Making programming videos
December 11, 2013 3:12 PM   Subscribe

I've recently been asked to make a few programming tutorials for work. These would eventually be available to a consumer audience. Looking for good resources (and exemplar videos) for guidance.

The videos would mostly be about different programming topics (Django, Ruby on Rails, the Go programming language, etc.). I've looked at and Pluralsight.

1. What makes for good video tutorial pedagogy?
2. What are some great examples of effective video tutorials?
3. If you're a programmer, how do you use videos for learning? What would you like to see? What do you hate about tutorial videos?

Any guidance in answering these questions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks y'all.
posted by fishhouses to Education (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Some of the best I've seen w/r/t video tutorials are at Khan Academy. You can find a rundown on the recommended for making them on the site as well.
posted by jquinby at 3:18 PM on December 11, 2013

Best answer: A tutorial video can only use the first levels of Bloom's taxonomy: define terms, show value, explain, and demonstrate. Practice cannot by the student cannot be done in the video, so video tutorials must be supplemented with regular instruction.

Pet peeve about tutorials: they are too farking long! When they are longer than a few minutes, the student has to wait through less valuable stuff to get to the good stuff. That is because the content is determined by an author who wants to tell people stuff, when the content should be determined by the needs of the student. Make the turorials very short, so the student can get the specific information they want as fast as possible.
posted by gnossos at 3:51 PM on December 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: As a good example, I like the programming videos at They are short and to the point, with a bit of comedy. They talk relatively fast which is nice since it doesn't waste my time or drag on. I can always pause or rewind if necessary. The videos are also pretty detailed in what they talk about, which is relatively rare when it comes to video tutorials.
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio at 10:32 AM on December 12, 2013

Best answer: Phillip Guo is a researcher and author of pythontutor. He spent the past summer doing some engagement research for edX, and wrote up some of his findings on video length. The takeaway is that you have about six minutes for any given video, which confirms the above requests for shorter, bitesized formats.
posted by pwnguin at 11:08 PM on December 12, 2013

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