Student-Generated Video Projects: Experiences and Perceptions Among Students Enrolled in Classroom and Online Introduction to Public Health Courses (2016-2021)

Welsh, R.S., Fraley, V., Johnson, M.F., Parker, E.J., Bryan, E.J., Goude, E.C., & Worsham, C.J.



Student-generated video projects (S-GVP) are growing in popularity due to advances in video production technology and research supporting their potential for enhancing student engagement and a variety of student learning outcomes (SLO). Potential SLO include enhanced content acquisition and skill development in the areas of digital communication, group dynamics, creativity, critical thinking and community outreach, all of which may result from enhanced authentic, social, constructivist and problem-based learning opportunities. A limited understanding of students’ preparedness for S-GVP may inhibit effective assignment design and implementation. In this study, video production experiences and perceptions towards S-GVP were assessed among students enrolled in classroom and online Introduction to Public Health courses. Preliminary results indicate positive perceptions towards S-GVP (confidence, benefits, and preference for S-GVP), although barriers (technology, time, and group dynamics) are still reported. These descriptive findings along with additional comparative analyses should inform future efforts to design effective S-GVP.  


“The original survey and study design for this project were created with support from the Clemson University Creative Inquiry program (2015-2016).”

Faculty Mentor & Student Research Team

Research Project Responsibilities

Ralph Welsh

Faculty Mentor: Honors & Independent Research

Faculty Mentor: Creative Inquiry

Course Instructor & Data Analysis

Veronica Fraley

Data Management & Database Organization

Data Cleaning/Preparation for Analysis

Honors Research Project (Sp ’20)

Marianna Johnson

Literature Review

Writing Introduction/Discussion Sections

Honors Research Project (Sp ’21)

Elizabeth Parker

Literature Review

Writing Introduction/Discussion Sections

Honors Research Project (Sp ’21)

Everett Bryan

Qualitative Data Analysis & Organization

Digital Poster Development

Independent Research Project (Sp ’21)

Emily Goude

Qualitative Data Analysis & Organization

Digital Poster Development

Independent Research Project (Sp ’21)

Cassandra Worsham

Qualitative Data Analysis & Organization

Digital Poster Development

Independent Research Project (Sp ’21)

2015-2016 CI Team

Developed Original “Survey of Students’ Video Production Experiences”

Developed Research Study Design and Recommendations for Survey Administration to Introduction to Public Health Students

Developed Recommendations for Enhancing the HLTH202Clemson YouTube Community Outreach Page



  • Living in an increasingly technology-centered society (Windmuller-Campione & Carter, 2017), student-generated video (S-GV) projects are growing in popularity (Seow et al., 2018) due to escalating access to advanced video production technology and a growing set of data suggesting the enhanced student learning outcomes that come from videos, beyond what the typical term paper could offer (Jensen et al., 2012).

  • The active participation required (Orús et al., 2016) to generate a student video indicates a potential for enhanced content acquisition, comprehension, and retention through active learning (Epstein et al., 2003).

  • Student learning outcomes gained from generating video projects (Jensen et al., 2012) include the development of digital communication skills, enhanced creativity and need for critical thinking (Windmuller-Campione & Carter, 2017), and valuable experience with group dynamics (Chen, 2018), all of which are strengths that are applicable in future professions (Thomas & Marks, 2014).

  • Beyond student learning, video projects can be interventions for community outreach (Thomas & Marks, 2014), infiltrating the public with clinical skills in a way that is easy to understand (Baharav, 2008), and promoting more effective education than text in lower-literacy communities (Grossman, 2019).

  • Both educators’ (Seow et al., 2018) and students’ (Chen, 2018) perceptions toward video projects have been reported to be positive.

  • However, some barriers to generating videos do remain, including technology access (Windmuller-Campione & Carter, 2017), time (Seow et al., 2018), and the learning curve (Pirhonen & Rasi, 2016) that may arise due to lack of previous video production experience (Seow et al., 2018).

  • While the literature provides evidence that perceptions towards S-GV are generally positive and they can enhance content acquisition in a variety of content areas, information on public health related topics, types of video production experiences, and more detailed pedagogical predictors of successful S-GV production is limited.

  • Additional research in these areas may prove to be helpful to future educators interested in designing and implementing engaging S-GV that targets content acquisition and skill development.

Purpose Statement


“To assess video production experiences and perceptions towards student-generated video projects (S-GVP) among students enrolled in classroom and online sections of an Introduction to Public Health course. This information was collected to inform the design of future S-GVP targeting student learning outcomes (SLO).”



