Article Review

The article that I chose to summarize and evaluate is “YouTutorial: A Framework for Assessing Instructional Online Video” by Matt Morain and Jason Swarts published for North Carolina State University. I thought that this would be the perfect choice that ties in perfectly to the next unit that we are covering in class.

The article is mainly about the rubric for assessing the instructional content of tutorial videos found online. The rubric is based on descriptive data derived from a constant comparative study of user-rated YouTube videos. The article states “User-generated tutorial videos are quickly emerging as a new form of technical communication, one that relies on text, images, video, and sound alike to convey a message.”

Here are a few examples of how the 47 videos were tested. There were many factors that are considered an “excellent video” and here are some examples of that. Sound was classified by type, background, voiceover, and fx. Moving image defined on-screen movement within the frame of instruction. Still image defined visual information within the frame of instruction that was not moving. Text defined any written words, moving or static. The second “grading” these videos went through were differentiated kinds of rhetorical work such as, explanation defined any instructional talk that was not accompanied by actions taken to complete the step. Demonstration defined any movement within the frame of instruction intended to illustrate a step, that is, accompanied by explanation. Doing defined any movement within the frame of instruction intended to illustrate a step, that is, not accompanied by explanation.

Overall the findings were good, average, and poor videos varied in terms of how modal forms of content were used to help viewers access, understand, and stay engaged with an instructional message. This is extremely important in the online world, there are so many videos out there that come across as informational at first but do not fully explain the needs of the viewer. The article states, “Assuming that viewers can access the content in a video, they must also be able to understand and apply that content. In connection with cognitive design we focused on the structure of the content: how tasks were outlined, how actions were related back to the task, and how the information was made generalizable.”

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