Time for reflection: Development of twenty short videos to introduce new topics and engage students in circuit theory

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings

Publication Date



One of the essential components of the Kolb Experiential Learning Cycle is allowing students the time to reflect on new experiences prior to abstraction and application of new material. Most commonly this is attempted by assigning readings from a textbook, but research suggests that few students complete these readings. This discouraging fact has prompted the use of videos to supplement pre-class readings to introduce new material in courses such as Circuit Theory. Unfortunately, most existing video resources on Circuit Theory topics are overly long, dull, or lacking in production quality. In addition, many of these videos are monetized by running advertisements, which may deter students from watching. To overcome these issues, 20 short videos were created for an introductory circuits course. These videos are generally shorter than five minutes, are written with simple, real world or pop culture illustrations and humor, and include a worked-out example. The videos are freely available on YouTube, without advertisements. The efficacy and value of the videos were assessed via course exams and quizzes, an end-of-course student survey, and YouTube analytics. The results indicate that 85% of the students felt that the videos helped them prepare for class, and 92% would recommend the videos to students taking Circuit Theory at another university. When asked how much they would pay for the set of videos, the average response was $19.30. The videos may have also had a positive impact on student learning. Students having access to the videos scored 8.36% higher on the final exam than did comparable students taking the same exam the previous year. This paper contributes to electrical engineering education by providing a freely available set of videos that other instructors may use to increase student engagement and learning.



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