Course Summary

  • Introduction to Public Health (HLTH 2020)

    • Classroom course of incoming Public Health Science majors

    • Online course of non-health science majors (online certificate program)

    • Same content for both courses

  • Provides an overview of population health threats, their holistic health impacts on society, and the components and functioning of the public health care system

  • Provides an overview of the core sciences of public health: biomedical, epidemiological, biostatistical, environmental, social/behavioral & health services research

  • Provides an overview of science-based models/theories for improving population health

  • Provides an overview of health disparities and inequities within populations

  • Promotes critical thinking (classroom section is a Clemson Thinks2 course)

  • Designed to promote public health knowledge, perspective and skills

Teaching Methodology

  • Constructivist pedagogy: “What is Public Health?”

  • Overview of Systems Theory concepts

  • Three modules of public health content & skill-based mini-assignments

  • Final project: Cumulative digital communication community outreach message

    • “This is Public Health!”

    • Student learning outcomes (SLO) focused

  • Assessment/Evaluation

    • 3 exams: Overview of public health and the sciences of public health

    • 1-2 mini-assignments per module: research, digital creativity, critical thinking

    • Final project: video, justification outline, preproduction script, peer group project evaluations, self-reflection Spark Page

    • Pre- and Post- critical thinking test (classroom only)

    • Survey of student video production experiences

Research Study Design

  • Multi-Cohort Observational Study (Spring 2016 – Spring 2021)

  • Assessment of student video production experiences & perspectives towards S-GV:

    • Cross-sectional assessment: classroom & online students  Spring 2016 – Spring 2020

    • Longitudinal assessment: pre- & post-final project  Fall 2018 – Fall 2020

  • Pre-surveys were administered prior to the presentation of the final project guidelines and after the module 1 overview of public health material.

  • All participants were exposed to the same core course material, although methods of delivery varied slightly between classroom and online sections. In addition, project resources and support services evolved slightly from semester to semester.

  • Post-surveys were administered after all final project material was submitted.

  • Online students were offered the option of doing an individual or group video, or alternative digital communication project.

  • This study was reviewed and approved by the Clemson University Institutional Review Board.

Subjects: Recruitment & Characteristics

  • Participants were enrolled in a classroom or online section of Introduction to Public Health.

  • Surveys were assigned for a small amount of course credit, students were allowed to opt out of the survey without penalty and all data was anonymous to research team.

  • Response rates for all surveys were > 95% (Spring 2016-Spring 2021, pre and post).

  • Classroom sections are reserved for public health science majors (mainly underclassmen).

  • Online sections are reserved for non-public health science majors (mainly upperclassmen).

  • Critical thinking scores increase during the semester (only assessed in classroom course).

Data Collection & Data Cleaning Protocols

  • Surveys were administered online and completed outside of class (Blackboard, Canvas & Qualtrics)

  • Pre and post surveys took approximately 10 min each to complete

  • Anonymous data was transferred to an Excel spreadsheet

  • All Excel spreadsheets were reviewed and formatted to include similar variables, variable names and course information data

  • Data was systematically reviewed for missing data, incorrect entries and inconsistent data formatting

  • Discrepancies in data were summarized, reviewed by the research team and potentially corrected if obvious edits were possible

  • An Excel spreadsheet containing all the Spring 2016-2021 data was finalized and used for analysis

Data Measurement & Data Analysis

  • Demographic data: major, year in school and course

  • Primary study variables: see table 1

  • Mixed Methods of Assessment (Qualitative & Quantitative)

  • Quantitative data was assessed using 1 to 5 Likert & dichotomous scale responses

    • Preliminary analysis: means, standard deviation, rates and unpaired t-tests (alpha = 0.05)

  • Qualitative data was assessed using thematic analysis of open-ended survey responses (see table 2 for coding sheet categories and definitions)

    • Preliminary analysis: % of students providing open-ended comments for each category & sample quotes

  • Individuals performing coding were trained in qualitative assessment methods and inter-rater reliability was >95%



Conclusions, Discussions & Applications


Summary of Primary Findings

Video Production Experiences:

  • Rates of students reporting having experiences producing “any topic of video” & “academic-related video” projects were moderately high (>50%), but rates for “health-related video” projects were low (<20%).

  • Trends in all categories of video production experiences appear to be on the rise in recent years among the online and classroom students.

  • The most common categorical type of videos produced was academic projects (>50-80% for classroom students & >35-50% for online students).

  • The next most popular categorical types of videos produced were personal/recreational and personal/self promotion followed by community outreach videos (similar for classroom and online students).

Perceptions Towards Student Generated Video Projects:

  • Self-efficacy, or confidence, for making “any topic of video” or “health-related video” was low to moderate (2.0-3.0 on a 5.0 point scale) and no statistical differences were apparent between classroom and online students.

  • Self-efficacy for both “any topic of video” and “health-related videos” significantly increased following the course (classroom and online students).

  • Perceived transferability of skills related to S-GV was high (>3.0-4.5 on a 5.0 point scale) with statistically higher rates among classroom vs online students.

  • The most common categorical types of benefits of S-GV reported were 1) digital communication skills, followed by 2) enhancing learning, 3) self-promotion, and finally 4) community outreach and 5) group process skills.

