Online Instructors as TV Personalities: How Instructors Applied Multimedia Learning Design Principles in Video they Created

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Brief Abstract

How well are online instructors applying research supported video design principles? I’ll share the results of my study describing instructor implementation of 11 multimedia design principles of the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, factors influencing video creation processes, and provide context regarding instructors’ time, tools, and instructional approaches with video.


Dr. Tom Pantazes is an Instructional Designer with the Office of Digital Learning & Innovation at West Chester University. His research interests include digital instructional video, virtual reality, content interactivity, and simulations. If he is not recording videos or building Legos with his two sons, you can catch him on Twitter @TomPantazes.

Extended Abstract

“I never wanted to be a TV personality in the first place, and here I am. Now we’re all TV personalities,” said Bertha an online instructor of nutrition describing her efforts to create digital video for use in an online course during the COVID-19 pandemic. How effective was Bertha and other instructors like her at implementing research supported video design principles derived from the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning? In this presentation, I’ll share the results of an explanatory sequential mixed methods research project that described the extent to which 55 instructors applied 11 multimedia design principles of the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) in video they created for use in online courses at a large, regional public university during Fall 2020.    

At the start, I’ll provide a brief introduction to the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) as well as a cursory outline of the study research design to provide context for the audience. Then participants will enjoy a guided, interactive tour through each of the 11 CTML design principles. For each CTML principle, participants will be introduced to the definition and try to guess the level of instructor implementation via audience polling. Then I’ll share the actual instructor implementation measured in the study before concluding with practical suggestions anyone can use to implement the specific principle in future videos. This interactive sequence is repeated for each of the 11 design principles.   

The next portion of the presentation will address factors such as personal preferences and students that informed instructor video design decisions and implementation of CTML design principles considering such questions as:  

  • How are instructors considering their students as they create video?  

  • What tools and instructional strategies are instructors utilizing to create video?  

I’ll wrap up the session with an explanation of five key recommendations derived from the study that can help instructors be the best TV personality they can be.  

Participants will leave the session with enhanced knowledge of the 11 CTML design principles as well as practical suggestions to apply in the creation of future videos.