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Students' Behavior and Perceptions Regarding Complementary Videos for Introductory Physics Courses in an Online Environment

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Citation: Perez-Navarro, A.; Garcia, V.; Conesa, J. Students' Behavior and Perceptions Regarding Complementary Videos for Introductory Physics Courses in an Online Environment. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 523. https://doi. Publisher's Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Featured Application: This works can help to choose the better and more efficient videos for professors of Physics courses. Abstract: Digital videos have an important and increasing presence in student learning. They play a key role especially in subjects with high mathematical content, such as physics. However, creating videos is a time-consuming activity for teachers, who are usually not experts in video creation. Therefore, it is important to know which kinds of videos are perceived as more useful by students and why. In this paper we analyze students' perception of videos in an introductory physics course of engineering with over 200 first year students in a 100% online university, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). Students had 142 videos available of several types. We followed a qualitative methodology from a ground theory perspective and performed semi-structured interviews. Results show that students found videos as the most valued resource, although they considered that videos cannot substitute text documents. Students valued human elements and found them in videos where the hands of the professor appear. Finally, students consumed videos according to the course schedule, visualized the whole video the first time, and consumed it later according to further deliveries and exams. The main contributions of this paper were analyzing the perception of students from a qualitative perspective in an introductory course of physics in engineering, obtaining the main elements that make videos useful for students and showing that videos with hands are valued by students.
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applied
sciences
Article
Students’ Behavior and Perceptions Regarding Complementary
Videos for Introductory Physics Courses in an
Online Environment
Antoni Perez-Navarro 1, 2, * , Victor Garcia 1and Jordi Conesa 1


Citation: Perez-Navarro, A.; Garcia,
V.; Conesa, J. Students’ Behavior and
Perceptions Regarding
Complementary Videos for
Introductory Physics Courses in an
Online Environment. Appl. Sci. 2021,
11, 523. https://doi.org/10.3390/
app11020523
Received: 3 December 2020
Accepted: 29 December 2020
Published: 7 January 2021
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neu-
tral with regard to jurisdictional clai-
ms in published maps and institutio-
nal affiliations.
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Li-
censee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article
distributed under the terms and con-
ditions of the Creative Commons At-
tribution (CC BY) license (https://
creativecommons.org/licenses/by/
4.0/).
1Faculty of Computer Sciences, Multimedia and Telecomunication, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC),
Rambla del Poblenou, 156, 08018 Barcelona, Spain; vgarciahe@uoc.edu (V.G.); jconesac@uoc.edu (J.C.)
2eLearn Center, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Rambla del Poblenou, 156, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
*Correspondence: aperezn@uoc.edu
Featured Application: This works can help to choose the better and more efficient videos for
professors of Physics courses.
Abstract:
Digital videos have an important and increasing presence in student learning. They play a
key role especially in subjects with high mathematical content, such as physics. However, creating
videos is a time-consuming activity for teachers, who are usually not experts in video creation.
Therefore, it is important to know which kinds of videos are perceived as more useful by students
and why. In this paper we analyze students’ perception of videos in an introductory physics course
of engineering with over 200 first year students in a 100% online university, Universitat Oberta de
Catalunya (UOC). Students had 142 videos available of several types. We followed a qualitative
methodology from a ground theory perspective and performed semi-structured interviews. Results
show that students found videos as the most valued resource, although they considered that videos
cannot substitute text documents. Students valued human elements and found them in videos
where the hands of the professor appear. Finally, students consumed videos according to the course
schedule, visualized the whole video the first time, and consumed it later according to further
deliveries and exams. The main contributions of this paper were analyzing the perception of students
from a qualitative perspective in an introductory course of physics in engineering, obtaining the
main elements that make videos useful for students and showing that videos with hands are valued
by students.
Keywords:
educational videos; videos with hands; non-verbal information; e-learning; physics
education; STEM; sciences education
1. Introduction
Nowadays, the use of videos is the most common type of social medium [
1
] and is
used in class and published online [2].
However, creating videos is a very challenging task that requires many hours and
resources for just a few minutes of video [
3
]. Teachers usually lack the skills to create
videos with a professional look and the literature shows that teachers find it easier to
create videos by recording their classrooms since this is the closest scenario to their abilities.
Nevertheless, this kind of video is not the most useful for students since they have the
lowest engagement [
4
] and they are often too long which lowers student engagement [
5
].
Thus, it is important to find out which videos are useful for students but are also easy to
create for teachers.
Our main hypothesis is that creating videos filming the hands of the teacher while
they are writing on a paper (or on a blackboard) satisfies those requirements, since they
look similar to how teachers explain when a student attends to discuss items with them
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020523 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/applsci
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 2 of 22
privately. We call these videos, videos with hands. We think that videos with hands also
satisfy another important aspect which is the emotional link with the teacher [
6
], and the
provision of non-verbal communication [7].
On the other hand, students of science and engineering at Universitat Oberta de
Catalunya (UOC), and potentially at any online university, have greater difficulties in
completing their academic program in comparison to students from other disciplines
(i.e., the dropout rate is higher in those disciplines [
8
]). Within science and engineering, a
physics course offers a stressful scenario to students because it is a challenging course for
most [
9
], with a high load in mathematics, which is accentuated in the case of 100% online
universities because of the difficulties of distance education [10].
In this work, we analyze students’ perception regarding videos in an introductory
course in physics in several studies of engineering at a university that is 100% virtual
(UOC). This analysis will allow us to understand if students perceive videos as a useful
resource. Physics is a challenging scenario in which the role of videos could be more critical.
In addition, analysis of the physics course allows comparing different kinds of pedagogical
videos: (1) theory videos, in which a concept is introduced; and (2) videos of problems,
which present a challenge, a problem or an exercise and explain how to solve it using the
tools explained in the theory videos.
To perform the analysis, a qualitative approach was taken, from the grounded the-
ory perspective [
11
]. Students’ perception was obtained thorough the analysis of semi-
structured interviews, according to the Wengraf spectrum (referenced by [
12
]), following
an approximation hypothetic-inductive.
This is exploratory research to understand the interaction between students and the
video in introductory physics courses from the students’ point of view. As far as we know,
this is the first time that interviews were used as the method to learn about attitudes
and perceptions of students regarding videos in a physics online course. According to
Bogdan, Taylorn and Taylor (1975), this qualitative approximation involves an empathic
understanding and has the ability to represent thoughts, feelings and motivations of the
students [12].
The paper is organized as follows. This section presents a literature review regarding
the use of video as a pedagogical tool, the importance of using human elements like hands
in videos, the suitability of these videos in the specific features of physics courses and the
hypotheses of the research. In Section 2the methods are shown. In Section 3the results
obtained are shown and Section 4presents the conceptual/causal matrix and mapping
tree, discusses the gathered knowledge and analyzes if results are compatible with the
hypotheses. The paper concludes with Section 5.
1.1. State of the Art
Videos can facilitate the use, entry and access to information [
13
]. The use of videos in
schools has been very positive, having the desired effect on students [
14
,
15
]. The benefits
of using videos have been well documented [
16
] and the inclusion of educational videos in
difficult conditions for teaching can facilitate the educator’s job [4].
