Instructional Videos for Online and Hybrid Courses
The Department of Distance Education is committed to the quality of online and hybrid
courses offered at Austin Peay State University. One way we support this is through
the curation of quality instructional media.
Video has become an important part of higher education. Several meta-analyses have
shown that technology can enhance learning (e.g., Schmid et al., 2014), and multiple
studies have shown that video, specifically, can be a highly effective educational
tool (e.g., Kay, 2012; Allen and Smith, 2012; Lloyd and Robertson, 2012; Rackaway,
2012; Hsin and Cigas, 2013).
Here is a quick look at what you will find in the below best practices for instructional
Keep the video brief and targeted on learning objectives
Use audio and visual elements to convey appropriate parts of an explanation; make
them complementary rather than redundant
Use signaling to highlight important ideas or concepts
Use conversational, enthusiastic style to enhance engagement
Embed videos in a context of active learning
Based on the premise that effective learning experiences minimize extraneous cognitive
load, optimize germane cognitive load, and manage intrinsic cognitive load, we promote
three effective practices for video development.
Signaling, also known as cueing is the use of on screen text or symbols that highlight
the important information.
Examples: keywords on the screen, changes in color to emphasize information or relationships
Segmenting is chunking of information to allow learners to engage with small pieces
of new information as well as give them control over the flow of new information.
Examples: short videos (7-9 minutes or less)
Weeding is the elimination of interesting but extraneous information from the video,
that is, the information that does not contribute to the learning goal.
One of the most important aspects of creating instructional videos is to include elements
that help promote student engagement. If the students don’t watch the videos, they
can’t learn from them.
Research shows that the median engagement time for videos less than six minutes long
is close to 100% (Guo et al., 2014). Videos 9-12 minutes long had 50% engagement while
videos over 12 minutes dropped to 20% engagement.
Tips on increasing student engagement:
Use conversational style which promotes social partnership with the student
Speak relatively quickly and with enthusiasm
Make sure the material feels like it is for these students in this class
To help students get the most of an educational video, it’s important we provide the
tools to help them process the information and monitor their own understanding.
Ways to do this in your video include:
Use guiding questions
Use interactive features that give students control
Integrate questions into the video
Instructional videos can be those that you create yourself or those that you curate
from online sources. If you are interested in:
Making your own videos - please review this quick guide on Best Practices for Creating Videos and consider using the software listed below which is made available to faculty for
free by Distance education.
YuJa Media Management is used to create, host, manage, and edit video and audio files. It can also be used
to store, manage, and share a large spectrum of other digital assets like images,
documents, and more. Videos are auto captioned. Content stored in YuJa is easily
added to D2L through the YuJa Media Chooser option under Insert Stuff.
Zoom, while mainly used for web conferencing, is also a great option for video creation.
Zoom allows for one-on-one and group online meetings using video and/or audio. It
has whiteboarding, polls, groups, chat, and screen sharing all of which can be used
in recording your own videos.
Snagit* is an easy, reliable platform that captures screenshots and records videos and audio
files. With a very robust and feature rich screen capture and screen recording software,
instructors are able to easily get their point across without having to spend a significant
amount of time to prepare a traditional presentation. You can request a license by
completing the Distance Education Request Multimedia Software License form (opens new window).
Allen WA and Smith AR (2012). Effects of video podcasting on psychomotor and cognitive
performance, attitudes and study behavior of student physical therapists. Innovations
in Education and Teaching International 49, 401-414.
Hsin WJ and Cigas J (2013). Short videos improve student learning in online education.
Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges 28, 253-259.
Kay RH (2012). Exploring the use of video podcasts in education: A comprehensive review
of the literature. Computers in Human Behavior 28, 820-831.
Lloyd SA and Robertson CL (2012). Screencast tutorials enhance student learning of
statistics. Teaching of Psychology 39, 67-71.
Rackaway C (2012). Video killed the textbook star? Use of multimedia supplements to
enhance student learning. Journal of Political Science Education 8, 189-200.
Schmid RF, Bernard RM, Borokhovski E, Tamim RM, Abrami PC, Surkes MA, Wade CA, and
Woods J. (2014). The effects of technology use in postsecondary education: A meta-analysis
of classroom applications. Computers & Education, 72, 271-291.