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Study tip: Make good notes on educational videos

Students who work out their notes in breaks perform better on knowledge tests
More and more teachers are using videos to support their teaching. YouTube-fragments, knowledge clips and recordings of lectures are used to ensure that you can work independently on learning a subject in your own time. If you actively watch and use a video, you’ll be better able to understand and remember the content of a course.

In practice, students often let a video come over them. You may watch it at once, without pauses and without taking notes, just like an episode of a TV programme. And that’s a missed opportunity, because if you watch such a video in an active way, you’ll be better able to understand and remember the content of a course.

Effect of pauses and notes
U.S. researchers investigated the effect of breaks and the elaboration of notes on the understanding of information from films. Participants were given the task of listening to a 14-minute mini lecture and taking notes so that they could answer some substantive questions about its content after the end of the lecture. Before they were given the test, participants were first asked to develop their notes further. Some of the participants worked with short breaks: they were given three 5-minute breaks during the mini-college in order to work out their notes until then, while the other participants were not allowed to do so until after the end of the lecture.

Better performance through breaks
It turned out that students who worked out their notes in breaks performed better on the knowledge test than students who could only work out their notes after the mini lecture. This effect is probably caused by the fact that pausing reduces the burden on your memory and helps you to retain your attention better.


– Take notes (in keywords) while watching movies
– Take a break regularly and then work out your notes further

Note: Be sure to check out Abstract Tube, their mission is to create a media-rich academic and research database.