Videos are widely used in e-learning [
2
] and are an extended resource at the university
level for science courses. There are some existing demonstrative videos being used to
teach scientific concepts [
17
19
]. There are two main reasons for the widespread use of this
resource in science learning. The first is that: they contribute to increasing the effectiveness
of knowledge transmission [
20
22
], as well as the performance to memorize [
23
] and
motivate [
24
,
25
]. The second is that they facilitate bringing theory into practice and making
videos is a powerful resource for acquiring scientific skills in general [
9
] and in physics in
particular [26,27].
In addition, from the student’s point of view, video can be a crucial teaching tool in
improving the follow-up of science courses in general, and physics in particular, for
several reasons:
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 3 of 22
It can make it easier for students to acquire the abstraction capacity required for this
type of course [9,28].
It helps to relate different scientific courses for better internalization and transversal-
ity [29].
It can contribute to reducing the concept of difficulty associated with science
courses [30,31].
It can facilitate the transition and acquisition of scientific language [32].
It is important to note that the current research is addressed to online students. In
this context, the lack of human contact has been considered as one of the disadvantages
of online education [
33
]. Due to the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication,
media-rich forms of communication should be promoted for all the important tasks or
messages within the learning experience in order to maintain a minimum non-verbal
communication.
There are many visual or non-verbal kinds of information that students can perceive
during the lesson that could have a strong influence on their learning process. Among
them, iconic gestures that accompany the dialogue during the communication are a very
important part of information transmission. Several studies have shown that the under-
standing of iconic gestures involves brain activations related to semantic processing of
the word [
34
,
35
]. Listeners also pay attention to iconic gestures and collect the semantic
information they encode [36,37].
Other research [
38
] indicates that gestures also show semantic primate effects (implicit
memory), showing that iconic gestures without speech (moving hands in the form of a
flying bird, for example) present semantic stimuli in the spectators. Thus, these iconic
gestures transmit semantic information by virtue of their form-meaning relationship.
However, although they have been done intentionally to support the objects and events
that they represent, they are not perceived as mere incidental accompaniments to the voice
channel but are semantically processed during comprehension and as an integral part of
the communicator’s message [39].
Hand gestures can alter the interpretation of discourse, eliminate ambiguities, increase
understanding and memory, and transmit information not explicitly integrated into the
discourse [4042].
Some studies have pointed out the importance of showing the teacher’s head and
his/her gestures in distance learning [
43
]. However, when the head of the teacher appears
in the videos, there are extra elements that also play an important role in non-verbal
communication such as physical appearance like clothing, hairstyle, body language, and
even beauty [
6
] and iconic gestures like facial, body or head expression [
44
]. It is important
to note that usually teachers are not professional actors, and all these elements can affect
the effectiveness of the transmission of knowledge. Other techniques show the teacher’s
head as a split or double screen technique. These techniques have been found to produce
a great potential for distractions since are perceived by the user with a higher cognitive
load [45] and can be decontextualized from the information that is being transmitted.
Videos that contain hands can contribute to reduce the cognitive load by provid-
ing non-verbal communication which helps to connect different kinds of representation
(e.g., symbolic, diagrams, concrete and idealized representations, etc.) exposed during the
lesson [
46
,
47
]. In addition, they do not have the drawbacks linked to the appearance of
teachers that are not professional actors and cannot be decontextualized.
Finally, instructional models have been very common in physics classes for several
decades, in which problem solving is emphasized [
48
51
]. These practices are still present
in many faculties [
52
] for reasons that go beyond the scope of this paper. When students’
preferences are analyzed, they seem to prefer superficial learning strategies when aiming
to achieve good grades in the physics courses studied in this research. A problem-solving
methodology is followed, and the evaluation is problem solving centered. The videos
where an exercise is done, or a problem is solved is what we call videos of problems and
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 4 of 22
we think that students could pay different attention to videos more focused on problem
solving (videos of problems) and to videos where theory is introduced (videos of theory).
1.2. Hypotheses
According to state of the art, the hypotheses that will guide the deductive part of our
research in the context of physics courses are:
Hypothesis 1. Online students prefer video to text documents.
Hypothesis 2. Online students prefer videos with human elements.
Hypothesis 3. Online students prefer hands as the human element to appear in videos.
Hypothesis 4. Online students prefer videos of problems.
Hypothesis 5. Online students consume videos linked to activities, deliveries or exams.
Hypothesis 6.
Online students interact with the video when consuming it (i.e., students use the
buttons play, stop, pause, move forward and backward while watching the video).
The first three hypotheses are focused on the preferred resource by students.
Hypothesis 4 is related to the kind of contents students prefer (videos of theory or videos
of problems). Hypothesis 5 is related to the organization and planning of the course and
Hypothesis 6 deals with the way in which students consume video. However, since the
research will have an exploratory part, it is open to finding results beyond these hypotheses.
2. Materials and Methods
In this section we show the kind of videos used, the population under study, how
data was collected, and the methods followed to perform the analysis.
2.1. Kinds of Videos
Two main kinds of video were created: screen capture (Figure 1), created with a
Wacom tablet; and videos with hands (Figure 2) created with a camera that filmed the
hands of the teacher while he was explaining. Both kinds of video correspond to the
same topics and they follow the same structure and notation used within the text material
provided to students. In some videos, the head of the teacher was included in a small box
inside the video to allow students to see his face. Table 1shows the number of videos
created per topic and kind—94 videos with hands (nearly 10 h) and 46 tablet videos
(over 7 h).
Videos are mp4 with codec H.264. Aspect ratio is 16:9 with 1280
×
720 pixels at 25 fps.
Sound is in AAC LC, stereo with maximum bit rate of 128 kb/s and sampling rate of
48.0 kHz.
Table 1.
Number of videos created with tablet and with hands. The number of videos of theory and
problems is specified for each group (Theo/Prbl).
Hands Tablet
Time Theo/Prbl Time Theo/Prbl
Mechanics 1:54:20/1:56:26 0:17:38/3:16:26
Circuits Theory 0:50:36/0:44:58 0/0
Electrostatics 0:34:23/1:23:14 0:52:24/0:58:45
Magnetostatics 0:48:54/1:25:46 0:36:55/1:06:50
TOTAL Theo/Prbl 4:08:13/5:39:24 1:45:57/5:22:01
TOTAL Hands and Tablet 9:47:37 7:08:58
TOTAL 142 videos 16:56:35
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 5 of 22
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 5 of 24
Figure 1. Example of a video created with a digitalizing table: https://vimeo.com/146556665.
Figure 2. Example of a video with hands: https://vimeo.com/147752184.
Table 1. Number of videos created with tablet and with hands. The number of videos of theory
and problems is specified for each group (Theo/Prbl).
Hands
Tablet
Time Theo/Prbl
Time Theo/Prbl
Mechanics
1:54:20/1:56:26
0:17:38/3:16:26
Circuits Theory
0:50:36/0:44:58
0/0
Electrostatics
0:34:23/1:23:14
0:52:24/0:58:45
Magnetostatics
0:48:54/1:25:46
0:36:55/1:06:50
TOTAL Theo/Prbl
4:08:13/5:39:24
1:45:57/5:22:01
TOTAL Hands and
Tablet
9:47:37
7:08:58
TOTAL
142 videos
16:56:35
2.2. Population under Examination
The experiment was performed at UOC, which is an online only university. The
courses chosen were: Physics I, which is part of the degree of Telecommunication at UOC
(“Tl”) and Fundamentals of Physics, part of the degree of Computer Sciences at UOC
Figure 1. Example of a video created with a digitalizing table: https://vimeo.com/146556665.
