teacher note Teacher Note: Why Videos?

Why are we using video to demonstrate different ways of thinking about assignment? Video is not as effective as text or diagrams for conveying information, because it’s dynamic (it moves) which makes it harder to remember. However, video is good for presenting spatial or visual models.

Researchers in spatial reasoning suggests that computer science has a strong visual component. Students with strong spatial reasoning skills are more likely to succeed in computer science (but if students don’t have strong spatial reasoning, we can help them develop those skills). We know that understanding what an = (equals sign) means in mathematics relies heavily on spatial reasoning. It may be that spatial reasoning is also important in understanding assignment in computer science. Gestures, sketches, and video are good ways to provide spatial information to students, to provide guidance to students to think visually – not just memorize a diagram. It’s easy to get a diagram wrong (in conflict with how the students think about the subject). Gestures, sketches, and videos are fleeting (only available for a short while) and thus support learning, but require students to develop their own visual understanding.

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