It seems that every instructor on Udemy has an opinion about what makes an effective online presentation, but rarely do we have a discussion about evidence based research. So... I thought I would post some of the research I have found, encourage others to post additional research, and hopefully, instructors (Including myself) can make better informed course creation decisions.
How Video Production Affects Student Engagement: An Empirical Study of MOOC Videos
Seeing the Instructor in Two Video Styles: Preferences and Patterns
Instructional content designers of online learning platforms are concerned about optimal video design guidelines that ensure course effectiveness, while keeping video production time and costs at reasonable levels. In order to address the concern, we use clickstream data from one Coursera course to analyze the engagement, motivational and navigational patterns of learners upon being presented with lecture videos incorporating the instructor video in two styles--first, where the instructor seamlessly interacts with the content and second, where the instructor appears in a window in a portion of the presentation window. Our main empirical finding is that the video style where the instructor seamlessly interacts with the content is by far the most preferred choice of the learners in general and certificate-earners and auditors in particular. Moreover, learners who chose this video style, on average, watched a larger proportion of the lectures, engaged with the lectures for a longer duration and preferred to view the lectures in streamed mode (as opposed to downloading them), when compared to their colleagues who chose the other video style. We posit that the important difference between the two video modes was the integrated view of a "real" instructor in close proximity to the content, that increased learner motivation, which in turn affected the watching times and the proportion of lectures watched. The results lend further credibility to the previously suggested hypothesis that positive affect arising out of improved social cues of the instructor influences learner motivation leading to their increased engagement with the course and its broader applicability to learning at scale scenarios. [For complete proceedings, see ED560503.]
Delivering an effective presentation
An effective presenter needs to be flexible, energetic and enthusiastic. This guide will help you turn your written presentation into an imaginative public performance.
Very nice reserach. Thanks for sharing and it is always a great input from your side.
What do you mean by extemporaneous? Does it mean no prepration at all, or just no written script for the lecture to be recoreded?
I think that means speaking like you are talking to human being. If you are confident in your knowledge of your material, and if have learned to look into the lens of a camera, you can develop the skill of speaking like you are speaking to "me."
Great information @LawrenceMMiller . I know when I first started out it was difficult to get my head round the shorter is better. It's a wonderful example of being student focused rather than instructor focussed.
This is very helpful and interesting. And I attest to the first point! My least dropped lectures with %100 watch rate are always the shorter ones.
I'm also happy to learn that a more relaxed, personal background can be more engaging, since I haven't yet figured out how to properly light a green screen!
There are some topics which you can break into multiple parts. And you can them within 6 min limit.
Lets say you are teaching some coding excercise or some design software. For example you are making a cad model of car. How you will break it into multiple lectures? This may loose continuity of what is being explained!
Thanks, Lawrence. This is very helpful.
However, I have a question about the two video styles. I'm not certain what seamlessly interacting with the content means. Does it mean that the instructor always appears on the screen? My courses are mostly videos of me speaking but sometimes cut to photos with me out of the picture or cut to slides with key points but with me in the screen but in a smaller window. It seems to work well, in part because it adds some variety.
Could you clarify this point?
@RogerKayAllen Of course, I am not the author of the study, so your guess as to the meaning of "seamlessly interacting" is as good as mine. I suspect you are correct. I do basically the same.
Thanks for sharing @LawrenceMMiller
There's a lot of great content in the research and your helpful summary. It's a goldmine actually. I am a bit concerned that some of my videos are 15+ minutes and engagement might dwindle. The problem is that I have a teaching point and I don't know how long it will take until after I have finished. I will try to control video length for future courses though. I live and learn.