Eight guidelines for the design of instructional videos for software training

Hans van der Meij, Jan van der Meij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
862 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Video has become a popular means for delivering "how to" information about a wide variety of software tasks. With video rapidly becoming a major instructional method, the question arises of their effectiveness for software training. This paper provides a set of eight guidelines for the construction of instructional videos for software training. Method: The guidelines present a concise view on how to design an instructional video for software training. They are based on a considerable body of research on how people process visual and verbal information and how to support these processes. Each guideline is described, illustrated, and supported with research findings from various disciplines. Results: The guidelines were tested in three consecutive empirical studies. In these studies a set of instructional videos for Word's formatting options were designed. The effects of the video instructions were compared with a paper tutorial (Van der Meij & Van der Meij, in preparation). We found that the video instructions yielded more favorable appraisals for motivation, higher skills proficiency immediately after training, and better skills retention after a one-week delay. Conclusions: The guidelines offer patterns that could further advance the theory and practice of the design of instructional videos for software training. A limitation of the study is that we concentrated on instructional video that serve a tutorial function. For video that function as a reference guide not all the guidelines are equally important, and also some new guidelines may be called for.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-228
JournalTechnical communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-298043
  • IR-87458


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