Video-based learning


Teach and/or support learning

The use and value of appropriate learning technologies

What can I do?


What is this about?

In this instance, video-based learning is any prerecorded multimedia that combines moving images (like pictures or graphics) and audio.

What's the evidence say?

Replacing other forms of teaching (e.g., in-class demonstrations, online written information) with videos results in small, but significant improvements in learning (➕➕ ). However, adding videos to other content — especially interactive content — has a very strong effect on learning (➕➕➕➕➕ ). In addition, 'chunking' videos into small, bite-sized segments (~3-15 mins) — perhaps by sub-topic — may enhance learning compared to longer non-segmented videos (~60+ mins). The effect of segmenting videos is more powerful for students who have more knowledge of the topic, but isn't altered by learners being allowed 1) more time to process information, 2) to select their own pace of learning, 3) to rewatch the video, or 4) to freely navigate through video content.

What's the underlying theory?

Multimedia cognitive load theory is a psychological theory that explains how the human cognitive system processes and learns from multimedia information. According to the theory, the cognitive system has a limited capacity to process and remember new information, and the use of multimedia in learning can either facilitate or hinder learning depending on how it is designed and presented. In the context of higher education, video-based learning can be an effective way to deliver complex and abstract information because it allows students to process and learn from multiple sources of information simultaneously, such as visual and auditory cues. By using multimedia in a way that aligns with the cognitive architecture of the learner, educators can improve learning outcomes and student engagement.

Where does the evidence come from?

Two meta-analyses inform this evidence summary. Both were conducted to a high standard, particularly Noetel et al. (2021). Noetel and his colleagues included experimental research on one hundred and five experimental trials, which were all based in higher education. They also completed a risk of bias, reported heterogeneity, completed a moderator analysis, and reported a large effect. Regarding the final point, a very large effect size like the one reported in Noetel et al.'s study means that it is unlikely that any kind of bias, whether known or not, would change the results greatly.


Noetel, M., Griffith, S., Delaney, O., Sanders, T., Parker, P., del Pozo Cruz, B., & Lonsdale, C. (2021). Video Improves Learning in Higher Education: A Systematic Review. Review of Educational Research, 91(2), 204–236.

Rey, G. D., Beege, M., Nebel, S., Wirzberger, M., Schmitt, T., & Schneider, S. (2019). A Meta-analysis of the Segmenting Effect. Educational Psychology Review, 31(2), 389–419.

Additional Resources

Here's a good example of an evidence-based video for learning.