Does Video Help or Hinder Learning?
By: Alan D. Greenberg
Oh my, how the times have changed.
At least that’s the case when we start thinking about how the world’s outlook towards distance learning has evolved through the years.
Consider, for instance, how folks viewed distance learning back in the days when Bill Clinton was still U.S. president. Back then – all the way back to 1999 – Dr. Thomas L. Russell of North Carolina State University conducted a comprehensive review of 355 research studies on distance learning. The ground-breaking study, called The No Significant Difference Phenomenon, concluded that distance learning was “no worse than” traditional classroom and training environments.
Boy, talk about being defensive! Certainly, our changing perspective on distance learning can be measured by the questions we’re asking. Back then, the big question was “does it have negative impact?” Today, we ask “what are the positives?” I’ve done my own reviews of more recent research, and here’s a summary of what I’ve learned from those dozens of studies boiled down to three key concepts that address distance learning’s value and direct benefits:
1) Interactivity with content (the learner relates to visual content, whether verbally, by note taking or thinking, or by applying concepts)
2) Engagement (the learner connects to the visual content, becoming drawn in by video, whether on-demand or real-time)
3) Knowledge transfer and memory (the learner may remember and retain concepts better than with other instructional media)
The key takeaway for me? Video matters in distant learning. And there’s a growing pile of research that confirms this.
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