Rethinking the way we use video in online learning

Concurrent Session 6

Brief Abstract

Using video to engage today’s online student requires planning and resources. Current research and recently developed online courses exemplify how moving away from lecture capture and lengthy, slide-supported video to a more engaging strategy that combines short informational video with virtual tours and animation has the potential to improve engagement and learning outcomes.


Sarah Crago is an Instructional Designer with the Office of Global Outreach and Extended Education within Arizona State University’s Fulton Schools of Engineering. Prior to her role in Engineering, Sarah held a position as an Instructional Designer with ASU’s Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, where she shaped the design and curriculum for an Executive Master’s in Sustainability Leadership, and designed training programs in sustainability topics for numerous corporate and non-profit organizations. Prior to entering the instructional design field, Sarah has a background in educational publishing and development. Sarah is passionate about learner-centered design, innovation, and the lifelong impact of learning and social learning.

Extended Abstract

Although practical articles and research abound on the topic of the best uses of video in online courses, some of the largest online programs and courses still make use of outdated lecture capture methods, which fail to engage students and do not support cognition. It encourages faculty to move away from the static, confined space of the slide presentation and the lectern, and become more comfortable in front of the camera. This session is for faculty and instructional designers who are interested in finding new ways to use video to engage students and improve content retention, critical thinking, and performance.

This session will use the example of an online course on Algae and Sustainability currently in development at Arizona State University and planned as a special topics course in the fall for students in Environmental Resource Management and the School of Sustainability. The video strategy for this course is being carefully planned and developed collaboratively with the faculty, instructional designer (myself), and a media developer.  The course uses short, objective- and topic-driven video segments combining animation, interviews, virtual tours, and faculty on camera in their natural environment. Data will be collected at the end of the course to capture student reactions, performance, and overall effectiveness of the video strategy.

The goals of this session include the following:

·       Guiding participants through the design, planning, development, and implementation of a complex video strategy;

·       Presenting the possibilities for achieving effective content delivery through video with moderate campus resources; and

·       Showing a measured increase in student engagement and performance when the focus is on videos as learning objects rather than traditional classroom lectures.