Internet delivered video lectures have been found to prepare students for exams as effectively as live in-class lectures in a biology course (Lents and Cifuentes, 2009) although students were not enthused with the concept of video lectures initially. Another experiment with video podcasts for Java CS1 course resulted in less than expected participation (Murphy and Wolff, 2009). However, in yet another study, students in a first semester calculus-based mechanics course using multimedia modules not only learned more than students using traditional textbook presentation, but also retained information better (Stelzer et al. 2009).
Much effort has gone into research on the design of multimedia materials to improve learning. This includes designing materials to help students stay focused of the learning goals, use of different input channels (visual and auditory) to help students build meaning and understanding, offloading (presenting words as narration rather than on-screen text), weeding (eliminating interesting but extraneous material), signaling (adding arrows or highlighting for emphasis), and aligning words and pictures (Mayer, 2001) (Mayer, 2003).
Lents, N., and Cifuentes, O. (November / December 2009). Web-Based Learning Enhancements: Video Lectures Through Voice-Over PowerPoint in a Majors-Level Biology Course. Journal of College Science Teaching. 39(2), pp 38 - 46.
Mayer, R.E. (2001). The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. Cambridge U.P., Cambrdige.
Mayer, R.E. and Moreno, R. (2003). Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning. Educational Psychologist. 38(1), pp 43 - 52.
Murphy, L. and Wolff, D. (2009). Creating Video Podcasts for CS1: Lessons Learned. NorthWest Academic Computing Consortium (NWACC), Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 25(1). pp 152 - 158.
Stelzer, T., Gladding, G., Mestre, J., Brookes, D. (February 2009). Comparing the Efficacy of Multimedia Modules with Traditional Textbooks for Learning Introductory Physics Content. American Association of Physics Teachers. 77(2), pp 184 - 190.