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 5 of 24
Figure 1. Example of a video created with a digitalizing table: https://vimeo.com/146556665.
Figure 2. Example of a video with hands: https://vimeo.com/147752184.
Table 1. Number of videos created with tablet and with hands. The number of videos of theory
and problems is specified for each group (Theo/Prbl).
Hands
Tablet
Time Theo/Prbl
Time Theo/Prbl
Mechanics
1:54:20/1:56:26
0:17:38/3:16:26
Circuits Theory
0:50:36/0:44:58
0/0
Electrostatics
0:34:23/1:23:14
0:52:24/0:58:45
Magnetostatics
0:48:54/1:25:46
0:36:55/1:06:50
TOTAL Theo/Prbl
4:08:13/5:39:24
1:45:57/5:22:01
TOTAL Hands and
Tablet
9:47:37
7:08:58
TOTAL
142 videos
16:56:35
2.2. Population under Examination
The experiment was performed at UOC, which is an online only university. The
courses chosen were: Physics I, which is part of the degree of Telecommunication at UOC
(“Tl”) and Fundamentals of Physics, part of the degree of Computer Sciences at UOC
Figure 2. Example of a video with hands: https://vimeo.com/147752184.
Videos were delivered to students by two different systems—either a tool developed
by UOC and named PRESENT@ [
53
,
54
] or a WordPress webpage. In both cases videos
were grouped by topic and ordered following the same order as the text materials.
2.2. Population under Examination
The experiment was performed at UOC, which is an online only university. The
courses chosen were: Physics I, which is part of the degree of Telecommunication at UOC
(“Tl”) and Fundamentals of Physics, part of the degree of Computer Sciences at UOC
(“Inf”). Table 2shows the topics covered in every course. Within each topic, only the videos
that corresponded to the corpus of the course were given to the students.
The majority (95%, 135) of the videos were recorded by the same teacher, who is the
teacher of all courses, which is beneficial since students’ engagement increases when the
videos have been created by their own teacher [5].
Videos were given to students at the beginning of every lesson as complementary
material. Students were given access to other material, including text material with the
content of the lessons, solved exams and exercises from previous semesters and Moodle
tests. It is important to note that planning was given to students at the beginning of the
semester in order to help students manage expectations for each week.
Throughout the semester students had four deliveries and a final exam.
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 6 of 22
Table 2.
Contents of every course involved in the experiment. Contents are grouped according to the
degree of the courses: Telecommunications (Tl) or Informatics (Inf). An x in a cell indicates that the
related content is covered in this course.
Tl Inf
Mechanics x
Circuits Theory x
Electrostatics x x
Magnetostatic x x
UOC has a proprietary virtual campus where students have all the materials corre-
sponding to the course, as well as the videos with hands in PRESENT@ and communication
tools. Videos are also available in Vimeo
®
and through a WordPress web page. However,
they are protected by a password, so they are only accessible to students in the course.
Watching the videos was not mandatory in any case.
2.3. Data Collection
Data collection was performed through a questionnaire and through semi-structured
interviews. The questionnaire was analyzed from a quantitative perspective in a previous
paper [
55
]. It allowed recruitment of the interviewed students following a theoretical
sampling [
12
], since the last question of the questionnaire was the possibility of being
interviewed; thus, we recruited those students who were open to giving information.
Interviews were performed following the structure given in Appendix A. The inter-
view has a first part of indirect approximation to the environment and to the resources
available in order to make interviewed students feel more comfortable and also to see if
videos appear spontaneously within the students’ speech. The second part went deeper
into videos, trying to discover whether students like them, find them useful and why. This
part dealt with Hypotheses 1, 2, 3 and 6. The next part of the interview tried to discover
the relation between videos and other elements of the course (Hypothesis 5). Then, the
interview focused on the distinction between theory and problems (Hypothesis 4) and in
the next step went thorough students’ behavior with the video (Hypothesis 6). Finally, the
interview looked for students’ opinions about other possible innovations and looked for
any other element that students would like to add.
Nine students were interviewed. We believe that no more interviews were needed
because with this number we arrived at saturation in most topics. All the interviews
were recorded and all but two were performed by phone because, due to the UOC model,
interviewers and students live in very distant locations. Following the indications given by
Starks & Brown Trinidad [11], the interviewer acted as a listener.
2.4. Data Analysis
Data analysis was based on Starks and Brown Trinidad [
11
] indications for interview
analysis for a grounded theory framework which includes the following: open coding
(examining, comparing, conceptualizing and categorizing data); axial coding (reassembling
data into groupings based on relationships and patterns within and among the categories
identified in the data); and selective coding (identifying and describing the central phe-
nomenon, or “core category,” in the data). In the following paragraphs we describe how
this process was followed in the current research.
Interviews were transcribed and analyzed in several steps. First, an exploratory
codification by two different researchers for every interview was performed. After this first
coding, a list of codes was created. Every interview was then divided into fragments in such
a way that every fragment contained only one single concept. The division in fragments
was performed by two researchers until a consensus was reached and a third researcher
solved disagreements. Then, two different researchers coded every interview using the
list of codes and the separation in fragments. Thus, every interview was coded following
the same fragments and with the same codes, which allowed codification comparison.
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 7 of 22
Researchers were allowed to add a code in the case that none fit. To make the fragmentation
of the interviews and the open coding we used Atlas.Ti 8.4.4®.
Codification was then analyzed and a conceptual graph with the results was obtained
(see Figure 3). Codes that had nothing to do with the videos and the course itself were
ignored, like those saying, “I prefer online learning”.
Figure 3.
Conditional/causal matrix between codes related with video perception. Green nodes represent those where
several arrows come in and out.
From the conceptual graph, an axial coding was performed in order to find the key
elements that explain the attitude of physics students regarding videos.
Then, results and codification were compared using Microsoft Excel
®
. Diagrams were
created using Diagrams.net (the conditional/causal matrix) and Excel (the mapping tree).
3. Results
Interviews were divided into fragments (the shortest had 25 fragments and the longest
had 65 fragments). There were 153 different codes used. A total of 432 fragments were
codified with those codes. The Kappa Cohen coefficient for the concordance in the codifi-
cation from the two first evaluators was 0.5, which corresponds to a moderate agreement
according to Landis and Koch table of kappa strength of agreement [
56
]. Although this is a
moderate value, we think it is acceptable considering the high number of fragments and
codes. However, a third person solved the disagreements until a consensus was reached.
After the coding, using the codes that appeared in at least two interviews and that
referred to the goals of the current research, we created a conditional/causal matrix graph
that can be seen in Figure 3.
The codes in the diagram have been grouped in the axes represented as color boxes:
those that refer to the type of video (pink); those that are focused on how useful students
found videos (yellow); those in which videos are compared with text documents (purple);
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 8 of 22
those that refer to video quality (light brown); those that refer to the way in which students
consume videos (blue); those that refer to the specificities of physics (grey); and finally,
those that refer to the future improvements that could be included within the videos (green).
As the central point, there is a code shared by all the interviewers which is that they like
videos. This is why “likes videos” acts as a central code, and all the other elements in the
boxes help to explain why. In the following paragraphs, we will explain in detail every axe.
