Can Video Experiments be as Effective as Hands-on Experiments for Conceptual Learning?


  • Margot Vigeant Bucknell University
  • Amy Golightly Bucknell University Department of Education



In 2019 and 2020, third-year chemical engineering majors completed a concept inventory at the beginning and end of the semester in their thermodynamics course. Midway through spring semester of 2020, the course switched to emergency remote instruction, replacing hands-on inquiry-based laboratory activities (IBLAs) with short videos. Analysis of learning gains on the concept inventory demonstrated that while both groups made significant gains in their learning, the 2019 cohort showed larger gains than the 2020 cohort.

Author Biographies

Margot Vigeant, Bucknell University

Margot Vigeant is Rooke Professor of Chemical Engineering at Bucknell University. She teaches chemical engineering thermodynamics, applied food science and engineering, and capstone design.  Margot’s broad research area is effective pedagogy in engineering, including approaches to conceptual learning and inquiry-based activities for thermodynamics and heat transfer.  She is also interested in “making” in engineering and using technology to broaden engagement and access.  Margot completed her doctorate at the University of Virginia.  She is an ASEE Fellow, Apple Distinguished Educator, and chair of the 2022 ASEE Chemical Engineering Summer School.  

Amy Golightly, Bucknell University Department of Education

Amy Golightly is a Professor of Education at Bucknell University. Her Ph.D. is in School Psychology, from the University of Iowa. Amy’s main research interests have most recently examined the factors that facilitate learning in various populations and conditions. Research questions that interest her are related to discovering the best ways to assess this learning in students of all ages, from young elementary students to those in college. Amy has examined how best to facilitate reading skills in a young student, the efficacy of a class-wide math intervention to increase multiplication fact fluency, assessment of undergraduates’ understandings of diversity using concept maps, analysis of various course attributes and the degree to which they inspire curiosity, the effectiveness of various modalities of instruction, and how student perceptions of course attributes affect their motivation. The work she has done in engineering education is as a social scientist with expertise in research with human subjects in educational settings, particularly focused on research design, data analysis and learning theory.