Designing Effective Instructional Videos

Designing Effective Instructional Videos

This is one of several principles listed under “Principles for Managing Essential Processing”. The segmenting principle suggests breaking down a complex presentation into manageable segments whose pace can be controlled by the learner. Mayer describes research where students were able to click an arrow key to progress through segments of a multimedia presentation (6). However, I imagine that a similar effect can be achieved by presenting labeled slides throughout the presentation such that it would be easier for a learner to navigate the video, giving them the ability to pause and re-watch specific portions.

The Personalization Principle

This is one of several principles listed under “Principles for Fostering Generative Processing”. The personalization principle advocates for using conversational language, rather than formal, in instructional videos. For example, in a description of the human raspatory system talk about how “your mouth” works rather than “the mouth”. “Personalized language is intended to help the learner feel that the instructor is working with them, which can prime stronger motivation to exert effort to understand what the instructor is saying

Many of the principles Mayer suggests seemed obvious. However, I know from experience that it’s hard to keep all of these different principles in mind as you are making videos. It’s so easy to get caught up in the specifics on what you’re teaching, that you can forget to do simple things like verbally signaling key terms, or think about whether you can narrate over an animation or a video to improve comprehension. It’s useful to have such a handy list of evidence-based practice on hand!

(1) Mayer (in press). Evidence Based Principles for How to Design Effective Instructional Videos, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.

(2) Mayer, R. E. & Anderson, R. B. (1991). Animations need narrations: An experimental test of a dual-coding hypothesis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 484-490. DOI: 10.1037/0022-0663.83.4.484

(3) Mayer, R. E. & Anderson, R. B. (1992). The instructive animation: Helping students build connections between words and pictures in multimedia learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 444-452. DOI: 10.1037/0022-0663.84.4.444

(4) Mautone, P. D. & Mayer, R. E. (2001). Signaling as a Cognitive Guide in Multimedia Learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(2), 371-389. DOI: 10.1037/0022-0663.93.2.377

(5) Lie, W., Wang, F., Mayer, R. E., & Liu, H. (2019). Getting to the point: Which kinds of gestures by pedagogical agents improve multimedia learning? Journal of Educational Psychology, 111(8), 1382-1395.

(6) Mayer, R. E., Howarth, J. T., Kaplan M., & Hannah, S. (2018). Applying the segmenting principle to online geography slideshow lessons. Educational Technology Research and Devlopment, 66, 563-577.