3.1. Video Utility
Figure 4shows an enlargement of the axe “video utility” of Figure 3. Interviewed
students found that videos helped them understand. One of the students said, “Reading
without knowing what they are talking about requires a great effort. When you have
already seen the video you already know what you are talking about and the reading
is faster and more fluid because you already know what they are talking about. If you
already have the information before, when you read it you will put together puzzle pieces”.
Another student said, “When I said, ‘I don’t understand this’, the video helped me to
understand it”.
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 8 of 24
3. Results
Interviews were divided into fragments (the shortest had 25 fragments and the long-
est had 65 fragments). There were 153 different codes used. A total of 432 fragments were
codified with those codes. The Kappa Cohen coefficient for the concordance in the codifi-
cation from the two first evaluators was 0.5, which corresponds to a moderate agreement
according to Landis and Koch table of kappa strength of agreement [56]. Although this is
a moderate value, we think it is acceptable considering the high number of fragments and
codes. However, a third person solved the disagreements until a consensus was reached.
After the coding, using the codes that appeared in at least two interviews and that
referred to the goals of the current research, we created a conditional/causal matrix graph
that can be seen in Figure 3.
The codes in the diagram have been grouped in the axes represented as color boxes:
those that refer to the type of video (pink); those that are focused on how useful students
found videos (yellow); those in which videos are compared with text documents (purple);
those that refer to video quality (light brown); those that refer to the way in which students
consume videos (blue); those that refer to the specificities of physics (grey); and finally,
those that refer to the future improvements that could be included within the videos
(green). As the central point, there is a code shared by all the interviewers which is that
they like videos. This is why likes videos” acts as a central code, and all the other ele-
ments in the boxes help to explain why. In the following paragraphs, we will explain in
detail every axe.
3.1. Video Utility
Figure 4 shows an enlargement of the axe video utility” of Figure 3. Interviewed
students found that videos helped them understand. One of the students said, “Reading
without knowing what they are talking about requires a great effort. When you have al-
ready seen the video you already know what you are talking about and the reading is
faster and more fluid because you already know what they are talking about. If you al-
ready have the information before, when you read it you will put together puzzle pieces.”
Another student said, “When I said, ‘I don’t understand this’, the video helped me to un-
derstand it.
Figure 4. Enlargement of the box video utility.
Figure 4. Enlargement of the box “video utility”.
According to students’ comments, the main reason that explanations in the videos
helps them understand topics is that they consider videos a simplification of the topics.
Some comments students said that videos are easy resources. Some sentences from students
are: “videos are ‘easy’ resources, for dummies”. They say either that videos allow to explain
difficult things: “videos were very useful, with those balls (Students refer to balls and
elements that were used in some videos), simple but very clear”; and they are more visual,
“what I liked the most from the videos is the image that is appearing such as a outline”.
Some students explicitly said they prefer videos with problems and find videos of
problems necessary. In general, students liked videos of theory as well as videos of
problems, as can be seen from the sentence: “Those of theory and problems are equally
useful and necessary”.
Regarding time, students found that videos were not distracting and saved time,
as can be seen from the comment: “Videos have not taken away time; on the contrary, they
have given time to me”.
For all these reasons, students found videos useful and necessary. One student said,
“If the videos were removed, I would think that the course has worsened”. In fact, in
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 9 of 22
previous research we saw that when videos were introduced in a course, the results
improved [55].
3.2. Type of Video
Figure 5shows an enlargement of the axe about the “type of video” from Figure 3.
One of the elements that also helps with understanding according to students’ comments
is hand gestures. “The hands helped. There were gestures that helped me to understand
the concept. There are all the gestures that are what you are looking for in the conversation.
You look for gestures too”.
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 9 of 24
According to students’ comments, the main reason that explanations in the videos
helps them understand topics is that they consider videos a simplification of the topics.
Some comments students said that videos are easy resources. Some sentences from stu-
dents are: “videos are ‘easy’ resources, for dummies”. They say either that videos allow
to explain difficult things: “videos were very useful, with those balls (Students refer to
balls and elements that were used in some videos), simple but very clear”; and they are
more visual, “what I liked the most from the videos is the image that is appearing such as
a outline”.
Some students explicitly said they prefer videos with problems and find videos of
problems necessary. In general, students liked videos of theory as well as videos of prob-
lems, as can be seen from the sentence: “Those of theory and problems are equally useful
and necessary.
Regarding time, students found that videos were not distracting and saved time, as
can be seen from the comment: “Videos have not taken away time; on the contrary, they
have given time to me.
For all these reasons, students found videos useful and necessary. One student said,
“If the videos were removed, I would think that the course has worsened. In fact, in pre-
vious research we saw that when videos were introduced in a course, the results improved
[55].
3.2. Type of Video
Figure 5 shows an enlargement of the axe about the type of video” from Figure 3.
One of the elements that also helps with understanding according to students’ comments
is hand gestures. “The hands helped. There were gestures that helped me to understand
the concept. There are all the gestures that are what you are looking for in the conversa-
tion. You look for gestures too”.
Figure 5. Enlargement of the box type of video.
Figure 5. Enlargement of the box “type of video”.
What makes hand gestures help with understanding is that they attract attention.
For example, one comment was, “The videos of the hand are consumed differently. I con-
centrated more because you are looking at where the hand goes because the hand focuses
attention on the area wherever you focus. You follow it because you think that if it moves,
it is for a reason”. However, one student suggested that another pointer could also help.
“You could also do without the hands if they were replaced by a pointer or reference point”.
Nevertheless, in some cases the hands are the only way, as for example, when showing the
direction of the magnetic field.
Students also stated that they like human elements. “I like the voiceover of the teacher
who is doing the video”, said one. However, some students also stated that they do not
need to see the face of the teacher in the video. “Where the teacher comes out, he takes a
piece of screen. I don’t want to see your face I want to see the blackboard,” said one student.
Videos with hands are preferred by students. Nevertheless, according to some stu-
dents, showing the teacher’s face sometimes attracted attention or increased human contact.
“I would like more visual contact with the person who is making that presentation,” said
one student. “Not by showing him going during the whole video, but occasionally having
contact with the teacher
. . .
he can appear at the beginning and then go out and, if there is
something to highlight, appear and explain the question and return to the video”. One stu-
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 10 of 22
dent also linked the face of the teacher with the emotional part, saying, “If at some point
someone appears it is nice. Maybe not in terms of learning, but in terms of emotion”.
Many students compared the videos with other videos used in mathematics courses,
created with a tool named LightScribe
®
, that allowed the teacher to write on a paper and
record the voice while writing. Some students did not like this kind of video; others said
they were acceptable. However, they were not perceived as useful as videos with hands.
Finally, it is important to note that some students believed that explanations are more
important than format: “I give more importance to learning and also if the video is really
giving a content”.
3.3. Video Quality
Figure 6shows an enlargement of the axe about the “video quality” of Figure 3.
Another element that helps to explain why students like the videos is that they consider
the videos well made. Contents were what they expected to find, with one student saying,
“They were what you specifically needed taking into account what was done in the course”.
The duration of the videos was also good: “The Physics videos lasted between 2 and 10 min.
Time is ok”.
