Learning from videos of lectures

I have just spotted the article


by Terese Bird about the University of Nottingham’s use of iTunes U, which includes some mention of my Mathematical Analysis videos.

The article makes interesting reading, though I don’t agree with her suggestion that one of the articles I refer to appears to contradict my own case studies. Research appears to show that students who take notes while watching a video of a lecture do very well. But my suggestion (unproven) is that students who miss my lectures may well also fail to watch the videos either. In addition, I also make available the annotated slides from my lectures (essentially a complete set of notes). This may well be counter-productive, as students might print out these slides and watch the video without taking notes themselves. So even those who do eventually watch the video may miss out what is probably an important part of the learning process.

When it comes to Student Evaluation of Teaching, making my annotated slides available is hugely popular with the students, and produces far more positive feedback than the provision of videos. But I think that there is actually a strong case to be made for providing the videos WITHOUT the annotated slides. Another possibility is to delay the release of the annotated slides, but this may not help when it comes to students who are already behind on the material. Perhaps such students are best helped by “compulsory engagement” approaches, such as having class tests/mid-term exams to ensure that the students need to stay up-to-date.


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