Do Teaching Videos Work?

I was lucky to see a fantastic talk about learning at Instructure Con 2015 by Derek Mueller, host of Veritasium, a popular YouTube Channel about science. It’s popular because it’s fun, interesting, and well-made – and he is great on-camera talent – but part of its success is also due to science applied to video-making.

Derek has a PhD in Philosophy, and his thesis paper is titled “Designing Effective Multimedia for Physics Education”.

His paper, and his keynote, was about how people learn, and how revealing and acknowledging misconceptions is a way to open minds to learning. Simply lecturing about a subject, he says, is fairly ineffective, but by creating confusion in the learner, and showing them other people going through their own learning process, is effective in helping people to grasp concepts more deeply. It’s another example of how our ideas of how learning happens don’t always jibe with reality.