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 10 of 24
What makes hand gestures help with understanding is that they attract attention. For
example, one comment was, “The videos of the hand are consumed differently. I concen-
trated more because you are looking at where the hand goes because the hand focuses
attention on the area wherever you focus. You follow it because you think that if it moves,
it is for a reason.” However, one student suggested that another pointer could also help.
“You could also do without the hands if they were replaced by a pointer or reference
point.Nevertheless, in some cases the hands are the only way, as for example, when
showing the direction of the magnetic field.
Students also stated that they like human elements. “I like the voiceover of the
teacher who is doing the video”, said one. However, some students also stated that they
do not need to see the face of the teacher in the video. “Where the teacher comes out, he
takes a piece of screen. I dont want to see your face I want to see the blackboard,” said
one student.
Videos with hands are preferred by students. Nevertheless, according to some stu-
dents, showing the teacher’s face sometimes attracted attention or increased human con-
tact. “I would like more visual contact with the person who is making that presentation,”
said one student. “Not by showing him going during the whole video, but occasionally
having contact with the teacher… he can appear at the beginning and then go out and, if
there is something to highlight, appear and explain the question and return to the video.”
One student also linked the face of the teacher with the emotional part, saying, If at some
point someone appears it is nice. Maybe not in terms of learning, but in terms of emotion.”
Many students compared the videos with other videos used in mathematics courses,
created with a tool named LightScribe®, that allowed the teacher to write on a paper and
record the voice while writing. Some students did not like this kind of video; others said
they were acceptable. However, they were not perceived as useful as videos with hands.
Finally, it is important to note that some students believed that explanations are more
important than format: “I give more importance to learning and also if the video is really
giving a content.
3.3. Video Quality
Figure 6 shows an enlargement of the axe about the “video quality” of Figure 3. An-
other element that helps to explain why students like the videos is that they consider the
videos well made. Contents were what they expected to find, with one student saying,
They were what you specifically needed taking into account what was done in the
course.” The duration of the videos was also good: “The Physics videos lasted between 2
and 10 min. Time is ok.”
Figure 6. Enlargement of the box video quality.
However, students did not like video organization. “What I liked least, perhaps, is
the tool where videos were uploaded. I would improve the presentation environment,
said one student That comment came from students that used the system PRESENT@.
This system was developed by UOC to present final degree projects and was not designed
Figure 6. Enlargement of the box “video quality”.
However, students did not like video organization. “What I liked least, perhaps, is
the tool where videos were uploaded. I would improve the presentation environment,”
said one student That comment came from students that used the system PRESENT@. This
system was developed by UOC to present final degree projects and was not designed to
organize several videos. To simplify the organization, several PRESENT@ rooms were
created to group videos of the same topic and videos were added by order.
PRESENT@ allows comments to be added within the videos, although students did
not use it. Some students did not use it because they did not know they had this option.
Others did not use it because they considered videos so clear that they did not need to add
any comment: “no need to ask questions about the videos”.
3.4. Video Consumption
Figure 7shows an enlargement of the axe about the “Video consumption” of
Figure 3
.
Students watched the videos until the end in the first visualization: “just in case the
questions and doubts that appeared would be solved later in the video”. Videos are
watched in order: “Follow the order established by the course guide and see them one after
the other according to the time available at each moment”; and videos are watched several
times, “at least twice per video (one first shot and one review) but in more complicated
parts of the course, up to four times”.
On the other hand, videos are consumed as another element of study and usually
watched while studying. For example, one comment was, “I did not frequently watch the
videos, I watched them when I studied the module”. Watching the videos was also related
to the delivery of activities or exams. One student said, “Since I have already watched the
videos, I reviewed the videos when having to deliver an activity”. Activities were what we
call “Continous Assessment Activities” (CAT).
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 11 of 22
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 11 of 24
to organize several videos. To simplify the organization, several PRESENT@ rooms were
created to group videos of the same topic and videos were added by order.
PRESENT@ allows comments to be added within the videos, although students did
not use it. Some students did not use it because they did not know they had this option.
Others did not use it because they considered videos so clear that they did not need to
add any comment: “no need to ask questions about the videos”.
3.4. Video Consumption
Figure 7 shows an enlargement of the axe about the “Video consumption” of Error!
Reference source not found.. Students watched the videos until the end in the first visu-
alization: “just in case the questions and doubts that appeared would be solved later in
the video”. Videos are watched in order: “Follow the order established by the course guide
and see them one after the other according to the time available at each moment”; and
videos are watched several times, “at least twice per video (one first shot and one review)
but in more complicated parts of the course, up
to four times”.
Figure 7. Enlargement of the box video consumption..
On the other hand, videos are consumed as another element of study and usually
watched while studying. For example, one comment was, I did not frequently watch the
videos, I watched them when I studied the module.” Watching the videos was also related
to the delivery of activities or exams. One student said, Since I have already watched the
videos, I reviewed the videos when having to deliver an activity.” Activities were what
we call “Continous Assessment Activities” (CAT).
An important behavior is that students take notes while watching the video: “Well,
for example, I take notes, if there is something that interests me, I write it down, I always
do that.”. And regarding videos of problems, they use videos as a support tool who may
give them feedback and clues when needed. They usually try to do the problem before
watching the video, and in case they do not know how to continue, they see the part of
the video until that point. One student gives a reason for that behabiour: “Because it gives
me the option to stop. Solve the problem by myself and then see how far I get by myself.
When I arrive to a milestone, I can stop and watch the video to see my performance”.
It is important to note that students liked the interactivity capabilities of videos, such
as the possibility of stopping and jumping directly to several parts of the video. Usually,
they interacted with the videos while watching them. “I use the back button and pause to
return to a part that was not well understood or to take notes, said one student.
There are more interactions when reviewing the videos because in the first visualiza-
tion students usually watch the video until the end. According to one comment, In the
Figure 7. Enlargement of the box “video consumption”.
An important behavior is that students take notes while watching the video: “Well,
for example, I take notes, if there is something that interests me, I write it down, I always
do that”. And regarding videos of problems, they use videos as a support tool who may
give them feedback and clues when needed. They usually try to do the problem before
watching the video, and in case they do not know how to continue, they see the part of
the video until that point. One student gives a reason for that behabiour: “Because it gives
me the option to stop. Solve the problem by myself and then see how far I get by myself.
When I arrive to a milestone, I can stop and watch the video to see my performance”.
It is important to note that students liked the interactivity capabilities of videos, such as
the possibility of stopping and jumping directly to several parts of the video. Usually, they
interacted with the videos while watching them. “I use the back button and pause to return
to a part that was not well understood or to take notes,” said one student.
There are more interactions when reviewing the videos because in the first visualiza-
tion students usually watch the video until the end. According to one comment, “In the
following reviews, yes, you go more specific and go to specific points
. . .
because you
already know the content
. . .
you go to the place you think you want to see, or you are
looking for
. . .
or you do a random search because you know that what you are looking
for is in that area
. . .
then there comes a time when you say, ‘it is not giving me anything’
and you start moving forward and skipping things to see if something that you did not
catch appears”.
Finally, in general, students do not change the video speed when watching a video.
3.5. Video Versus Text
Figure 8shows an enlargement of the axe “video consumption” of Figure 3. Videos
are the resource that students liked the most “In physics the materials are good, but with
the videos, it is amazing” said one student. “The resources I liked the most are the videos,”
said another.
