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I'm on the fence about this. I was teaching an introductory computer science class last summer and used case studies as one of the main elements of the class (this is when we discuss how to solve a problem and I would code the solution in front of the class; usually 10-15 minutes or so). It worked very well for the class, but several people indicated in the exit survey that they would prefer a recorded version (even though they would lose the interactivity) as they could refer back to the things they missed or didn't quite understand.

I also recorded several short demos for the IDE I've been working on (http://studio.zerobrane.com/) as demonstrating live coding or live debugging seems to be much more effective when you can see it in action rather than read about it: http://studio.zerobrane.com/tutorials.html

I'm with you on the fence here, I just think it depends on context. drivingmenuts seems to be talking (at least from the examples) about "how to guides/documentation" that is your usual stackoverflow, google run'of the mill "how do I solve this problem". For all those cases I think he's right on the money. when reading you can skim and find a solution to a specific problem way faster than watching any video. Also for me, all I ever want from these kinds of posts is almost always some the souce code, which means I barely read anything else anyway. But when it comes to acquiring new knowledge (ie. learning as apposed to just "refreshing" or filling in some obscure hole), I think it can be helpful to watch a video because you get commentary and the whole thought process behind whatever concepts are being presented.

I agree. I think for those who are learning, seeing the thought process behind something is very important (as long as they are paying attention). I have also seen research that shows that "speaking aloud" improves your own learning and retention, so seeing someone else to do it is helpful too. Even having a transcript is deficient to some degree as you don't see a correlation with actions and because you lose timing aspect.

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