Lectures vs. Videos

Wednesday May 23, 2012

Can a video replace a lecture? I'm not sure.

I go to lectures I would never watch a video of because a lecture can be an enjoyable experience. It's an event. You go, you sit, you meet people, you experience the whole thing with no scrubbing through to find a more interesting bit. It may be more memorable because of this immersion in a novel environment, because it can encourage more engagement.

I think research could shed light on whether video can be as effective as a non-interactive lecture. Test students after a non-interactive live lecture that is recorded. Have other students watch the recording and test them. There may be some positive effect of being live. Maybe some research like this has been done - I'd like to see it.

Lectures also happen to me spontaneously when someone figures out that I would benefit from hearing something at a particular moment. Teachers are often good at figuring out what you need to hear.

I think there is some room for computer adaptive systems to get better at figuring out what you need to hear and when. I don't know that they'll be as good as a good teacher any time soon, but they may be better than a bad teacher rather quickly.

This post was originally hosted elsewhere.