According to Connely (1994), video is “excellent for gaining attention, informing the learner of the objectives, stimulating recall of the prerequisites, presenting the stimulus material, and enhancing retention and transfer” (p. 9). Video is effective at presenting complex or ambiguous events, providing concrete examples to abstract ideas or principles, and encouraging learners to think critically (Bates, 2005). On the other hand, video is not effective at providing feedback or assessing performance, and is rarely best used to deliver large quantities of information – print is best for that (Bates, 2005).
Bates (1983) observed that the characteristics of “good video” for the professional may exceed the requirements of instructional video. An example of this would be emphasis on production values. In other instances, the characteristics of professionally developed video, such as fast pace, frequent scene changes, and an emphasis on visual effects, may be inappropriate for instructional topics. However, one assumption is that video has unique attributes that can be exploited for instruction by manipulating certain video production methods and techniques (Koumi, 2006). Many of these involve “formal features” of the medium – specific techniques such as cutting and zooming – intended to influence or gain the viewer’s attention.
Nevertheless, production methods by themselves have a limited effect on learning. The important context in which to utilize these techniques is one where they are viewed as fitting within an overall instructional strategy. Their use would support well-known practices designed to aid the learner, such as well-organized content, discriminating or emphasizing important content, repetition, appropriate rates of development, or eliciting responses that result in gaining correct knowledge. (Bates, 1983).
Bates, A. W. (1983). Broadcasting in Education. London: Constable.
Bates, T. (2005) Technology, e-learning, and distance education. Routledge.
Connely, J. O. (1994). From pictures to print. Technical Communications, Fourth Quarter, 766-774.
Koumi, J. (2006). Designing video and multimedia for open and flexible learning. Routledge.