online video and learning science

Khan Academy is revolutionizing education. Gates is rebuilding education around video. And yet…

Derek Muller completed his doctoral dissertation by researching the question of what makes for effective multimedia to teach physics.

What did Dr. Muller find?

In experiments, he asked subjects to describe the force acting upon a ball when a juggler tosses it into the air. Then he showed them a short video that explained gravitational force.

In tests taken after watching the video, subjects provided essentially the same description as before. Subjects said they didn't pay attention to the video because they thought they already knew the answer. If anything, the video only made them more confident about their own ideas.

Sounds like learniness. Fast food learning that looks and feels satisfying, but without a meaningful impact.

Khan Academy is full of amazing videos that explain topics, but it is still passive learning. On its own, it is no better than plunking a kid in front of a TV with a whole lot of channels.

Via an OpenCulture post by Kate Rix