However, according to students, videos cannot substitute the text documents: “Videos
can’t replace text documents”, or “Paper gives you knowledge. Explains everything
to you”.
Some of the reasons that can explain this feeling are that text documents are more
rigorous. “Videos are a complement since text materials are much more rigorous,” said one
student. Others liked that papers are more accessible and can be read anywhere, whereas
videos require more resources: “I take the paper and read it on the metro. The video needs
more resources”, said one student.
Although some students miss some information in the text documents, they think that
text documents are well-made: “In the course, the text documents are very good”. It is
important to note that text documents are prepared for e-learning with some specificities
like remembering simple contents that students are expected to know but maybe forgot,
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 12 of 22
say how formulae are read or numbering equations: “Now, I am doing another course and
the formulae are not numbered, that is a problem”.
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 12 of 24
following reviews, yes, you go more specific and go to specific points because you al-
ready know the content... you go to the place you think you want to see, or you are looking
foror you do a random search because you know that what you are looking for is in
that area then there comes a time when you say, ‘it is not giving me anything’ and you
start moving forward and skipping things to see if something that you did not catch ap-
pears.
Finally, in general, students do not change the video speed when watching a video.
3.5. Video Versus Text
Figure 8 shows an enlargement of the axe “video consumption” of Figure 3. Videos
are the resource that students liked the most “In physics the materials are good, but with
the videos, it is amazing” said one student. The resources I liked the most are the videos,”
said another.
Figure 8. Enlargement of the box video versus text.
However, according to students, videos cannot substitute the text documents: “Vid-
eos can’t replace text documents”, or “Paper gives you knowledge. Explains everything
to you”.
Some of the reasons that can explain this feeling are that text documents are more
rigorous. Videos are a complement since text materials are much more rigorous, said
one student. Others liked that papers are more accessible and can be read anywhere,
whereas videos require more resources: “I take the paper and read it on the metro. The
video needs more resources”, said one student.
Although some students miss some information in the text documents, they think
that text documents are well-made: “In the course, the text documents are very good”. It
is important to note that text documents are prepared for e-learning with some specifici-
ties like remembering simple contents that students are expected to know but maybe for-
got, say how formulae are read or numbering equations: “Now, I am doing another course
and the formulae are not numbered, that is a problem”.
Text is also advantageous in that it is easier to review. If you have a specific ques-
tion, then you are not going to watch a 10 min video, said one student. In fact, one student
suggested adding transcription of the video with a summary of the important points. One
single student said that, “Since the physics text was so well explained, perhaps videos
were not necessary.
One may think that the reason text cannot be substituted by videos could be due to
lack of videos. However, videos covered all course topics and students perceived that they
had enough videos: “the number of videos was more than enough in the course of Phys-
ics”. Thus, we can say that differences between text and videos are not due to lack of vid-
eos.
Figure 8. Enlargement of the box “video versus text”.
Text is also advantageous in that it is easier to review. “If you have a specific question,
then you are not going to watch a 10 min video,” said one student. In fact, one student
suggested adding transcription of the video with a summary of the important points.
One single student said that, “Since the physics text was so well explained, perhaps videos
were not necessary”.
One may think that the reason text cannot be substituted by videos could be due to
lack of videos. However, videos covered all course topics and students perceived that
they had enough videos: “the number of videos was more than enough in the course of
Physics”. Thus, we can say that differences between text and videos are not due to lack
of videos.
3.6. Video and Physics
Figure 9shows an enlargement of the axe about “video and physics” of Figure 3.
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 13 of 24
3.6. Video and Physics
Figure 9 shows an enlargement of the axe about “video and physics” of Figure 3.
To analyze the relation between videos and the Physics courses, it is important to
note that students say that they like the course. Students found, either, that videos are
more useful in Physics courses: “Specifically for the Physics course, I really appreciated
videos”. The reasons, according to them, are that mathematics are important in Physics:
“At the mathematical level, I was lost. And seeing it in the videos…”; and that Physics has
many contents, “Maybe it’s the course that has a lot of content”.
Figure 9. Enlargement of the box video versus text..
In the UOC physics courses, students have text materials, videos, Moodle tests and
solved exercises available. Students could feel overwhelmed by having too many re-
sources, although the weekly planning helped. One student said, I strictly followed the
proposed guideline of watching the videos according to the module.” When we suggested
removing some resources one student said, “No, it is better to have the resources and
decide.It is important to note that students were not expected to use all the resources,
but only those that fit their way of learning.
3.7. Video Proposals
Students were asked about some innovations expected to be introduced in future
videos, like tests within videos, marking some parts of the videos or including videos
inside the videos to make clarifications.
Regarding tests within videos, although some students found them interesting, all of
them said they should be optional. It would be nice if you could skip them, was one
comment. Including videos within the videos is another innovation that some students
perceived as unnecessary, although they found linking videos with answers to the tests
as an interesting option. It would be interesting if the videos were linked so that you
would be directed to other videos based on the answers to the tests.” Some students said
the reason for rejecting these changes is that they know how long the video is before start-
ing it, and if we add elements, then the time needed to watch the video changes.
On the contrary, students found marking parts of the video an interesting option. “I
find it useful to embed and share information in the video, said one student. However,
it is important to note that PRESENT@ allowed marking parts of the video and students
did not use it.
Figure 9. Enlargement of the box “video versus text”.
To analyze the relation between videos and the Physics courses, it is important to note
that students say that they like the course. Students found, either, that videos are more
useful in Physics courses: “Specifically for the Physics course, I really appreciated videos”.
The reasons, according to them, are that mathematics are important in Physics: “At the
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 13 of 22
mathematical level, I was lost. And seeing it in the videos. .. ”; and that Physics has many
contents, “Maybe it’s the course that has a lot of content”.
In the UOC physics courses, students have text materials, videos, Moodle tests and
solved exercises available. Students could feel overwhelmed by having too many resources,
although the weekly planning helped. One student said, “I strictly followed the proposed
guideline of watching the videos according to the module”. When we suggested removing
some resources one student said, “No, it is better to have the resources and decide”. It is
important to note that students were not expected to use all the resources, but only those
that fit their way of learning.
3.7. Video Proposals
Students were asked about some innovations expected to be introduced in future
videos, like tests within videos, marking some parts of the videos or including videos
inside the videos to make clarifications.
Regarding tests within videos, although some students found them interesting, all of
them said they should be optional. “It would be nice if you could skip them,” was one
comment. Including videos within the videos is another innovation that some students
perceived as unnecessary, although they found linking videos with answers to the tests as
an interesting option. “It would be interesting if the videos were linked so that you would
be directed to other videos based on the answers to the tests”. Some students said the
reason for rejecting these changes is that they know how long the video is before starting it,
and if we add elements, then the time needed to watch the video changes.
On the contrary, students found marking parts of the video an interesting option.
“I find it useful to embed and share information in the video,” said one student. However,
it is important to note that PRESENT@ allowed marking parts of the video and students
did not use it.
4. Discussion
Interviewed students considered videos the most valued resource in the physics
courses, where several resources were available such as text documents and Moodle tests.
Students also perceived videos as a resource that helped them to more easily understand be-
cause the language and explanations were simpler and more visual than in text documents.
These results are compatible with our findings in a previous quantitative research [55].
