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It’s our Very Merry 100th issue!

To celebrate the achievement, we’ll be revisiting our very *first* issue. This week, we’ll chat about how to optimize educational videos, utilizing social/collaborative learning tools, and FoMO.

To see the original first issue, click here!

Beginning next week, LSW will be exploring a new format. We'll spend multiple issues sharing key findings from one research report!

Look Over There! 👉

The first article we covered discussed instructor eye gaze during instructional videos. We often think that looking directly at learners (the equivalent of “looking into the camera”) will promote social belonging. Indeed, according to some theories, eye contact should promote social interaction and lead to higher learner engagement (Mayer, 2014). However, Pi et al. (2020) actually found that learners paid more attention to slides and performed better when viewing videos with a “guided gaze” (when the instructor looked at the slides).

These results are still incredibly valuable today, particularly considering how much of our learning is in the form of online videos! In fact, Google found that “global watch time of how-to videos that include ‘at home’ in the title has increased more than 50% year over year” (Wiers, 2020). So, when an instructor is present within a video - it’ll likely help learners if the instructor is looking at the slides, rather than at the learners themselves!

Key Takeaway(s): When implementing video into learning (which is an awesome learning tool & why we have this capability in the Intellum platform) - the instructor should look at the slides rather than directly into the camera to improve learning outcomes & learner engagement.

Read More ($): Pi, Z., Xu, K., Liu, C., & Yang, J. (2020). Instructor presence in video lectures: Eye gaze matters, but not body orientation. Computers & Education, 144.

Let’s Talk About It 💬

Our second ever article is one that came out of MIT, evaluating post-instructional video discussions. Specifically, they looked at employees engaging in a discussion after watching a training video. Employees that engaged in a structured discussion after the training video retained significantly more information (about 25% more) than the employees who only watched the video. It’s important for the discussion to be structured, as employees engaging in a “spontaneous discussion” did not show better retention than the employees without any discussion (Okano et al., 2018).

Of course, as above, this is still quite relevant today! So, when implementing videos with groups, try to facilitate a structured discussion! This can be done in a variety of ways, but one way that Intellum encourages this is through Community. Community can be integrated into a course (in this case, right after a video) to allow learners to engage in a structured discussion on a particular topic!

Key Takeaway(s): Utilizing tools that allow for structured discussions after videos can improve learner retention after educational videos!

Read More (Open): Okano, K., Kaczmarzyk, J. R., & Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2018). Enhancing workplace digital learning by use of the science of learning. PLOS ONE, 13(10).

Recap: Let's Talk About It... Again 🔁

Similar to the study above, Kent et al. (2016) evaluated the impact of interactivity in online learning environments on learning outcomes. The findings showed that learners posting more (and particularly those that posted “in more detail”) had better learning outcomes. Additionally, learners that viewed more discussions showed better outcomes as well (Kent et al., 2016). This really supports the use of social/collaborative learning tools! Check out our original coverage of the article here.

When in the customer, employee, etc. education space, providing a place to promote social/collaborative learning can increase engagement and improve learning outcomes. While Intellum Social includes Community, as mentioned above, Groups and Chat can also provide excellent arenas for social/collaborative learning. For instance, if an ERG is doing a deep dive into a topic, it would be an excellent opportunity to create a Group or Chat to discuss!

Key Takeaway(s): Encourage learners to engage with social tools (discussions, chats, etc.) alongside other instruction, as social and collaborative learning can improve learning outcomes!

Read More ($): Kent, C. Laslo, E., & Rafaeli, S. (2016). Interactivity in online discussions and learning outcomes. Computers & Education, 97, 116-128.

FoMOW: The Fear of Missing Out… at Work?! 😥

Our last article in our inaugural issue covered a topic near and dear all of our hearts, FoMO.

In this study, Budnick et al. (2020) established a new construct: FoMO, but for work - workplace FoMO, to be exact. The results showed that workplace FoMO is distinctly different from general FoMO. Perhaps more importantly, their findings illustrated that workplace FoMO predicted work burnout and “message checking behavior” (Budnick et al., 2020). So, if you’re constantly checking the work chat because you’re afraid of missing out on any information, relationships with coworkers, etc. - you might be experiencing Workplace FoMO! Be careful, as burnout can have serious consequences.

This article is particularly relevant today, especially considering the shift to remote work! Keeping chatting tools consolidated so that employees know they’re not missing information could help with this. Further, fostering relationships between coworkers may help alleviate some anxiety related to FoMO (Gallup, 2018).

Another way to reduce workplace FoMO is through mandatory time off! In fact, you’ll notice a missing LSW issue the week of August 25th (or, hopefully you’ll notice because you miss us 😉) since Intellum is hosting a retreat!

Key Takeaway(s): The results from this study found that allowing flexible work schedules and mandatory time off can reduce the effects of workplace FoMO!

Read More ($): Budnick, C. J., Rogers, A. P., & Barber, L. K. (2020). The fear of missing out at work: Examining costs and benefits to employee health and motivation. Computers in Human Behavior, 104.

Pets of Learning Science Weekly

For our 100th issue, we’re including a “Pets of LSW Yearbook!” Check out all of those adorable fur babies 😍

CLICK HERE to send us your pet pics.

Wondering why we’re including animal photos in a learning science newsletter? It may seem weird, we admit. But we’re banking on the baby schema effect and the “power of Kawaii.” So, send us your cute pet pics -- you’re helping us all learn better!

The LSW Crew

Learning Science Weekly is written and edited by Katie Vanhardt, Ph.D.

Have something to share? Want to see something in next week's issue? Send your suggestions: editor@learningscienceweekly.com