It’s not Video Anymore: Designing Digital Video for Learning and Assessment (Schwartz & Hartman, 2007)

Schwartz, D.L., & Hartman, K. (2007). It’s not Video Anymore: Designing Digital Video for Learning and Assessment. In R. Goldman, R. Pea, B. Barron, and S.J. Derry (Eds.), Video Research in the Learning Sciences (pp. 335-348). New York: Erlbaum.

In this chapter, the authors describe the use of designed video, in which “the author of a video decides on its components and features beforehand.” [Not sure this is so different from other types of video, such as those produced for commercial purposes.] Designed videos can be used both for learning and assessment; the authors provide a comprehensive framework for categorizing the uses of video into various learning outcomes: Seeing, Engaging, Doing, and Saying.

SeeingVideo can help people see things they could not see before. Using this principle, video authors may take a familiarity approach (introducing an object or concept to an audience) or a discernment approach (help point out details that people may have otherwise not noticed). “For the goal of helping people discern subtlety in the familiar, highlighting techniques are appropriate” (Goodwin, 1994). Assessment techniques include recognition tasks (showing things at a different angle may be more valid), forced-choice or open-ended discernment tasks (subject must decide which option is optimal).

Engaging – Develop learner’s interest in partaking in a learning activity; this can be done by targeting intrinsic or extrinsic motivation (Lepper & Greene, 1978). Developing intrinsic motivation can be done via piquing learner’s curiosity, or showing real-world relevance. Can also use video to anchor instruction, trigger discussions, or activate prior knowledge. In terms of assessing engagement, one may attempt to investigate viewer’s subsequent desire to engage in learning, or her pursuit of certain resources (indicating interest in learning more). Another interesting idea is to assess differences in learning or learning behaviors tied to a lesson given after the video.

Doing – This may involve either attitude change or skill acquisition. The idea is to have viewers model what is on the screen. For complex skills, the video author may have to provide breakdowns of sub-skills. In terms of assessment, one may observe what the subject does after viewing the designed video.

Saying – This requires the viewer to acquire verbal or  declarative knowledge, e.g., facts, explanation. Bransford, Franks, Vye, and Sherwood (1989): people remember facts better when those facts come as a solution to a problem an individual has attempted rather than as a bald assertion. Using more than one analogy to convey a point is recommended as people tend to focus on surface features (Gick & Holyoak, 1983). To assess acquisition of facts, use recall tasks (including free or cued recall); to assess ability to explain phenomenon, use tasks that require problem solving, applying ideas in a new situation, prediction, taking up a point of view, and constructing an argument.


Bransford, J. D., Franks, J. J., Vye, N. J., & Sherwood, R. D. (1989). New approaches to instruction: Because wisdom can’t be told. In S. Vosniadou&A. Ortony (Eds.), Similarity and analogical reasoning (pp. 470–497). NY: Cambridge University Press.

Gick, M. L., & Holyoak, K. J. (1983). Schema induction and analogical transfer. Cognitive Psychology, 15, 1–38.

Lepper, M. R., & Greene, D. (Eds.). (1978). The hidden cost of reward: New perspectives on the psychology of human motivation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


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