With each passing year, the role of video in learning and education seemingly becomes more and more significant due to an increasingly mobile learner population and multiple affordances of online content delivery. Video-based learning (VBL) offers learners from all walks of life (e.g., higher education, self-learning, corporate training, etc.) a means to acquire knowledge quickly, conveniently, and on their schedules. As an educator, student, and entrepreneur, I have created and experienced many educational videos. For instance, I encountered lecture videos during my undergraduate studies, produced training videos for my martial arts and fitness business, and spent countless hours learning various skills on VBL platforms such as Lynda.com (a.k.a Linkedin Learning) and Youtube. Upon reflection of my VBL experiences, I recognize that not all educational videos are of equal quality; some videos lead to excellent learning outcomes and experiences, while others fall short in both regards. So then, what makes an educational video effective for learning, and what does an effective VBL design look like exactly?
A broad literature review on VBL is my first step in understanding the characteristics of effective VBL design. I need to determine which elements of an educational video are essential to delivering positive and inclusive learning experiences that generate optimized learning outcomes. Considerations for VBL design include learner preferences and conditions (including socioeconomic status), corporate influence, technology adoption, interface design, pedagogy and learning theory, video production, subject-matter application, and accessibility. One study that I am looking into suggests three primary learning elements are essential to effective VBL design: cognitive load, student engagement, and active learning (Brame, 2016); I am interested in Brame’s article (2016) because it categorizes VBL design characteristics, much as I aim to do through my research.
By no means is the above content a complete list of design considerations, but it’s a great starting point. Further, I understand there is a vast amount of information to consider before I can formulate valid conclusions on the topic of VBL design. Still, as an educator who specializes in distance learning, I am obligated to possess the skills, tools, and knowledge to produce compelling learning experiences for a diverse learner population, from start to finish, using digital media. For instance, part of my responsibility as a college instructor is to create asynchronous learning videos to supplement course learning materials. There is no designated team to assist me in producing educational videos, and much like instructional design, I am left to my own devices to deliver these VBL experiences. Luckily, I love working with digital technology and find immense fulfillment in creating digital products that incorporate multimedia.
In sum, my objective is to critically analyze VBL design best practices by conducting a thorough literature review and evaluating Linkedin Learning educational videos (lynda.com, n.d.) to improve my current and future VBL practice. I plan to incorporate educational videos and my VBL research into my education practice for the foreseeable future, so I’d like to capitalize on the opportunity to research VBL design during my time in the Master of Arts in Learning and Technology degree program at Royal Roads University (Royal Roads University, n.d.).
To inform my research, I invite readers to share their thoughts and experiences with VBL. What do you like and dislike about educational videos? Are there any particular video production qualities that impact your ability to learn? Do you have a go-to VBL platform you prefer to use? Do you know of any social, political, or economic factors that impact VBL design? If you have any other ideas or comments that support my objective to understand VBL design, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Brame, C. J., & Perez, K. E. (2016). Effective Educational Videos: Principles and Guidelines for Maximizing Student Learning from Video Content. 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.16-03-0125
Lynda.com. (n.d.). Lynda: Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials. Retrieved April 17, 2021, from https://www.lynda.com/
Royal Roads University. (n.d.). Master of Arts in Learning and Technology. Retrieved April 17, 2021, from https://www.royalroads.ca/prospective-students/master-arts-learning-and-technology