Investigating learning with web lectures

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Day, Jason A.
Foley, James D.
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Investigating Learning with Web Lectures Jason A. Day 242 Pages Directed by Dr. James D. Foley Learning can be improved when instructors use classroom time to engage students with hands-on activities and other kinds of active learning. However, time and cost constraints, especially in the higher education domain, can make integrating active learning into course curricula a significant challenge. With this dissertation, we have designed, implemented, and rigorously evaluated an inexpensive, easy-to-implement educational intervention that facilitates increased student engagement and active learning. A key technological component of this intervention is web lectures: condensed, studio-recorded lectures made available via the web as multimedia presentations that combine video of the lecturer, audio, lecture slides, and a table of contents. When web lectures are used to replace the traditional in-class lecture, classroom time can be utilized in other more engaging, learning-beneficial ways. This work is not just about using web lectures, however; it is also about making them with the best combination of modalities (e.g., video, audio, slides, narrative text) and about technologies and pedagogies that bridge the gap between studying web lectures individually and subsequently applying and extending that lecture material in the classroom. We explored the effectiveness of this educational intervention using two complementary threads of investigation. First, we used a controlled, experimental study to evaluate individual s learning with web lectures as standalone learning objects. Here, we found that our web lectures are more effective and efficient than other similar educational multimedia presentations. Second, we used longitudinal, naturalistic studies to evaluate the deployed classroom intervention as a whole. With these studies, we found that a course taught using our web lecture intervention produces as good or better student grades and significantly improved perception of learning and satisfaction than a traditionally-taught course. Guidelines for making and using web lectures are provided.
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