IMPROVING COLLABORATIVE LEARNING WITH VIDEO LECTURES
University of Potsdam, Hasso Plattner Institute (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:E-Learning has lots of advantages and is often used not as a replacement but as an addition to traditional learning methods. In universities, for example, it has become common to enhance the teaching material with additional Internet offers, such as lecture recordings, interactive testing environments or self-tests. Lecture recordings, sometimes called e-lectures, are a very simple way to create e-learning content. There are many benefits associated with this kind of learning. One is simply taking advantage of a lecture that will be given irrespective of whether it is shown on the Internet or not. Recording and post-production do not create much work and an interference with the lecturer's time and didactics are negligible. This makes e-lectures different from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which have other benefits that have been proven in numerous studies in the field of learning analytics but also require much more preparation than lecture recordings.
However, lecture recordings are not an equivalent replacement for traditional lectures. Even for a student who missed a single lecture in a series, watching the recording afterwards has several drawbacks. Considering that a standard university lecture takes around 90 minutes, it is unlikely that the student watching the recording will be able to maintain the same level of concentration as when sitting in a lecture hall. We have found that the average viewing duration of a ninety-minute lecture is around seven minutes. The main problems while watching the lecture recording are a lack of motivation and a dwindling focus. These problems are caused by the fact that learners are left alone with the lecture. The student gets no help, is unable to ask questions, compare written notes with a neighbor or engage in reciprocal quizzing of the material with another participant. In addition, the learner's motivation to spend time with the lecture recording has to compete with all the distractions existing in the environment.
We have addressed these problems with an approach involving collaborative learning. In order to make this type of learning possible, we have prototypically enhanced the video player of a lecture video platform with functionality that allows simultaneous viewing of a lecture on two or more computers. While watching the video, synchronization of the playback and every click event, such as play, pause, seek, and playback speed adjustment can be carried out. We have also added the option of annotating slides.
With this approach, it is possible for learners to watch a lecture together, even though they are in different places. In this way, the benefits of collaborative learning can also be used when learning online. Now, it is more likely that learners stay focused on the lecture for a longer time (as the collaboration creates an additional obligation not to leave early and desert a friend). Furthermore, the learning outcome is higher because learners can ask their friends questions and explain things to each other as well as mark important points in the video.
In this work we show that it is possible to enhance the learning experience and outcome of learning with lecture recordings. However, there is still room for future work, for example, on how to intelligently arrange groups with matching students or how to automatically detect learning difficulties.
Keywords: e-learning, E-Lecture, Collaborative Learning, Learning Analytics, Didactics, MOOC.