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Using Interactive Video for a Data Collection Activity

This video has no audio so no captions have been included. 
Credit: Video by J. Liu © Penn State, 2021 and licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0  

Research has shown that videos requiring high student interactivity can improve learning. This video is unusual in that it was used as a data source for conducting a time and motion study. The video contains no words, just unedited footage of harvest operations. This video was one of many utilized in ABE 885: Biomass Harvest and Logistics. The goal for students was to learn by doing, so students timed the field operations shown and then used the data to make calculations. Many agricultural activities occur only for a brief window during the year, but with videos like this one, time and motion studies of field operations can be practiced any time of year.

Instead of pressing play and watching passively, students need to engage with the video content by recording the time between bale drops. And the students need to determine if there are other data they can utilize such as weather conditions, or the time for a tractor to negotiate a corner. The timings collected from several videos are combined in the assignment in order to make calculations and propose ways to increase efficiency.

The technique of providing a video from which data can be collected by students has great potential for science labs, animal or human behavioral studies, and for many other disciplines.



The harvesting operations videos show the activity with no narration, so no captioning was done. Audio cues could be added to accommodate the visually impaired.


  • Videos can be uploaded directly to Canvas using the Kaltura integration or uploaded to YouTube or Kaltura and then placed in Canvas with an embed code or URL.
  • Interactive videos can be used in online and residential classes.

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Research Associated with this Example