Friday, May 31, 2019

How YouTube support videos are used as part of cramming for exams - Presentation Slides #edtechIE19

I enjoyed presenting at EdTech 2019 in Dundalk IT yesterday - it must be one of the friendliest conferences going! Here is a copy of my slide presentation and abtract:


Cramming for exams is a widespread phenomenon where students study almost non-stop just before an exam that’s coming up, but that they haven’t prepared fully for. This traditionally involves going through notes which are either provided by a teacher/instructor, or taken by the students themselves. Cramming is the opposite of the “Spacing Effect” which states that studied material spaced out over time will be remembered better when compared to when material is crammed together. While educators agree that cramming in a poor strategy for learning, it is still a strategy employed by many students. With the arrival of video websites, such as YouTube in 2005, there are many opportunities for modern day students to learn from short videos created by content developers for this purpose.

In this study, data for views, audience retention, and durations of on-line videos provided as support for Statistics modules are examined. The data show stark evidence of intense last-minute study where key videos are viewed in the 48-hour period before a scheduled exam takes place. Almost no views are recorded for the support videos throughout the semester or in the aftermath of an exam. Individual videos are linked to specific exam questions to show the cramming effect. Audience retention and average duration in the 48-hour period before an exam are compared with retention and duration outside this period. Overall, the results clearly indicate that on-line support videos are now part of the cramming phenomenon. No evidence of the spacing effect was found.

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