eLearning, Instructional Design, Uncategorized

Don’t “Kill” the Lecture – Shorten It!

Photo by Stewart Black

photo by Stewart Black

Last week, I mentioned that the “grand lecture” should not exist in its traditional form in an online learning environment, which is true. This doesn’t mean that using video and audio to share ideas or explain difficult content should be abandoned. Using multimedia to convey information to students online is an important tool that can positively impact learning outcomes as well as student satisfaction, as being able to see the face of the professor adds a personal feel to the course.

My recommendation is to limit videos, lectures or otherwise, to 15-20 minutes max. Anything longer and you’ll lose your audience, make viewing the content a chore, and sidelined the most essential element to engaging online students – interactivity.  Designed interactivity, online or in a traditional classroom setting, makes students feel like they are a part of a community of learners and it motivates students to stay engaged. Lengthy lectures stifle interactive learning.

So, before you set out to record your “in-class” lecture and post it to your online class, think about what the lecture will accomplish. Is the content already available in the book or other required readings/resources? What will your lecture offer that is different from the course materials?

The most successful video lectures/recordings focus on:

  • content that is difficult to understand or confusing
  • introducing or explaining an assignment or activity; sets expectations for student success
  • supplemental information that further illustrates and idea or concept from course materials
  • content that is not already available to students

4 thoughts on “Don’t “Kill” the Lecture – Shorten It!

  1. I think there’s a fine line between a video being helpful and actually taking up valuable ‘doing’ time. Agree with you the best videos for online ed, are ones that explain a technical issue. One goal of online study is independence, however an occasional Google hang out is good to give face time to fellow students. But if a lecture video aims to duplicate class time then I’d prefer to be physically in the class.

  2. I agree with the lecture videos airing on the shorter side. I feel that I always get more out of the videos that I can quickly just absorb rather than have to sit and be engaged for a long period of time. The reason I go to the web is to be able to get my information fast and be able to retain what is being processed.

  3. Pingback: Ahh Saturday….. | The World of Study Girl

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