The effects of self-regulated learning and cognitive load on beginning to watch and completing video lectures at a cyber-university

Christopher Hughes (Clackamas Community College, Wilsonville, Oregon, USA)
Jamie Costley (Department of English Education, Kongju National University, Gongju, The Republic of Korea)
Christopher Lange (Department of British and American Humanities, Dankook University, Yongin, Republic of South Korea)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 17 September 2018



The paper aims to examine the effect of levels of self-regulated effort (SRE) and levels of cognitive load on the watching and completing of video lectures used as the main source of instruction in online learning environments.


A survey provided data on the students’ engagement with video lectures, their level of SRE and the level of cognitive load they perceived while watching video lectures. The relationships between these variables and statistical significance were analyzed.


There were three key findings: a positive relationship between SRE and both watching and completing lectures; a negative relationship between SRE and perceptions of existing cognitive load; and students in different demographic groups watched fewer lectures, experienced higher cognitive load and reported lower levels of SRE.

Research limitations/implications

Implications of this study are that video lecture creation would benefit from the development of best practices, consideration of students’ levels of self-regulation, minimization of extraneous load and individual differences among groups of students. Limitations are the context-specific nature of the findings and the fact that data were drawn from self-reported survey responses, meaning they are subjective in nature.


The originality of this paper lies in its investigation of relationship between SRE, cognitive load and video lecture viewership. No research of this topic could be found during the literature review. Findings are of value to those interested in reaping increased levels of video lecture viewership by showing elements that will encourage engagement, satisfaction and better transmission of instruction.



Hughes, C., Costley, J. and Lange, C. (2018), "The effects of self-regulated learning and cognitive load on beginning to watch and completing video lectures at a cyber-university", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 220-237.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.