However, text documents cannot be substituted by videos according to interviewed
students, since text documents are more rigorous, more complete and can be consumed
wherever. Thus, videos are used as a resource to understand the topics and difficult steps,
so they can be seen as a lubricant to better acquire the knowledge and skills described
within the text documents, which are perceived as the most important resource.
On the other hand, students valued the videos with hands because of the capacity of
the hand to point and focus but also to make some mimics, like in the case of the direction
of the magnetic field. The hand is also valued for bringing a human element to the video.
In addition, most students perceived the hands as a sufficient human element providing
a social link with the teacher. This social link is something that interviewed students
valued, since they are online students. Thus, students preferred videos with hands. It is
important to note that videos are perceived as well-made, with the expected contents and
the appropriate duration.
Regarding the way in which students watched videos, students usually used videos
while studying and taking notes while watching the video. This is what face-to-face
students do when attending classes. Therefore, the video can be perceived as playing the
role that teachers play in face-to-face classes. The difference is that students can watch the
video several times and can interact with the video and use it as a support tool that supports
their self-directed learning, which is something very valued. As expected, students watched
videos when preparing for an activity or an exam.
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 14 of 22
Something very specific to many scientific instructional courses such as physics is
the difference between theory and problems. This distinction is also in the videos and,
although students said they usually watched videos fully the first time, they also said that
when watching videos of problems, they usually tried to solve the problem before watching
the video. This is actually the goal of problems, and it is important to see that, although
having the resolution in the video, students still try to solve them. Therefore, using videos
does not interfere with the pedagogical role of problems.
The specificity of physics is also perceived by students, and they say that videos
were helpful because of the role played by mathematics and the number of contents in
the course.
Finally, students said they liked the possibility of adding comments within the video,
although PRESENT@ allowed for this and the students did not use this option. Students
said they would only accept tests within the videos if they were optional, but even so, did
not perceive them as necessary. Nevertheless, comments regarding future proposals are an
indication of how those innovations should be introduced for students to accept them.
After the open coding shown in Section 3, we developed axial coding to group the
categories and find the most important elements related to videos in the classroom [
12
,
57
].
Considering the results of the open coding shown in the conditional/causal matrix shown
in Figure 3, we proposed the categories shown in Table 3. It is important to note that some
codes from the conditional/causal matrix can be found in several categories. For example,
saying that, “hands act as a pointing element and attract attention” would correspond to
“hands” and to “pointing elements/attract attention”. On the other hand, there is a special
category that is “hands”. This category refers to codes related to videos with hands, but
hands are a human element and are therefore also counted as so. The reason to explicitly
separate hands is because of Hypothesis 3.
Table 3.
Proposed categories related to the groups of the conditional/causal matrix and with the
relative frequency of appearance.
Thematic Axe Category Relative Frequency
Type of video
Human elements 47
Hands 14
Pointing elements/Attract attention 13
Explanations 2
Utility of videos
Comprehension 41
Time 11
Video useful and necessary 5
Problems 21
Theory 12
Visual 4
Video vs. Text
Videos cannot substitute text 10
Text useful and necessary 11
Rigor 1
Completeness 6
Video consumption
Several consumptions 13
Related with deliveries 12
Interaction 25
Taking notes 3
Physics
Mathematics 2
Difficult concepts 1
Contents 1
Quality 1
Other resources 22
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 15 of 22
Categories are grouped in the axes shown in Figure 3. The category of video proposals
was not taken into account since they are referring to future ideas and, therefore, students
did not really test them.
Figure 10 shows the relative importance of the categories.
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 16 of 24
Figure 10. Mapping tree of the relative importance of every category.
We also see that hands are an important element in videos for students, which is
compatible with Hypothesis 3. Online students prefer hands as the human element to ap-
pear in the video. The reason, as can be deduced from Figure 3, might be due to their role
as a human element and their role as a pointing element that attracts attention. Having a
pointing element or something able to attract attention in the videos is something highly
valued by students.
Regarding Hypothesis 4, students preferred videos of problems where problems ap-
peared with a high frequency in the interview, but only little higher than theory. Thus,
the result of the interview is not compatible with this hypothesis since it seems that in
physics both theory and problems play an important role for students, as shown in Section
3.
Hypothesis 5, that online students consume videos linked to activity delivery or ex-
ams, is compatible with results.
Hypothesis 6, that online physics students interact with videos when consuming it,
is confirmed by the interview, and is something that stands out many times during the
interviews.
Out of these hypotheses, we find that students speak many times about other re-
sources they have available in the course such as text documents, solved exercises from
other years and Moodle tests. Thus, although videos covered all the topics of the course,
students consumed them within the ecology of resources available in the course.
Another element that has been found is the role played by time. Students perceived
that although watching videos takes time, they save time because physics concepts are
understood faster.
Finally, an element that shows that students felt videos work as a learning element is
that they consumed them several times, and this category appears with a high frequency.
Figure 10. Mapping tree of the relative importance of every category.
Hypothesis 1, online students prefer video to text documents in physics courses,
is difficult to validate. Students preferred videos because they helped them understand
concepts. The idea that videos help them understand physics and mathematics in physics
is under the category “comprehension” and, as can be seen, is one of the most important.
However, the idea that videos cannot substitute text because of text completeness and rigor
is also important. In fact, students found videos as useful and necessary as text documents.
Therefore, students felt that videos complemented their physics text.
Regarding Hypothesis 2, online students preferred videos with human elements, we
can see in the Figure 10 that human elements are those with the highest frequency. Online
students often mentioned human contact and closeness.
We also see that hands are an important element in videos for students, which is
compatible with Hypothesis 3. Online students prefer hands as the human element to
appear in the video. The reason, as can be deduced from Figure 3, might be due to their
role as a human element and their role as a pointing element that attracts attention. Having
a pointing element or something able to attract attention in the videos is something highly
valued by students.
Regarding Hypothesis 4, students preferred videos of problems where problems
appeared with a high frequency in the interview, but only little higher than theory. Thus,
the result of the interview is not compatible with this hypothesis since it seems that
in physics both theory and problems play an important role for students, as shown in
Section 3.
Hypothesis 5, that online students consume videos linked to activity delivery or
exams, is compatible with results.
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 16 of 22
Hypothesis 6, that online physics students interact with videos when consuming
it, is confirmed by the interview, and is something that stands out many times during
the interviews.
Out of these hypotheses, we find that students speak many times about other resources
they have available in the course such as text documents, solved exercises from other years
and Moodle tests. Thus, although videos covered all the topics of the course, students
consumed them within the ecology of resources available in the course.
Another element that has been found is the role played by time. Students perceived
that although watching videos takes time, they save time because physics concepts are
understood faster.
Finally, an element that shows that students felt videos work as a learning element is
that they consumed them several times, and this category appears with a high frequency.
Limitations
The main methodological limitation of the current work is the number of interviews.
Although we reached saturation and therefore, the obtained results should be considered
as valid, a higher number of interviews could have increased confidence in the results. On
the other hand, since it is an online university, interviews could not be conducted face-to-
face. From an application point of view, there are some limitations due to the context of
application of the research: (1) the results only apply to online learning universities since
no students from face-to-face universities were interviewed; (2) the results may not be
applicable in other contexts, for example within courses which less mathematical content.
