ARE INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS EFFECTIVE TO LEARN DYNAMIC MACROECONOMICS? AN EMPIRICAL ASSESSMENT AT UNIVERSITY OF SEVILLE (SPAIN)
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been integrated in teaching activities to develop new learning environments. Within ICTs, the use of multimedia (as instructional videos) has attracted significant academic attention. Nevertheless, the use of these technologies in teaching economics has generally lagged behind other disciplines and just very few studies have documented experiences in this area. This research shows the findings of an educational innovation project, carried out in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Seville (Spain), based on the development and use of instructional videos to teach and learn macroeconomics. Five short videos have been development as complement educational materials in the macroeconomics curricula. These videos illustrate dynamic graphical representations of macroeconomic processes, which generally imply an additional comprehension and retention difficulties among students. Secondly, the effectiveness in the use of instructional videos in the field of economics has been tested. Specifically, the two following questions have been tested and discussed: Does the use of instructional videos impact positively on students' learning outcome? And does it increase the probability of achieving higher scores? In order to answer these questions, this study compares the learning level achieved across two treatment groups of students: those who have used the video clips and those who do not. The experiment was designed so that the only significant difference between the two treatment groups was the use of the instructional videos. Following the common procedure in recent literature, the primary objective of this study has been to examine whether the use of instructional videos (specially designed and produced to teach dynamic macroeconomic processes) positively impacts on the learning outcome of an experimental group of students, compared with a control group of students, while monitoring important variables such as gender and differences in prior knowledge and ability levels of students. The multi-stage analysis carried out in this study shows the positive impact, in terms of the achieved academic outcome (as measured by a test score), associated with the use of the instructional video to teach macroeconomics. Specifically, the inferential analysis has shown that the group of students who used the video achieves a significantly higher average test score. Subsequently, the probabilistic analysis carried out through the use of probit and multinomial logit models, has confirmed the positive impact of this material on the probability of achieving higher test scores. Furthermore, estimated marginal effects in the multinomial logit model indicate that the use of instructional videos significantly reduces the probability of achieving lower test scores and conversely, it increases the probability of achieving higher test scores. In summary, results confirm that using videos as complementary teaching materials in the curriculum has a positive effect on the students' academic performance.