Issue 112: Put Content in the Driver Seat 🚗
This will be our last issue for November. As sad as it may be, we hope you enjoy the articles we've picked for you.
Again this week, we're revisiting some articles that you might not have seen! We're answering these questions:
- Are learners successful with more content?
- Text or video? What’s best for learners?
Less is More ✨
What matters when it comes to online learning?
In one word: content.
Researchers Al-Fraihat, Joy, Masa’deh, and Sinclair conducted a study that examined the factors determining e-learning success. Their findings included one salient point: information quality was a key determinant of learner satisfaction and perceived usefulness of the system. In fact, “concise and clear information, updated content, and ... attractive design of content are important to make students have an enjoyable and pleasant experience with e-learning... [and] organizing the content and information into logical and understandable components in the e-learning system allows students to accomplish their learning tasks quickly.”
Key Takeaway: Don’t junk up your LMS with outdated, disorganized content. (We're begging you!)
Read More ($): Evaluating E-learning Systems Success: An Empirical Study (2020). Computers in Human Behavior, 102, 67-86.
Text vs Video 🥊
In a study reported in January 2021, researchers investigated the influence of media (text, video, or subtitled video) on students' learning outcomes.
In this experiment, learners were randomly assigned to a text, video, or subtitled-video condition, in a pretest, post test, and delayed posttest design.
Subtitled videos placed additional demands on learning (consistent with Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, which we’ve discussed before) and were less effective for deep learning. Overall, though, results from the study confirmed that for immediate retention, there’s no difference between giving learners a video, a block of text, or subtitled videos. Researchers do caution practitioners, however; “the choice of the modality to use should be based on the specific purpose of the learning content” based on Mayer (Tarchi, Zaccoletti, & Mason, 2021).
This article has three important implications for L&D professionals:
- A small amount of digital text can be effective for deep learning.
- Videos are preferred by many people and are also positively associated with immediate application of learning tasks.
- Subtitled videos are great (especially for non-native speakers of the video’s language) but require extra cognitive effort to process the content.
Key Takeaway: “Practitioners may use either instructional narrated videos or instructional texts to support deep learning processes on a relatively small amount of content, whereas subtitled videos may overload students' cognitive processing,” (Tarchi, Zaccoletti, & Mason, 2021).
Read More ($): Tarchi, C., Zaccoletti, S., & Mason, L. (2021). Learning from text, video, or subtitles: A comparative analysis. Computers & Education, 160.
Education the Right Way* ✅*
It’s important to gain clarity around what is education content.
Education content seeks to drive longer-term behavior change in the way customers interact with your organization's products and services. It drives business impact via retention and expansion. There are two main types of customer education content:
Reference Materials such as help articles and glossaries enable customers to find the answers to their specific questions.
Curriculum-Based Courses like live workshops or e-learning, build] on concepts that empower the learner to make confident decisions and maximize their experience with the organization’s offerings.
While these are a good start, there are definitely more examples of customer education content:
- Help center articles
- e-Learning courses
- Instructor-led trainings
To learn more about content types and building a successful education program, read What Counts as Customer Education Content?
The Learning Science Lottery
We, too, are bummed we didn't win the Powerball jackpot. However, we're glad to highlight two reader-submitted funding opportunities! It may not be $2b but $3m and $750k can certainly go quite a long way!
The 2022 Learning Engineering Tools Competition is looking for innovative ideas for tools and technologies tackling the most pressing issues in education. $3 million in awards for tools supporting learners in Pre-K through secondary ed. Deadline: November 20, 2022. Open to competitors worldwide.
DARPA's AI Tools for Adult Learning seeks your innovative ideas that leverage technology and advanced computational methods to help adults learn new skills to strengthen national security. The agency will award a total of $750,000 to fund winning concepts. Deadline is December 18, 2022, Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or U.S. entities only
Thanks to Hasmik Djoulakian & Mehtab Ali from The Learning Agency for sharing these with us!
Pets of Learning Science Weekly
This week we want to send a very happy and belated birthday to Booker [T. Washington], who just recently celebrated his 7th trip around the sun.
Thanks to Melina V. for sending this special snout!
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!
Send Us Your Pet Pics
Help us all learn better!