Educators today are faced with the alarming task of imparting vast amounts of information to students. This means that new instructional approaches and training are imperative if students are to be prepared with sufficient knowledge necessary for problem solving and critical analysis. In this regard, interactive video technology is one of the most recent products designed to handle the knowledge explosion. Before examining the instructional effectiveness of interactive video technology, it is important to first define the product.
Iuppa (1984) defined interactive video as any video system in which the sequence and selection of messages is determined by the user's response to the material presented. Perlmutter (1991) has put it this way:
In interactive video, the user's actions, choices, and decisions genuinely affect the way the program unfolds. (p.180)
Advocates of interactive video technology make claims of instructional efficacy for such diverse education and education-related areas as physics (Kruse, 1989), military training (Floyd & Floyd, 1982), medical training (Hon, 1983), and school classrooms (Hansen, 1989; Branch, Ledford, Robertson & Robison, 1987). Moreover, claims of diverse benefits are made for the technology.
Benefits associated with interactive video technology are said to include: increased interaction, individualization, cost effectiveness, increased student motivation, increased levels of immediate feedback during instruction, ease of record keeping, instructional consistency, and learner control (Bangert-Downs, Kulik & Kulik, 1984; Day & Payne, 1984; Hannafin, 1985; Timpke, 1985).
The popular publication, Electronics Learning Magazine (September, 1991), has also discussed the benefits of interactive video learning. The article states that interactive video provides six specific benefits to students. These benefits are that interactive video learning:
(1) enhances learning by involving all...