Using Instructor-Generated Video Lectures in Online Mathematics Courses Improves Student Learning

Jennifer Hegeman


Low retention rates in online freshman-level mathematics courses are a concern, especially at postsecondary institutions that serve academically unprepared students. The purpose of this study was to determine if student performance in an online College Algebra course that relies heavily on text-based multimedia tools can be improved by replacing publisher-generated educational resources with instructor-generated video lectures. The original online College Algebra course placed the publisher-generated educational resources in the role of content provider by enabling all publisher-generated learning aids within the online homework system and treating instructor-generated educational materials as supplemental resources. In contrast, the redesigned online College Algebra course enhanced the course instructor’s teaching presence by requiring students to complete instructor-generated guided note-taking sheets while watching instructor-generated video lectures, treating publisher-generated learning aids as supplemental resources by removing them from within the online homework system. Results indicate students who enrolled in a redesigned online College Algebra course that strategically placed the instructor in the role of content provider performed significantly better on both online and handwritten assessments than did students who enrolled in an online College Algebra course that placed the publisher-generated educational resources in that role.


Online general studies mathematics; video lectures; learning aids

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