Fish, Mun & A'Jontue

Do Visual Aids Really Matter? A Comparison of Student Evaluations Before and After Embedding Visuals Into Video Lectures

Kristine Fish, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA
Jungwon Mun, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA
RoseAnn A’Jontue, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA

Abstract

Educational webcasts or video lectures as a teaching tool and a form of visual aid have become widely used with the rising prevalence of online and blended courses and with the increase of web-based video materials. Thus, research pertaining to factors enhancing the effectiveness of video lectures, such as number of visual aids, is critical. This study compared student evaluations before and after embedding additional visual aids throughout video lectures in an online course. Slide transitions occurred on average every 40 seconds for the pre-treatment group with approximately 600 visuals total, compared to slide transitions every 10 seconds for the post-treatment group with approximately 2,000 visuals total. All students received the same audio recordings. Research questions addressed are: (1) Are student perceptions of the effectiveness of examples used to illustrate concepts affected by number of visual aids? (2) Is the extent to which students feel engaged during the lectures affected by number of visual aids? (3) Are students’ perceived overall learning experiences affected by number of visual aids? Surprisingly, results indicate that for questions #1 and #3, student ratings of those who viewed videos with fewer visuals rated their experiences higher than students who viewed more visuals. There was no significant difference found for question #2. Conclusion: Although some visuals have been shown to enhance learning, too many visuals may be a deterrent to learning.

Keywords:

video lecture, instructional video, visual aids, e-learning, student evaluations


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