Team one selected video-based learning (VBL) as the education technology to explore for assignment one of LRNT 526: Inquiry into Contemporary Issues in Learning Technologies. After much consideration, LinkedIn Learning, formerly Lynda.com, was chosen as the learning platform that best represents standalone VBL provisions. Accordingly, this article describes the intended research approach to evaluate the effectiveness of VBL as an educational medium for online learners and LinkedIn Learning as a standalone VBL product.
With the continued rise of e-learning, many researchers question whether e-learning is an effective instructional medium, while studies reveal mixed results on the technology’s effectiveness. For instance, Kanuka (2008) reports how e-learning benefits learners by improving student autonomy, accountability, and engagement. Valetsianos (2016) explains how VBL explicitly creates a “powerful sphere of intimacy” (p.23) for learners, suggesting it possible to generate positive learner-teacher dynamics at a distance, an aspect of effective online learning. The advantages of e-learning and its various media, including VBL, are well-documented in the literature, making the argument for using the technology in education convincing.
Conversely, concerns over e-learning and its inability to produce desired learning outcomes and experiences also exist amongst researchers. Kanuka (2008) reports common problems of e-learning to include commercialization of teaching, lack of face-to-face culture, and deep learning inefficiencies, all of which reflect conditions that negatively impact the learning experience. Further, Valetsianos (2016) explains, “studies of online instructional videos sparked debates on the effects of specific media on learners,” and that the complexities surrounding video learning are not well understood (p.23). Uncertainty over the effectiveness of educational technology (EdTech) is not unique to VBL, nor is it isolated to the 21st century (Weller, 2020), so the debate over which technology delivers on its promises is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
It is essential, as Kanaku (2008) suggests, to step back and reflect on this “kind of schism between opinions” (p.92) to consider the nature of the disagreement surrounding the effectiveness of e-learning and VBL and that “philosophies-in-practice” (p.92) likely underpin such debate. Since VBL is a primary element of online learning, a critical inquiry into the learning potential of VBL and how it has contributed to the reported affordances of e-learning is supported. Most specifically, it is essential to determine whether or not VBL can satisfy learning outcomes for online learners or if it is merely a supplementary tool to enhance other educational provisions.
The focus of the initial literature review is to generate a basic understanding of VBL design and define various metrics to evaluate the technology’s effectiveness. Sablić et al. (2020) describe VBL as a powerful and influential learning medium that successfully delivers educational experiences that satisfy and motivate learners to participate and achieve success; in addition, they view VBL as an intrinsic motivational and reflective tool for instructors to improve upon their pedagogical practices by reviewing videos to analyze their abilities to deliver learning content. Further, researchers highlight the relationship between systematic processes, such as planning, design, and implementation, and learning outcomes, explaining that strategic processes are fundamental to creating adequate VBL provisions (Sablić et al., 2020). Yousef et al. (2014) identify various VBL design characteristics that foster optimized learning outcomes, including information on pedagogy, interface design, and video production. Although understanding how front-end user requirements and VBL design characteristics influence learning outcomes is important to this research project, it does not provide a complete perspective on VBL effectiveness.
The very definition of effectiveness, as it pertains to EdTech, is much more complex than many studies suggest. For instance, The Great Media Debate (Clark, 1994; Kozma, 1994), a well-documented argument that investigates the causation of video-based learning outcomes, suggests learning is a product of successful implementation of pedagogical methods used within the technology rather than the medium itself. This debate illustrates that many intrinsic and extrinsic factors exist which may influence the effectiveness of EdTech, and therefore, should be considered in any investigative study. For example, accessibility, as Clark (1994) suggests, is one such factor that predicts EdTech adoption, explaining how the cost and efficiency of EdTech ultimately influence universal adoption. Accordingly, EdTech generates learning outcomes by complimenting societal, political, environmental, and economic conditions; therefore, considering these conditions may be beneficial to the investigation of VBL effectiveness on learning outcomes.
This research project utilizes a modified version of Jones and Paolucci’s “Research Framework and Dimensions for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Educational Technology Systems on Learning Outcomes” (1999) to investigate VBL effectiveness. Further, investigative efforts consider academic perspectives on learning theory, instructional design, and EdTech assumptions to underpin the research approach. Three primary categories form the foundation of this VBL analysis and evaluation: Instructional objectives, delivery systems, and learning outcomes (Jones & Paolucci, 1999).
