Increasing Student Engagement in Academic Videos

Increasing Student Engagement in Academic Videos

What is this Research About?

Instructors use videos in face-to-face and online settings as a key tool in education. Students’ attentive behaviours while watching videos are influenced by the interest, quality, and length of the video. High student engagement is seen in short videos that are typically 3 minutes or less. In this study, the researchers studied students’ video viewing habits in-class and online.

What did the Researchers Do?

The researchers studied the academic video viewing habits of 21 undergraduate students from a business leadership class in a large United States university. The researchers studied video viewing habits in class and online. In class, the researchers observed student behaviours to determine their attentiveness while watching two educational videos. The students also completed a survey based on their watching behaviours in class. The researchers also led two in-class discussions about students’ video viewing habits. Students were also required to watch a video online. The students completed a survey to indicate their video watching behaviours, and the researchers also examined the analytic data provided by the video viewing platform.

What did the Researchers Find?

In the face-to-face setting, researchers found 5% of students were engaged throughout the two videos. Researchers found that 95% of students indicated being distractions during the videos, including personal device use and speaking to classmates. Most students indicated that they preferred watching videos between 5 and 10 minutes in length. While watching the video online, the researchers found that students often engaged in non-linear viewing, meaning that they repeated parts of the video and fast-forwarded parts. Students also indicated that they were multi-tasking while watching the assigned video. The researchers found that students were more attentive when videos contained embedded questions and audio annotations by the instructor to orient the students to the key points in the video.

→ How to Implement this Research in Your Classroom

Videos are commonly used in both face-to-face and online classrooms as a teaching strategy. The type and length of video has an influence on the attentive behaviours of students. Research demonstrates that students often multitask while watching online videos. The researchers also found that students tend to watch online videos over 5 minutes in a non-linear fashion, meaning that they may miss important information. Embedded questions and instructor annotations resulted in an increase in student attentiveness. Instructors could consider using short videos to increase student engagement and comprehension. Also, instructors discuss self-distracting behaviours with students, to bring awareness to these behaviours and increase student engagement.

→  Citation

Campbell, L.O, Planinz, T. Morris, K., & Truitt, J. (2019). Investigating undergraduate students’ viewing behaviors of academic video in formal and informal settings. College Teaching, 67 (4),

→  Keywords

  • Academic video
  • Online learning
  • Pedagogy
  • Video analytics

Creative Commons by logo This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Canada License

Snapshot Writer: Lin Jubain

Snapshot Publication Date: 2020

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