WWC review of this study

Student-Produced Videos Can Enhance Engagement and Learning in the Online Environment

Stanley, Denise; Zhang, Yi (2018). Online Learning, v22 n2 p5-26. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1181370

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: March 2021

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards without reservations
College academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Passing course

Online Student-Generated Video Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
87 students





Total class points

Online Student-Generated Video Project vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
87 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 59%
    Male: 41%
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  • Ethnicity
    Not Hispanic or Latino    


The study was conducted at a university located in California. Participants were undergraduate students who took an upper division online college course, focused on economics, which is required for all students pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration. The study leveraged students from two sections of this economics course in the spring of 2016.

Study sample

On average, participating students were 25 years old. There were more women (59%) than men (41%). Most of the students had lower income levels (71% Pell Grant eligible). One-third (33%) reported Hispanic ethnicity; the remaining students primarily reported their race as Asian or Caucasian.

Intervention Group

As part of the course requirements, participants in the intervention course section developed student-generated video projects showcasing the steps one must go through to solve a multiple-choice question on an exam. Students could choose from a bank of existing questions, or have the instructor select one for them. Students were given directions explaining how to make the video and what type of medium they could use (e.g., narrated PowerPoint slideshow, YouTube video). The instructor included an example video to help students understand the assignment parameters. Each student produced a narrated video and posted it in a discussion forum link in the relevant module. Other students viewed the videos and provided ratings and comments. In addition, students in the intervention condition engaged in common study activities (online lecture content, homework, quizzes) and took the same exams as the business-as-usual comparison condition.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition received the same online course section as the students in the intervention condition with the exception of the student-generated video projects. Otherwise, all students received the same lecture content, completed the same homework assignments and quizzes, and took the same exams. To ensure that the points earned in each of the course sections was comparable, homework and quizzes were worth more points in the comparison condition than in the intervention condition.

Support for implementation

No supports for implementation were described in the paper.


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