P157 Video, Written, or Combination? A Pilot Study Discovering Which Type of Engagement Students Preferred for Online Discussions


      To determine the level of collaboration, social presence, and satisfaction with online discussion assignments.

      Use of Theory or Research

      With advances in technology, student driven-learning demands, coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, more higher-education institutions are offering asynchronous online courses. While highly effective, engagement is challenging. Graded student discussions are often incorporated to facilitate student engagement.

      Target Audience

      Students (n = 74; 84% Health Science majors) enrolled in a 16-week asynchronous online undergraduate life cycle nutrition course (Spring 2021).

      Course/Curriculum Description

      During the first 3-weeks, all students completed 1 video-only and 1 written-only discussion assignment before being equally randomized into a video-only (VO), written-only (WO), or written-video only (WVO) discussion group. Each group completed 6 discussions over 9-weeks on nutrition-related topics requiring an initial and response post. WVO students completed 3 written and 3 verbal discussion assignments in alternating format.

      Evaluation Methods

      Consenting students (n = 25 pre-; 26-post study) voluntarily completed the Collaborative Learning (CL), Social Presence (SP), and Satisfaction (SATIS) questionnaires during week 4 (n = 8 WO, 8 VO, 9 WVO) and weeks 13-15 (n = 6 WO, 7 VO, 13 WVO). Comparison of means, descriptive statistics, and Pearson χ2 analysis were conducted (IRB # 2012010996).


      No significant differences were observed between or within groups for CL, SP, and SATIS scores. However, the CL score increased the most in the WO compared to the VO group (12.8%-vs-3.3%) while SATIS scores increased 2.5% in the WVO and 9.7% in the WO groups but decreased 12.4% in the VO group. SP declined in all groups with the WVO group decreasing the most at 28.6%.


      Video assignments are a viable option for student engagement, even though this pilot study was unable to match student's pre- and post-scores. This data suggests a decreased trend in satisfaction with video-only compared to written-only or a combination of the written-video in discussion forums, but larger studies are needed to further address this question.




      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at