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How MOOC Video Production Affects Engagement of Learners?

KEEP - 17 December 2017

Taking a video

It is very common to see videos in online courses. Videos can provide lots of information in a short time and demonstrate complex concepts with ease. Another important reason for using videos is that it is highly engaging - if well designed and made. But how?

Here are some common forms of videos that can be found in a MOOC:

VIdeo forms

Different settings in a MOOC video engages students differently. The research How Video Production Affects Student Engagement: An Empirical Study of MOOC Videos by Philip J. Guo and Juho Kim from MIT and Rob Rubin from edX suggested that:

1. Shorter videos (<6 minutes) are more engaging.

Plan carefully before production and segment your video into chunks shorter than 6 minutes.

2. A talking head helps engage.

Put talking head shots in your video on good occasions, or show it with your slides concurrently.

3. A personal feel could engage more than a high production value.

A personal one-to-one conversation and informal settings like your office may help.

4. Tablet drawings are engaging.

Even if you need to show slides or codes, try sketching on it. Also pay attention to the handwriting, drawing, and layout.

5. Pre-production improves engagement.

If lecture videos must be used, plan your teaching carefully as a series of short, discrete chunks that could easily be edited later for online distribution, instead of just chopping up existing classroom lecture recordings.

6. Speaking rate affects engagement.

A fairly fast speaking with high enthusiasm is engaging. Video producers can also remove unnecessary pauses like "uhh" and "umm" to make the speech crisper.

7. Students engage differently with lecture and tutorial videos.

For lecture videos, optimize the first-time watching experience. For tutorials, support re-watching, and skimming.

These seven suggestions may not be golden rules, but investing some time in designing and editing your course videos would likely make them better fit the students’ needs and expectations. Start producing more engaging videos for the coming semester!