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Creating Video Tutorials

Best Practices Readings

1) Learning to Teach Through Video (Leeder, 2009)

This is a fantastic article to get you up to speed on some of the principles of teaching and learning through video.  The most important sections (in my opinion) are the Pedagogical Context and the Principles of Multimedia Learning sections.  There is also a bullet-point list based on the Principles that you need to take to heart.  Simply put, these are best practices built from theory and based in research.



2)  Best Practices for Online Video Tutorials in Academic Libraries (Bowles-Terry, Hensley, & Hinchliffe, 2010)

Even though the article was published in 2010, the best practices are general enough that they still hold up well today.  You can jump to page 11 for the practical findings.

LINK:  TutorialsBestPractices2010.pdfPreview the document


3) Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning (Mayer & Moreno, 2003)

This is the research article that is the source for much of Leeder's discussion in the Learning to Teach Through Video article.  Leeder, in the #1 article above, did a great job summarizing this info, but if you are interested you should read this source.  It's about how the mind/brain processes information in regards to learning new content. 



Best Practices Bullet Points

  1. Split Attention Principle: Students learn better when instruction material does not require them to split their attention between multiple sources of mutually referring information.
  2. Modality Principle: Students learn better when the verbal information is presented auditorily as speech rather than visually as on-screen text both for concurrent and sequential presentations.
  3. Redundancy Principle: Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and text if the visual information is provided simultaneously to the verbal information.
  4. Spatial Contiguity Principle: Students learn better when on-screen text and visual materials are physically integrated rather than separated.
  5. Temporal Contiguity Principle: Students learn better when verbal and visual materials are temporally synchronized rather than separated in time.
  6. Coherence Principle: Students learn better when extraneous material is excluded rather than included in multimedia explanations.

As recommendations based on these principles, Mayer and Moreno suggest:

  • using narration without on-screen text to remove the need for students to read and listen to text at the same time (called “off-loading”);
  • allowing short breaks, or pauses, between sections of a presentation (called “segmenting”);
  • starting off the presentation with lessons about any terms or concepts that are new and important to what they will learn in the video (called “pretraining”);
  • leaving out any unnecessary audio or visual elements (called “weeding”);
  • using arrows, highlighting, or other cues to the viewer as a means of clarifying important points or confusing images (called “signaling”);
  • ensuring that on-screen text and images that rely on each other are shown physically close together (called “aligning”);
  • removing visual elements that are duplicated by narration or graphics (called “eliminating redundancy”);
  • maintaining a close match between narration and visual elements shown in the video (called “synchronizing”); and
  • when possible, considering the particular audience of a video and matching the presentation style to their learning style(s).