Effective Engineering Video Tutorials
Increasing technological development, particularly wide accessibility of online video publishing platforms, such as YouTube, has resulted in a corresponding increase in the production and integration of online video content. In this paper we specifically discuss the use of screencast tutorials in higher education courses. Screencast tutorials are being used to provide and supplement instruction at all grade levels, from K thru college, using various delivery approaches from completely online to blended learning environments. The results presented in this paper specifically focus on engineering fundamentals content. The predominant use of online videos by engineering students has been to seek out specific course related tutorial videos to support their learning or to supplement content in traditional face-to-face courses. However, the characteristics of an effective screencast tutorial for teaching purposes are not well-defined due to the complexity of factors (e.g. written language, spoken language, pace, visualization, duration, production quality, animation, etc.). In this paper we attempt to answer this question using results of a survey of engineering student and instructor perceptions of use and characteristics of online engineering video tutorials. Based on these results, students are most likely to watch online video tutorials to help them develop an approach to: (1) solve homework assignments and (2) prepare for exams. Students and instructors consider organization (characterized by step-by-step, clear, and concise presentation of the material) to be the most valued characteristic of quality engineering video tutorials. Based on the analysis of the results, we provide specific recommendations for individual instructors who wish to either create effective engineering video tutorials or identify effective available online content.