Instructor presence in instructional video: effects on visual attention, recall, and perceived learning

article abstract


In an effort to enhance instruction and reach more students, educators design engaging online learning experiences, often in the form of online videos. While many instructional videos feature a picture-in-picture view of the instructor, it is not clear how the instructor's presence influences learners’ visual attention and what it contributes to learning and affect. Given this knowledge gap, this study explored the impact of instructor presence on learning, visual attention, and perceived learning in mathematics instructional videos of varying content difficulty. Thirty-six participants each viewed two 10-min-long mathematics videos (easy and difficult topics), with the instructor either present or absent. Findings suggest that the instructor attracted considerable visual attention, particularly when learners viewed the video on an easy topic. Although no significant difference in learning transfer was found for either topic, participants’ recall of information from the video was better for an easy topic when the instructor was present. Finally, instructor presence positively influenced participants’ perceived learning and satisfaction for both topics and led to a lower level of self-reported mental effort for a difficult topic.

Wang, & Antonenko. (2017). Instructor presence in an instructional video: Effects on visual attention, recall, and perceived learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 71(C), 79-89.

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