A study on the benefits for nontraditional commuter students of supplemental screencasts in a traditional chemistry lecture setting

Annette Jean O'Brien-Tomory, Purdue University


This dissertation is a mixed methods study to evaluate the benefits of the availability of supplemental screencasts in a traditional lecture course on a commuter satellite campus of a major Midwestern university. A face-to-face introductory chemistry course designed for nursing majors was complemented by the availability of pre-recorded lecture and review tutorials which consisted of screen annotations and voice-over PowerPoint presentations. Statistical data were analyzed to find relationships between the characteristics of the students and the usage of screencasts, attendance, and exam grades. The nontraditional students, older students who lived independently from their parents and had offspring of their own, were found to substitute the online tutorials for the face-to-face lecture more often than the traditional students. Surveys and interviews with participants suggest that substituting screencasts for attending class helped the nontraditional students to balance their daily responsibilities and needs, such as employment, child care, and sleep. Nontraditional students, despite skipping class more often than traditional students, still achieved comparable scores on the unit exams. Thus, annotated lecture screencasts appear to be a sufficient substitute for lecture attendance.




Newby, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Instructional Design|Educational technology|Science education|Higher education

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server