Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Policy, Planning, and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Heather Schugar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen Crossney, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Shannon Mrkich, Ph.D.


The growing use of digital video for online learning among US higher education instructors accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic raising questions about instructors’ knowledge of video creation principles (Bétrancourt & Benetos, 2018; Chorianopoulos, 2018; Kay, 2012; McCormack, 2020; Seaman, et al, 2018). This explanatory sequential mixed methods research describes the extent to which higher education instructors who create digital instructional video for online learning applied 11 multimedia design principles of the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML). The case study triangulated self-reported survey data from 55 online instructors, interview data from five instructors with the highest implementation of CTML design principles as measured in the survey, and analysis of five video artifacts. Instructors implemented the CTML design principles more often than not, but applied certain principles like redundancy less frequently. Students and personal impacts are factors that informed instructor video design decisions and implementation of CTML design principles is driven more by instructors’ personal experiences and preferences rather than knowledge of the design principles. Given these findings, recommendations for instructors include continuing to be “video stars”, incorporating more signals into their videos, checking on-screen text to ensure it is used as little as possible, accounting for the time needed to create a video, and remembering that it is not the tool, but how they use it that matters.