Tips for Checking Student Learning from Video Lectures

Online video lectures, both live and recorded, often lead to one question from instructors: Are we sure our students are watching them?

Here’s a few tips to help in encouraging students to watch live/recorded lecture material:

  • Ask for the muddiest point – Give students a low point value, preferably complete/incomplete, assignment where they mention which part of the video lecture was the most unclear to them. This gives the added benefit of helping clarify for the student, while also ensuring they watched the video.
  • Ask for the most prominent point – Like the muddiest point, ask students for what point stood out the most to them. This gives the chance for sharing additional resources.  This is best paired with the muddiest point as some students may not have a point that needs strong clarification.
  • 3-2-1 – Ask students for three things they learned, two question they still have, and one aspect they particularly enjoyed.  This can be created as a low point value assignment, or even used as a springboard into a discussion.  More information about this strategy on Facing History’s 3-2-1 page.
  • Apply to the real world – Ask students how an idea from the lecture can be applied to a real world situation in the past, present, or future.  This can be something like compare/contrast, a connection to a current event, or a personal experience.  This can also be a good springboard for a course discussion or a short answer response.
  • Pre-check quiz – In a practice quiz, ask students questions about content that may be covered in a video lecture.  This allows students to know where their gaps are, and provides the instructor with information of any significant gaps among multiple students. The instructor can then view the results via Quiz Statistics, and adjust their video lecture to pay close attention to these gaps.
  • Post-lecture quiz – In a low-stakes short graded quiz, ask students questions related to the lecture content.  It’s best to focus on key points of the video lecture.  Student responses can help determine if any remediation is needed.