Communicating Geoscience Concepts In The Classroom And Beyond Using Short Videos

Tuesday 4:30pm-5:30pm Red Gym
Poster Session


Jennifer Wiggen, North Carolina State University
David McConnell, North Carolina State University
We created a series of geoscience videos to support student learning in an introductory physical geology course. We incorporated aspects of effective multimedia design (e.g., brief videos featuring spatial and temporal contiguity of items, modality, coherence) that have been shown to enhance student learning. Videos are presented in two forms: 1) Relatively brief 5-7 minutes long videos designed for pre-class viewing in a flipped class setting; and, 2) Even shorter (1-2 minute) videos to support supplemental instruction and/or class demonstrations.

A typical flipped video lesson would contain specific parts that can be matched against a similar textbook assignment to allow for comparison of student performance in different learning environments. In the context of this study, students were given a video or text-based resource followed by a series of assessments featuring knowledge and comprehension questions. Students who reviewed class videos show greater learning gains and had higher confidence in their learning than students who had completed equivalent textbook reading assignments.

We shared the videos via a YouTube channel, GeoScienceVideos (, to make them available to a wider audience. On the basis of total views, the most popular videos characterize rock types, explain the process that occur at plate boundaries, and describe basic concepts such as fault types and porosity and permeability. YouTube has become one of the largest and most popular websites on the Internet with more than one billion users. While the majority of these users are probably not visiting YouTube to become great scholars of geoscience, YouTube has the potential to communicate geoscience content and support learning in a much more diverse audience than found in a typical introductory science classroom.