We all know the classic thought experiment involving a tree falling in the woods, but have you heard the one about online lecturing: If a faculty member posts a microlecture video to the LMS, and students view it, has learning occurred? While we may never know if a falling tree makes a sound, we can determine whether students are engaging with our microlectures by applying the principles of pause procedure.


Pause procedure incorporates many of the best practices when it comes to online and active learning, including creating instructor presence, emphasizing metacognition, and aligning with outcomes-based learning. Major et al (2015) define it as “An interactive instructional approach whereby mini-lectures are interspersed with pauses. These strategic pauses provide an opportunity for students to review and clarify course material.” Applying this definition to microlectures, pause procedure becomes the deliberate plan to build in moments that guide students through reflections on the course materials, the way they are processing them, and the thinking behind that process.

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