Tutorial videos present essential information directly to the learner. The teacher, the over voice, the animations and images are designed to convey the main points of the lesson in the clearest possible fashion and in the shortest amount of time. The "information density" can be quite high.


What to Expect

There are three general types of tutorial videos:

  1. The Lecture Tutorial: Gives the impression that you are alone with the tutor. The tutor might be moving around and writing on a board, or simply working as a "talking head" It's the next-best-thing to being with a live tutor.
  2. The Demonstration Tutorial: You see only some sort of worksheet or mock-up of a blackboard. By means of some simple video magic, the tutor writes on the surface as though it is a sheet of paper in front of you. These are especially popular for math topics because the tutor can show you the step-by-step procedure for solving a problem.
  3. The Image Tutorial: Use animation and graphics to convey the information to you. There is often an over voice and sometimes some background music. These have become more popular lately with recent breakthroughs in animation software and the process for converting PowerPoint slides to video.

The upside of tutorial videos:

  • High information density; little, if any, wasted time.

  • They usually focus on one important point,  or series of closely related points.

  • Information is aimed directly at the learner.

The downside of tutorial videos:

  • No quality control; there are hundreds of them that are poorly conceived and badly produced.

  • Some are used as "teasers" for premium (fee-paid) courses.

Here are some other notes about tutorial videos:

  • Most are less than 10 min long.
  • Tutorial lecture videos can be the most effective type of educational video.
  • There is no control over the quality of this type of educational video. In other words, anyone with a $50 webcam can produce a lecture tutorial and get free, worldwide distribution through YouTube.  At Free-Ed.Net, we sort through all these online lecture videos and select only the very best for you.

How to Use Them

Tutorial videos are all business—they provide information in highly concentrated doses, and nearly every second of the presentation includes something new or highly relevant for the lesson.

Outline the Content. The objective of your first viewing of a tutorial video is to outline the content. Make generous use of the pause/resume buttons, making a note of the topics and the times they begin and end. This is not much of a job for videos that are only a minute or so in length. But for longer presentations, you will have to go through it a second time to double-check your outline.

When you complete the initial outlining part of the job, you might find you have already learned a great deal. But go for at least one more viewing.

Making Notes In Your Learning Journal. On your third viewing, make notes in your learning journal. Sketch out the ideas, procedures, and questions that are forming in your mind. Then set aside the video for a while, long enough to go over your notes to expand your understanding and begin answering your own questions. This is where the Google search box becomes an important part of the task.

Doing a Final Viewing. Finally, let some time pass (maybe a day or two) before running through the video one more time. Again, consider what you have learned and what you think you need to know in order to improve your understanding. Make your closing remarks and conclusions in your Learning Journal.


Tutorial videos are all business. They provide information in the most highly concentrated forms, with  nearly every second  of the presentation including some thing  new or at least highly relevant to the lesson. Tutorial videos can be very short (about one minute), and rarely more than fifteen minutes.

The only significant problem with tutorial videos is that most of them are so poorly produced. Anyone with a $20 web cam and an internet connection can make tutorial videos and upload them to YouTube where the whole world can find them. One of the significant advantage of using Free-Ed.Net as your primary learning resource is that we search out and recommend only the best tutorial videos available.




David L. Heiserman, Editor

Copyright ©  SweetHaven Publishing Services
All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015