Does Watching Lecture Videos Improve Grades? Lessons from ENVIR 100

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ENVIR 100 is an introductory course to Environmental Studies. This course is taught every quarter – with the spring quarter taught in the online lecture format. The class size ranges between 150 and 200 students. I have co-taught the spring hybrid course for the last three years (2017-2019). All lectures were delivered exclusively online via Panopto recordings on Canvas. In theory, students should watch the lecture videos as a major part of their learning. However, viewing statistics showed that each lecture video was viewed by less than 80% of the students. Nevertheless, the median and distribution of grades from the hybrid courses were similar to the grades from traditional in-person lecture courses. This observation made me wonder: Does watching lecture videos improve grades? In this project, I plan to analyze the correlation between Panopto viewing statistics and student grades. The independent variables are the video viewing statistics. The dependent variables are exam grades and overall course grades. Preliminary results showed a weak positive correlation between video viewing and grades. Students who watched more videos tended to earn higher grades. However, for students earning more than 85% in grades, there were also a significant number of them who watched very little lecture videos. Here I offer two hypothetical explanations of this inconsistency. (1) We provide detailed lecture slides on Canvas. Perhaps studying the lecture slides was enough for students to grasp the course materials. (2) Exams only account for 40% of the course grade. The other components of the course grade (section participation, research papers, and poster project) are not directly related to watching lecture videos. Findings of this project suggest instructors to evaluate the role of lecture videos in student learning. Interactive videos and shorter videos intermixed with readings are some potential ways to keep students engaged in an online course.

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    4 MB
  • creator
    Yen-Chu Weng
  • publisher
    University of Washington
  • publisher place
    Seattle, WA
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    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States