Videos in Online Courses

Viewing Patterns and Student Performance


  • Eric Litton Coker University



requiring videos, video length, online courses, quantitative analysis, EdPuzzle


Many instructors use videos to support their teaching in online courses to convey course content that would normally be taught in a traditional setting. Prior studies have shown some connection between utilizing online videos and student performance but do not always support their finding statistically or consider the nuance of the online videos, such as if the videos are required and how long the videos are. This article uses various quantitative analysis techniques to investigate the relationship between video length, student video viewing patterns, and grades. The findings indicate that videos should stay within a certain length to encourage student engagement with the videos and course assignments. Also, watching online videos is only positively related to grades when students are not required to watch, a result that is consistent across course-level and student-level models. Student viewing patterns also differ for courses that require watching videos versus those that do not. The article concludes by discussing the relevance of these results and how instructors can best utilize online videos in their courses.