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Hello! This week we're focusing on two questions:

  • Can enterprise social media use improve organizational learning?
  • Do interesting but irrelevant details impair learning?

Enterprise Social Media and Learning

Can enterprise social media use improve organizational learning? That’s one of the questions raised in a recent study that explored the interaction between participants' knowledge exploration requirements and their perception of the enterprise social media platform. The findings from this study, reported in a July 2021 issue of Computers in Human Behavior, supported previous research indicating there was a connection between organizational learning and enterprise social media use; these researchers suggested that “companies can use enterprise social media to help knowledge dialog and transfer among employees to improve learning” (Shang & Sun, 2021). However, they provide a word of caution: “enterprise social media may engage too much of employees' time in certain situations, and is thus an issue that needs to be explored in the future” (ibid.).

Key Takeaway: Enterprise social media can have a place in organizational learning by leveraging social capital.

Read More ($): Shang, R.A. & Sun, Y. (2021). So little time for so many ties: Fit between the social capital embedded in enterprise social media and individual learning requirements. Computers in Human Behavior, 120.

Seductive Details

We know that learners are more likely to cognitively engage with content that they find interesting, but what if that content doesn’t necessarily add to the learning experience? We’ve talked about these seductive details before (check out our site for past issues), but we wanted to highlight a meta-analysis from a friend and early LSW supporter, Dr. Kripa Sundar. (You may remember her from our first podcast episode!) In this meta-analysis, Sundararajan and co-author Adesope highlight the role that interest plays in learner engagement, leaning on Hidi & Renninger’s four-phase model of interest development, which I highly recommend checking out if you’re not familiar with it. Sundararajan & Adesope’s findings are consistent with previous meta-analyses: including these interesting but irrelevant seductive details results in lower immediate learning performance, compared to learning without seductive details. The researchers call for more research to understand potential long-term effects of learning with seductive details.

Key Takeaway: Minimize the use of interesting but irrelevant information (aka seductive details) in your instruction.

Read More ($): Sundararajan, N., & Adesope, O. (2020). Keep it Coherent: A Meta-Analysis of the Seductive Details Effect. Educational Psychology Review, 32, 707-734.

Pets of Learning Science Weekly

This week we're featuring a picture of Gizmo from superstar reader Helen B., who writes that "Gizmo is 15 year old moggy who I have had since she was about 1 and half from rescue. She still acts like a kitten and has never raised tooth or claw in anger to anyone. She loves belly rubs and food." Thanks for sharing, Helen! (And TIL what a moggy was!)

Would you like to contribute to the cuteness index of my inbox? Send me (hi, I'm Julia) your pet pics at

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!