Given the popularity of YouTube and other video dissemination websites, it is reasonable to assume that the digital natives of today might prefer video-based instruction, especially for a computer lab activity in an Information Systems course. Consider the specificity of a video that shows students exactly what to click versus the potential ambiguity of text instructions. At first look, video appears to offer a significantly superior instruction format compared to text, especially for the digital native generation. However, after two years of experimenting with video instructions, we no longer make this assumption. We present an experiment that examines the differences between online video and online text instructions with respect to concept learning, task completion time, retention, and student impression. Our results indicate that video and text perform similarly, which is surprising since we are investigating a type of task and an audience that appear, on the surface, to be well-suited for video instructions. Our experiments are supported by an innovative web-based lab delivery system that provides a framework for evaluating different forms of instruction and user interface designs by collecting students' responses, impressions of the experience, and timing data.
E. Breimer, Jami L. Cotler, R. Yoder
Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges