Did Video Really Kill the Radiostar?

While video may not guilty of killing radio it has definitely rewriting education “by machine and new technology” (Horn et al., 1979). As our team explores video as an educational technology tool, we look to consi. My participation with video-based learning (VBL) is dominated by  health and safety training videos for work and childrens’ sports teams. We chose the learning path “Becoming an Instructional Developer” from LinkedIn

I found the VBL course was useful for dusting off the cobwebs on previous learning. My overall reaction though, was disinterest as I craved the eye-content and personal connection. In this vein, leaders, designers and “educators must comprehend the effects of learning tools on both a person’s cognitive self and their emotional being” (Koster, 2018) In an asynchronous, video only learning scenario as this, the instructor is also not able to respond to the audiences’ non-verbal cues and adjust the course accordingly. In the initial review of the literature, it was found that VBL could increase social interactions (Yousef et al., 2014) but it can also increase student isolation (Kizilcec et al., 2014)  there can be some negative social consequences.

This relates to the specific issue of avoidance and lack of participation from highly anxious students to the learning event and technology. The challenge on the learner’s side is that feelings of anxiety or depression could worsen from the sense of isolation that comes from VBL alone. I wonder where the threshold at which the  negatives outway the positive benefits of video-based learning lies.  


Horn, T., Downes, G., & Woolley, B. (1979). Video killed the radio star. [Recorded by The Buggles]. US & UK: Island Records.

Kizilcec, R. F., Papadopoulos, K. and Sritanyaratana, L. (2014), Showing face in video instruction: Effects on information retention, visual attention, and affect, in ‘Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems’, CHI ’14, ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp. 2095–2102

Köster J. (2018) Video for learning. In, Video in the Age of Digital Learning. Springer, Cham. https://doi-org.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/10.1007/978-3-319-93937-7_1

Yousef, A. M. F., Chatti, M. A., & Schroeder, U. (2014). The state of video-based learning: A review and future perspectives. Int. J. Adv. Life Sci, 6(3/4), 122-135.https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

***Edited April 19th to update references.

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6 thoughts on “Did Video Really Kill the Radiostar?”

  1. Well, now that song is stuck in my head!

    I do have to agree that video can be a tough way to engage students in learning. I know you and I have talked at length about the relationship-building aspect with students who are learning online and how it is much harder for distributed learning teachers. I think this is the reason Irwin has his 20 min interviews with each of us. But, as you and I both know, that is not a realistic goal when you have 200 students. I look forward to learning more about VBL as well. Thanks, Kristin 🙂

    1. Hi Sandra,

      I so miss being able to bounce ideas off of you at work and so I appreciate it here. Thanks for taking the time to comment! It is difficult to connect students through asynchronous video and I have found when I try to use synchronous to make that connection there is a lot of avoidance too. It’s also challenging to figure out an effective solution during a pandemic where social interactions are so limited. I’ll definitely share the results of my research with you.


  2. You make some really great points here, Kristin. I agree that video on its own is not a good solution for most learners. My group’s work so far on the importance of developing communities in online learning environments has really underscored, for me, the importance of social interaction in education… not just for mental health… but for how it supports learning. Video definitely has a place in education, but likely better suited in a supporting role in an environment with a healthy dose of interactions between educators and their students… and between students and their classmates.

    I would love to hear more about what you learn about the threshold between the two.

  3. Great post, Kristin. I recommend that you look at the similar engagement of VBL in a flipped-classroom approach (something I am currently exploring for the topic), where you do not entirely depend on the merits/quality of the video. I found most of my students very rarely watched the videos in their entirety, or thanks to the Kaltura software we used, they could watch the videos at 4x speed. They tended to like to speak to us live and engage that way with one another; they often told me that they preferred it when professors didn’t use 100% video material/asynchronous material and came to our class to feel a part of the community they were missing in other courses by being online.

  4. Kristin
    Thank you as well for the ear worm, it has been playing now since first noticing the topic you posted.
    The pains of video-based learning as noted, creates positive and negative interactions. If you focus on the positives while working to diminish the negative, the platform may take you out of the comfort zone of the classroom structure.

  5. Kristen, I hadn’t hear that song in years; thanks for the reminder (and the ear worm)! The saddest line in the song, I think, is “We can’t rewind we’ve gone too far.” I hope we don’t get to the point where we think things have gotten away from educators to the point where we can’t stop it. Are we there yet? Something to think about.
    The comments by Rod, Ash and Christopher all seem to point toward a role for video in education when wrapped in a larger context of community along with instructor and institutional support. Part of the question is what kind(s) of delivery framework(s) or modalities are best suited for video?

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