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Do video lectures help students – Yes!

Have you ever sat in a lecture and been totally confused?  I know I have.  I wished the Professor would either slow down, or that I had a time machine to revisit the lecture.  That made comprehension really difficult.

Recently, I’ve cut down on my peer review publications, and focused more on undergraduate teaching materials.  This included a very readable and applied textbook in statistics and geography for under $50, and a supplementary workbook for under $20.

Last year I decided to create online video lectures for my course Statistical Problem Solving in Geography through Udemy.  These are abbreviated lectures for all of my book chapters, and they also include hands-on demonstrations of certain calculations.  I offer these lectures free of charge to my students at Salisbury University so that they can supplement the class lectures (I warn them that they are not an excuse for skipping lecture!).  You can see examples of the lectures here.

Over the last 6 years, the first exam in my course is a bit of an eye opener for students.  The class average had ranged anywhere from 62% – 71%.  For the last two semesters, I have provided my students with the supplementary lectures, and the average for the first exam was 82% and 84%!  That is a huge improvement.

Also, what I found when giving my final practicum, these sophomore level undergraduates were able to perform multivariate regression analysis where they not only knew how to eliminate dependent variables that were not statistically significant, they also were able to identify multi-collinearity and using the sequential sums of the squares, determine which explanatory variable should be tossed out – to be honest, I couldn’t even do that in graduate school!!

So yes, this is a great way to supplement student learning, and I really believe that understanding statistical principles is critical for any geographer wanting to perform quantitative analysis or even GIS.

* By the way, if you are interested in learning the material covered in my college level quantitative geography course, you can take Statistical Problem Solving in Geography for the same $25 price I offer it to college students outside of my University by clicking here (the course is normally $75, and I often provide coupons for $30).   You can check discounts out my other online geospatial courses here.

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