H.S. Midtiby, C. Noergaard, C. Kjaer

University of Southern Denmark (DENMARK)
The intention of this project was to study the students’ self-reported learning outcome from different formats of videos in an introductory calculus course.

The videos were produced especially for this course as pen-casts and all videos demonstrated how to solve a certain mathematical task (e.g. solve a certain differential equation, solve three equations with three unknowns, etc.). All videos were based on the multimedia principle (Clark and Mayer 2011), which means that they contain the combination of spoken words and corresponding graphics to enhance the students understanding. Some were linear videos simply explaining a specific mathematical issue (video type a). The rest were interactive (Moreno and Mayer 2007) - the video pauses and the students meet questions. The students are encouraged to find the intermediate results, as part of solving a larger problem (video type b) or select between a set of solution methods (video type c). The students were provided with corrective feedback (Priest and Johnson 2009) in terms of correct or incorrect, and the video continues demonstrating the proper solution method via explanatory feedback (ibid. 2009).

The intention was to evaluate students self-estimated learning outcome of lower and higher levels of knowledge construction for each type of video. We asked the students to compare and differentiate the learning outcome from the three formats. The students emphasize that they experience a larger learning outcome from the videos with interaction and that they reflect the awareness of their learning progress as the watch the videos. Students were also asked to evaluate the benefit in terms of “understanding mathematics”, “perform calculations”, “choose between methods” and “capacity to use mathematics in other situations”. We are happy to see that the “understanding mathematics” have a high score as well as the following two items. The last one is hard for the students to respond to at the time.

Furthermore, we looked for students’ opinions on the videos in relation to the other course materials – especially the book – to investigate the students’ study habits and meet queries whether the videos replace the book. We found that students in general were very satisfied with this “new canal” in this learning resource. The students explain that video helps them prepare, helps them understand the book and is a good resource in the group work as a good “just in time” resource for learning.

The students use at least two types of interactivity. Firstly, they use the possibility of navigating back and forth termed as controlling by Moreno and Mayer (2007). This applies for all three types of video formats. Secondly, to a very high degree they pause the videos and solve the exercises and receive feedback, dialoguing interactivity according to Moreno and Mayer (2007). The possibility of dialoguing interactivity is appreciated by the students in both the calculations (video type b) and the reflections of proper methods of solutions (video type c).

From this study, we are able to conclude that students welcome the video as a relevant resource for studying. They underpin how they benefit from the videos in relation to the overall course curriculum and the other learning resources available. The students interact a lot with the videos as expected. The videos stimulate reflections both on the mathematical topics and on “own learning process”, and seem to enhance the students’ mathematical understanding.