  • The most common categorical types of barriers reported were related to 1) technology followed by 2) the group process, 3) time issues, and lastly 4) creativity, which was fairly low.

Resources or Suggestions:

  • The most common categories of resources or suggestions for what students feel would help them make a quality S-GV included 1) help sessions/tutorials, 2) examples of quality previous projects, 3) access to equipment/software, and lastly 4) grading rubrics and 5) assistance with the group process.

Preferences for Video Project or Term Paper (or Webpage Project):

  • In recent years, video projects have been preferred over term papers for both classroom and online students (an apparent increase since 2016), with higher video project preference rates being reported among classroom students.

  • Although, during the current semester, when asked to choose between video projects, term papers or webpage projects, the majority of students chose webpage projects.

Preferences for Individual or Group Projects:

  • During the current semester, when asked if they would prefer individual or group projects, classroom students preferred group projects more than online students. Although, the majority of students in both groups reported that they preferred individual projects.

Discussion & Application of Primary Findings:

Application for Future S-GV Projects

  • Future educators designing S-GV may assume that the majority of students have experience making videos and completing academic video projects, although educators may want to include teaching methods that focus on how to target health-related topics and community outreach messages. This may be especially helpful among upper level students who have fewer video production experiences compared to incoming students.

  • While students’ confidence to complete S-GV may be low at the start of the semester, completion of a S-GV appears to increase their confidence and they do perceive these projects to be beneficial, especially with regard to the digital communication skills, enhanced content acquisition and self-promotion benefits they perceive will result from the doing the project.

  • Educators may want to design projects with resources that help students overcome the most commonly reported barriers of technology, time commitments and challenges associated with the group process.

  • Lastly, by clearly describing how course projects will address common barriers, in addition to emphasizing the important benefits that can be gained, students’ preconceptions towards S-GV may be optimized, which in turn may increase student learning outcomes, engagement and overall satisfaction.

Future Research Directions:

Conduct additional descriptive and comparative analysis

  • Trends in experiences and perceptions

  • Differences in rates between groups

  • Differences in perceptions based on previous experiences

  • Explore the relationship between experiences, perceptions, and student learning outcomes

  • Analyze additional post project survey data (e.g. recommendations, benefits, barriers, project preference)

Develop a manuscript for a peer reviewed journal or national presentation?

  • Identify a venue for dissemination of information

  • Identify collaborators to assist with manuscript/presentation development

Examples of Final Video Projects, Spark/Wix Pages & YouTube Community Outreach Site




Baharav, E. (2008). Students’ use of video clip technology in clinical education. Topics in Language Disorders, 28(3), 286-298.

Chen, C. W. (2018). Developing EFL students’ digital empathy through video production. System, 77, 50-57. doi:10.1016/j.system.2018.01.006

Epstein, C. D., Hovancsek, M. T., Dolan, P. L., Durner, E., La Rocco, N., Preiszig, P., & Winnen, C. (2003). Lights! Camera! Action!: video projects in the classroom. The Journal of Nursing Education, 42(12), 558-561.

Grossman, H. M. (2019). Skill-Based Educational Video Creation in Gambia: a Participatory Video Project Review. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 63(3), 304-310. https://10.1007/s11528-019-00393-3

Jensen, M., Mattheis, A., & Johnson, B. (2012). Using student learning and development outcomes to evaluate a first-year undergraduate group video project. CBE Life Sciences Education, 11(1), 68-80. https://10.1187/cbe.11-06-0049

Lachs, V. (2005). Breaking down the barriers. TES: Times Educational Supplement, (4659), 30.

Orús, C., Barlés, M. J., Belanche, D., Casaló, L., Fraj, E., & Gurrea, R. (2016). The effects of learner-generated videos for YouTube on learning outcomes and satisfaction. Computers & Education, 95, 254-269. doi:

Pirhonen, J., & Rasi, P. (2017). Student-generated instructional videos facilitate learning through positive emotions. Journal of Biological Education (Routledge), 51(3), 215-227. doi:10.1080/00219266.2016.1200647

Poh-Sun Seow, & Pan, G. (2018). Teaching internal control using a student-generated video project. E-Journal of Business Education & Scholarship of Teaching, 12(1), 64-72. Retrieved from

Stanley, D., & Zhang, Y. (2018). Student-produced videos can enhance engagement and learning in the online environment. Online Learning, 22(2), 5-26. doi:10.24059/olj.v22i2.1367

Thomas, K. A., & Marks, L. (2014). Action!: Student-Generated Videos in Social Work Education. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 32(4), 254-274. https://10.1080/15228835.2014.922912

Windmuller‐Campione, M. A., & Carter, D. R. (2017). Active learning using smart phones in a flipped classroom: A case study on developing final videos in silviculture. Natural Sciences Education, 46(1), 1-9. doi:10.4195/nse2017.03.0005