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Educational videos

Working group Realistic Depictions Lab
Duration 07/2010 - open-end
Funding Budget resources
Project description

Due to their increasing dissemination over the internet (e.g., recorded lectures), videos gain relevance as an instructional medium because they provide learners with access to information around the clock. Against the backdrop of theories of cognitive and educational psychology, the project 'Educational videos' is concerned with optimizing knowledge acquisition with dynamic audiovisual media by means of instructional design.

On the one hand, the project focused on facilitating information search in digital videos with features such as a table of contents and an index. This line of research is especially relevant for providing learners with direct access to relevant information in extensive videos. In this respect, the ideal fit of usage strategies, task characteristics and interactive features is investigated. It was shown that a table of contents and an index are efficient for simple search tasks that require the localization of an isolated fact; however, to benefit from these features for more comprehensive search tasks, students need to be equipped with appropriate strategies. These strategies were successfully facilitated by training.

On the other hand, the project investigates whether the availability of predefined pauses in videos facilitates knowledge acquisition by means of providing a structure for the video's contents. This research question is based on the Event Segmentation Theory (Zacks & Swallow, 2007) and the Event Horizon Model (Radvansky, 2012). Both of these theories are concerned with human's spontaneous segmentation of actions into discrete events.


Hans van der Meij

Ingrid Spanjer


Merkt, M., & Schwan, S. (2016). Lernen mit digitalen Videos: Der Einfluss einfacher interaktiver Kontrollmöglichkeiten. Psychologische Rundschau, 67, 94-101. doi:10.1026/0033-3042/a000301.
Merkt, M., & Schwan, S. (2014). Training the use of interactive videos: effects on mastering different tasks. Instructional Science, 42, 421-441. doi:10.1007/s11251-013-9287-0.
Merkt, M., Weigand, S., Heier, A., & Schwan, S. (2011). Learning with videos vs. learning with print: The role of interactive features. Learning & Instruction, 21, 687-704. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2011.03.004.