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Jiahui Wang, Palvo Antonenko, Ethan Fieldman, Ashley Fieldman; Instructor presence, working memory capacity and learning from instructional video. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1127. doi: 10.1167/18.10.1127.
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With the continued expansion of online learning, many popular online education platforms use instructional videos that integrate a real instructor next to the learning material. The instructor explains the material and displays non-verbal cues such as facial expression, body gesture, and eye contact. The instructor video and the learning content in the rest of the frame represent two potentially competing sources of information on the screen and they can place different demands on learners' attentional control and working memory processes. Working memory capacity is a theoretically important moderator of visual attention, cognition, and learning in this context. The current study aims to explore how instructor presence in instructional video influences learning and visual attention distribution and how these effects are moderated by individual differences in working memory capacity. Automated Operation Span task was used to assess individual differences in working memory capacity at the before the experiment. Sixty participants watched two 4-minute instructional videos on Statistics topics - Terminology associated with Observational Studies and Experiments (basic topic), and Rationale for Analysis of Variance (advanced topic). Each video was presented either with or without instructor presence, and participants' eye movement data were simultaneously recorded. Then, participants completed a learning test that measured retention and transfer of knowledge from the two videos. Findings indicated the instructor attracted a significant amount of attention while it is present for both topics - 35% of the total dwell time for the basic topic and 37% for the advanced topic. Also, the instructor presence improved participants' ability to transfer information from the advanced topic, F (1, 58) = 4.464, p < .05, η2 = .071. Finally, working memory capacity is a significant predictor of participants' retention of knowledge from the basic topic, controlling for instructor presence (b = .051, t(55) = 3.358, p < .001).
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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