5. Conclusions
In this paper we analyzed the perceptions and attitudes that online students have
regarding videos in an online physics course, specifically, videos where the teacher’s hands
appeared in writing on a blackboard and videos where the hands did not appear. The
method followed has been an analysis of interviews from a ground theory perspective.
Thus, semi-structured interviews have been performed until saturation to validate hy-
potheses but also to look for new knowledge that would help explain the relation between
students and videos in the classroom.
We found that videos are perceived as an extra resource available in physics and
students use them combined with the rest of the available resources. Videos are the resource
that they prefer because they facilitate and accelerate understanding of the concepts of
physics and offer high interactivity. An indicator that they consider videos useful is that
they watched them several times.
However, students considered the most important resource to be text documents
because of their completeness, rigor and easiness to review. Therefore, we think that a
physics course cannot be structured only around videos.
Online students find that human elements are also very important in an online en-
vironment. In fact, they find that hands in the video play this human role. But hands in
the video also play the role of being an important element to attract attention, pointing
to where the students should look, for example. Therefore, videos with hands are able to
introduce a human element with an active role within the video.
Regarding the physics course, it includes theory and problems and, therefore, students
have available videos of theory and videos of problems. We have found that students
consume both of them and find that both are important. On the other hand, the consump-
tion of videos is related to deliveries and exams and students watched the videos more
frequently when they had these milestones.
Thus, from this study we conclude that videos play a key role in online physics courses,
although they are considered a complement to other materials. Therefore, they should be
augmented with other resources such as text documents according to students’ preferences.
Videos with hands are more adequate than videos with the teacher’s face since they may
address two necessary needs: provision of human element to create a social link among
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 17 of 22
students and teacher and a pointing (mimic) element that focuses the attention of students
or allows them to relate to relevant elements.
As future work, we plan to contrast these perceptions with the data collected from the
use of the videos.
Author Contributions:
Conceptualization, A.P.-N.; videos, A.P.-N.; methodology, A.P.-N., V.G. and
J.C.; interviews: A.P.-N., V.G. and J.C.; formal analysis, A.P.-N.; investigation, A.P.-N., V.G. and
J.C.; data curation, A.P.-N., V.G. and J.C.; writing—original draft preparation, A.P.-N. and V.G.;
writing—review and editing, A.P.-N., V.G. and J.C. All authors have read and agreed to the published
version of the manuscript.
Funding:
This research was partially funded by the European Commission through the project
“colMOOC: Integrating Conversational Agents and Learning Analytics in MOOCs” (588438-EPP-1-
2017-1-EL-EPPKA2-KA).
Informed Consent Statement:
Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.
Data Availability Statement:
The data presented in this study may be available on request from the
corresponding author, although it can be slightly modified and cut due to privacy reasons.
Acknowledgments:
One of the authors, APN, wants to thank eLearn Center at UOC and to Mireia
García Ríos for the support in the creation of the videos. All the authors want to thank the students
that participated in the interviews.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Appendix A. Structure of the Interview
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 18 of 24
Informed Consent Statement: Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the
study.
Data Availability Statement: The data presented in this study may be available on request from the
corresponding author, although it can be slightly modified and cut due to privacy reasons.
Acknowledgments: One of the authors, APN, wants to thank eLearn Center at UOC and to Mireia
García Ríos for the support in the creation of the videos. All the authors want to thank the stu-
dents that participated in the interviews.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest
Appendix A. Structure of the Interview
Figure A1. Structure of the interview (I).
Figure A1. Structure of the interview (I).
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 18 of 22
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 19 of 24
Figure A2. Structure of the interview (II).
Figure A2. Structure of the interview (II).
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 20 of 24
Figure A3. Structure of the interview (III)
Figure A3. Structure of the interview (III)
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 19 of 22
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 21 of 24
Figure A4. Structure of the interview (IV).
Figure A5. Structure of the interview (V).
Figure A4. Structure of the interview (IV).
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 21 of 24
Figure A4. Structure of the interview (IV).
Figure A5. Structure of the interview (V).
Figure A5. Structure of the interview (V).
Appl. Sci. 2021,11, 523 20 of 22
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, x FOR PEER REVIEW 22 of 24
Figure A6. Structure of the interview (VII).
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Students often struggle with solving mechanism problems in organic chemistry courses. They frequently focus on surface features, have difficulty attributing meaning to symbols, and do not recognize tasks that are different from the exact tasks practiced. To be more successful, students need to be able to extract salient features, map similarities to problems seen previously, and extrapolate while solving problems. In short, students must be able to recognize and generate abstractions. To help students in learning to solve problems, we need a better understanding of the nature of students’ capacity for abstraction. Building upon an exploratory study (Sevian H., Bernholt S., Szteinberg G. A., Auguste S. and Perez L. C., (2015), Use of representation mapping to capture abstraction in problem solving in different courses in chemistry, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 16(3), 429–446), we applied the representation mapping model of Hahn and Chater (1998a) to characterize the abstraction employed by students while solving mechanistic problems in organic chemistry, and to measure students’ growth in abstraction capacity across a semester. This model operationalizes abstraction by considering (a) the ways in which students match existing knowledge to new instances (abstracting) and (b) the level of abstractness of students’ representations. We describe characteristic indicators of abstracting and abstractness. Trends were observable in the abstraction present in the reasoning of successful and unsuccessful problem solvers. Students who proposed plausible solutions used both strict or partial matching, but students who proposed implausible solutions tended to use strict matching. Students who proposed plausible solutions utilized higher levels of abstractness. This indicates that flexibility in abstraction processes may be important to successfully solve problems. The findings have implications for developing instructors’ assessment practices in ways that build students’ abstraction capacity.
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Although a considerable body of research has examined the impact of student attractiveness on instructors, little attention has been given to the influence of instructor attractiveness on students. This study tested the hypothesis that persons would perform significantly better on a learning task when they perceived their instructor to be high in physical attractiveness. To test the hypothesis, participants listened to an audio lecture while viewing a photograph of instructor. The photograph depicted either a physically attractive instructor or a less attractive instructor. Following the lecture, participants completed a forced choice recognition task covering material from the lecture. Consistent with the predictions; attractive instructors were associated with more learning. Finally, we replicated previous findings demonstrating the role attractiveness plays in person perception.
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As we speak, we use not only the arbitrary form-meaning mappings of the speech channel but also motivated form-meaning correspondences, i.e. iconic gestures that accompany speech (e.g. inverted V-shaped hand wiggling across gesture space to demonstrate walking). This article reviews what we know about processing of semantic information from speech and iconic gestures in spoken languages during comprehension of such composite utterances. Several studies have shown that comprehension of iconic gestures involves brain activations known to be involved in semantic processing of speech: i.e. modulation of the electrophysiological recording component N400, which is sensitive to the ease of semantic integration of a word to previous context, and recruitment of the left-lateralized frontal-posterior temporal network (left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), medial temporal gyrus (MTG) and superior temporal gyrus/sulcus (STG/S)). Furthermore, we integrate the information coming from both channels recruiting brain areas such as left IFG, posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS)/MTG and even motor cortex. Finally, this integration is flexible: the temporal synchrony between the iconic gesture and the speech segment, as well as the perceived communicative intent of the speaker, modulate the integration process. Whether these findings are special to gestures or are shared with actions or other visual accompaniments to speech (e.g. lips) or other visual symbols such as pictures are discussed, as well as the implications for a multimodal view of language.