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Happy Friday! This week, we’re highlighting two questions:

  • What strategies have been identified for providing effective adult education?
  • How can you create effective instructional videos?

Let’s dive in!

Creating Effective Instructional Videos

First up, I’m featuring an article from *the* Richard E. Mayer, whose work is integral to the field of learning science. This piece essentially summarizes previous studies; ordinarily, LSW wouldn’t cover this kind of article, but Mayer does such a good job at providing evidence-based principles for developing instructional videos that I couldn’t skip it. The full article is worth a read -- and it appears to be open-access, at least for now -- because Mayer gives both 1) a research-based theory of how people learn and 2) information on how to help people learn from multimedia lessons such as instructional video. Pay close attention to Table 3 on page 5 for tactical ways to help people learn better by reducing extraneous processing, managing essential processing, and fostering generative processing. Some tips for your next video:

  • Use conversational language (personalization principle)
  • Speak in a friendly, human voice that conveys positive emotion (voice principle)
  • Maintain eye contact with the camera (embodiment principle)

Key Takeaway: Instructional videos should be created using techniques grounded in the cognitive theory of multimedia learning.

Read More (open): Mayer, R.E. (2021). Evidence-Based Principles for How to Design Effective Instructional Videos. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (in press).

Effective Adult Education

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES), an agency under the United States Department of Education, is the nation’s leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation, and statistics. Their “What Works Clearinghouse” provides a review of research to help educators of all kinds make evidence-based decisions, although most of the findings are focused on K-12 education. How is this relevant? Well, the IES recently released a report, “Adult Education Strategies: Identifying and Building Evidence of Effectiveness,” to summarize the findings of a study team that conducted a broad search to identify research that examined the effectiveness of adult education strategies in improving adult learner outcomes.

Here’s the salient point from this report that I wanted to share with you: “there is limited evidence so far to guide policymakers and practitioners toward particular strategies likely to be effective in improving adult learners’ outcomes” (p. 8). In other words? There’s *so much* research that needs to be done, and there’s absolutely a place for studies (like the ones being conducted by LSW’s sponsor, Intellum) to reveal what truly works when it comes to improving employment and earnings outcomes for adults.

Key Takeaway: Integrated education and training (IET) programs examined by the IES were effective at improving educational progress but were largely ineffective at employment and earnings outcomes. More research is needed.

Read More (open): IES. (2021). Adult Education Strategies: Identifying and Building Evidence of Effectiveness.

Pets of Learning Science Weekly

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The LSW Crew

Learning Science Weekly is written and edited by Julia Huprich, Ph.D. Our head of growth and community is Julieta Cygiel.

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