Instructional objectives relate to how the learning is achieved and are primarily rooted in learning theory (learning domain) and learner conditions (Jones & Paolucci, 1999). For instance, studies suggest cognitive load, active learning, and student engagement to be three fundamental requirements for VBL design success (Beheshti et al., 2018; Brame & Perez, 2016). Also, the affective domain (e.g., learner interests, learning backgrounds, skills, demographics, etc.) can be measured to evaluate how well VBL compliments today’s online learner, a predictor of VBL adoption (Pappas et al., 2016). Beheshti et al. (2018) discuss how education is moving towards informal learning provisions, such as VBL-infused online learning, and away from traditional, institutionalized learning, demonstrating a shift in learner needs and preferences towards innovative EdTech such as VBL.
The delivery system study involves analyzing the front-end user experience design and the system’s effectiveness to “transfer information and knowledge from the subject matter expert … to the learner” (Jones & Paolucci, 1999, p.20). Investigation into learner control (e.g., control over learning activities), presence (e.g., student-teacher interactions), supplementary media (e.g., assessment and activation measures), and connectivity (e.g., collaboration and information exchange) reveal critical information on the effectiveness of the VBL system design (Jones & Paolucci, 1999). Although reviews of front-end VBL characteristics are abundant in the literature, VBL design should be revisited to deliver a complete perspective on the technology and associated learning events.
Lastly, an investigation into the reported learning outcomes of VBL completes the analysis and evaluation of the technology’s effectiveness and associated learning event for this research project. In addition, inquiry into the impact of VBL on the education industry is proposed. Weller (2011) discusses the digitalization of education, making connections between learning content, EdTech innovation, the globalized economy, and an abundance of information and knowledge on the Web. Similarly, the Horizon Report (EDUCAUSE, 2020) reveals various trends associated with EdTech and learning, drawing from the relationship between education and globalisation. Moreover, trends shaping the future of education to complement an increasingly mobile learner population are also supported (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2019). Aggregating the various speculative futures on EdTech, education, and globalisation, as mentioned above, may reveal insight as to what role VBL plays on education, but from a sociological perspective, which may help deliver a complete evaluation of the technology’s effectiveness and sustainability.
In sum, research into VBL effectiveness will utilize a modified EdTech assessment framework to inform secondary research efforts and the evaluation of LinkedIn Learning education. Further, information revealed from the literature review will determine which system elements of LinkedIn Learning to measure learning effectiveness, including possible sociological implications for success. Tracking of research information is conducted using two mediums: (1) the Mendeley citation manager and (2) Google Docs for keeping notes. A link to the applicable Google Document is available to authorized parties only.
Beheshti, M., Taspolat, A., Kaya, O. S., & Sapanca, H. F. (2018). Charateristics of Educational Videos. World Journal on Educational Technology, 10(1), 61–69. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1170366.pdf
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
Clark, R. E. (1994). Media will never influence learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(2). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02299088
EDUCAUSE (Association). (2020). 2020 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report : Teaching and Learning Edition. https://library.educause.edu/-/media/files/library/2020/3/2020_horizon_report_pdf.pdf?
Jones, T. H., & Paolucci, R. (1999). Research Framework and Dimensions for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Educational Technology Systems on Learning Outcomes. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 32, 17–27. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1080/08886504.1999.10782266
Kanuka, H. (2008). Chapter 4: Understanding E-learning Technologies In-Practice Through Philosophies In-Practice. In The Theory and Practice of Online Learning: Vol. 2nd ed (pp. 91–121). AU Press. https://read.aupress.ca/read/6891c77c-3fed-4045-8073-60ed13f79712/section/6253dd0f-a209-4339-96e5-6d2b377c15ac#ch04
Kozma, R. B. (1994). Will media influence learning? Reframing the debate. Educational Technology Research and Development, 7–19. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.167.4904
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2019). Trends Shaping Education 2019. OECD Publishing, Paris. https://doi.org/10.1787/trends_edu-2019-en
Pappas, I. O., Mikalef, P., & Giannakos, M. N. (2016). Video-based learning adoption: A typology of learners. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 1579(April), 34–41. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.1680.2163
Sablić, M., Mirosavljević, A., & Škugor, A. (2020). Video-Based Learning (VBL)—Past, Present and Future: an Overview of the Research Published from 2008 to 2019. Technology, Knowledge and Learning. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-020-09455-5
Veletsianos, G. (2016). Emergence and Innovation in Digital Learning: Foundations and Applications. AU Press. https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/lib/royalroads-ebooks/reader.action?docID=4538154
Weller, M. (2011). A pedagogy of abundance. In Spanish Journal of Pedagogy (Vol. 249). http://revistadepedagogia.org/en/n
Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. AU Press. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.15215/aupress/9781771993050.01
Yousef, A. M. F., Chatti, M. A., & Schroeder, U. (2014). Video-based learning: A critical analysis of the research published in 2003-2013 and future visions. ELmL – International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-Line Learning, June 2015, 112–119.