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What impact does video have on student engagement?

February 9, 2018

New SAGE Publishing White Paper explores the current state of play in video pedagogy


Video-based learning has long been used as an educational tool in classrooms and with recent technology advancements its use has accelerated. With this shift, many educational institutions are curious about the possibilities of educational video and how it can be used to its greatest potential. For example, what impact is video having on student engagement and learning? How is video making a tangible difference in the higher education space? And what are the measures of successful video use both for students and researchers? A new SAGE Publishing White Paper out today titled “Assessing the Impact of Educational Video on Student Engagement, Critical Thinking and Learning: The Current State of Play,” explores these questions and furthers the debate.

Authors Dr. Jeffrey D. Karpicke, James V. Bradley Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University, Abigail-Kate Reid, freelance researcher, and Michael Carmichael, Senior Publisher for Video, SAGE Publishing, conducted a critical overview on the current debates around the use of video in higher education (HE), and extend the body of research through a piece of original research addressing the impact of the use of graphics in video. The findings from the white paper revealed that:

  • Video is beneficial to teachers and learners, stimulating stronger course performance and affecting student motivations, confidence and attitudes positively. It is also having an impact on changing practices in teaching and learning more generally.
  • Shorter videos, or those segmented appropriately, can increase median viewing times for videos and can improve learning outcomes and the likelihood that repeat usage will occur.
  • Students find videos which include the instructor’s image to be more engaging, or they engage more with the course content as a result of instructor presence in videos. A balance is needed to ensure that instructor presence is not distracting while allowing for appropriate social cues which are essential for enhancing learning outcomes.
  • New experimental research shows that students’ attention, interest, and engagement levels increased and they were able to remember more details when graphics were used in a video compared with watching the same video without graphics included. 

Michael Carmichael, Senior Publisher for Video, SAGE Publishing commented:

“The educational environment is continuously evolving and SAGE is dedicated to supporting the wider academic community in response to these developments, providing creative solutions to new challenges along the way. In 2015 we launched SAGE Video after extensive research and in close consultation with librarians and their patrons in order to meet their pedagogical and research needs. This White Paper and the applicability of its findings into our pedagogical strategy are an extension of SAGE’s commitment to better understanding the pedagogical environment we are operating in and the needs of our community. This is only the start and we look forward to continuing this research endeavor to best understand and address the impact of pedagogical developments in learning.”

Dr. Jeffrey D. Karpicke, James V. Bradley Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University further commented:

“The value and impact of video has been and continues to be a controversial topic within academia as we as a community look for ways in which to both justify and best address the value of its use. This White Paper has enabled us to assess the current debates around its use and contribute new research on the aspects of video that matter for student learning and engagement. With these findings we hope to contribute to the more effective use of digital pedagogy and identify areas of further research in order to ensure the long-term success and valuable impact of video in higher education.”

Find out more by reading the full White Paper written by Michael Carmichael, Senior Publisher for Video, SAGE Publishing, Abigail-Kate Reid, freelance researcher, and Dr. Jeffrey D. Karpicke, James V. Bradley Professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University.

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Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1,000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne. 

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