have heard the frame.io brand a few times, but never delved into it. So many times I’ve tried to collaborate with other musicians via email, Dropbox, and every other file-sharing platform, but it always felt like a bit of a convoluted mess, to be honest. I’ll be sure to look into frame.io for future research purposes and when I get into my next audio project.

      I’ve done my fair share of digital audio work over the years, so feel free to reach out if you ever need anything.

  3. Hi, Jonathan. Great post! I had a very similar experience as I explored augmented and virtual reality more deeply. Frame.io sounds intriguing – thanks C1Rowe for sharing!

    I, too, often felt that the greatest downfall of VBL was the lack of connectiveness. However, looking back on when I have used VBL most effectively, both as a teacher and learner, I believe it has been a successful learning tool that has helped the learner connect with the content, with other learners, and with the teacher in a variety of ways. At times, the video initiated or provided the content for a collaborative assignment or discussion. Other times, the creation and production of the video was the result of collaborative learning, as it was when our teams in LRNT526 shared our knowledge through videos in our presentations. Like most learning tools, VBL appears to be most effective when used in conjunction with other tools or techniques depending on the learners, the content, and the pedagogical objectives. No one learning tool or technology is a Swiss Army knife for teaching and learning.

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