Evonik Digital Research

A joint research project of EVONIK and the University of Duisburg-Essen

Instructional design for and research on video-based learning

Dynamic learning materials such as learning videos have gained increasing attention in the learning sciences due to their potential to increase competence development in digital learning environments. Under certain conditions, learning videos can increase learning outcomes more than static learning material.

Furthermore, it is especially suitable for supporting the acquisition of complex procedural knowledge. Since a part of Evonik's practical training consists of imparting operational competencies, e.g., the ability to set up laboratory equipment, embedding learning videos in everyday teaching seems particularly attractive in the course of digitization. However, a basic prerequisite for a meaningful use of learning videos is an instructional design that supports the trainees. Therefore, we designed didactic measures and conducted three empirical studies for continuously developing and evaluating the learning support on site.

The didactic measures developed are designed with an adaptation to vocational training being an integral part. They consider different training scenarios such as demonstration by instructors in class, use by trainees in laboratory activities, and use by trainees in online self-learning scenarios. Moreover, they transfer instructional design principles from learning with interactive computer simulations (principles from scientific discovery learning) and social learning settings (principles from group awareness support) to less interactive dynamic learning content for preventing superficial information processing and illusions of understanding, and for providing implicit guidance with regard to help seeking and help giving behavior.

Empirical Studies

Three subsequent studies have been conducted to accurately embed learning videos into the VET curriculum and to investigate the effects of video-based discovery learning and video-based collaborative learning on learning behavior and learning outcomes.

Regarding the embedment of learning videos into the VET curriculum, study 1 showed that trainers and trainees are open to video-based learning and its didactic extension, with trainees making the use of learning videos dependent on an increase in performance and having a special interest in self-learning scenarios.

Considering video-based discovery learning, the results of study 2 illustrated that trainees achieve significantly better learning outcomes with learning videos about the assembly of laboratory equipment than with static learning material, but additional knowledge-activating questions do not add value to learning outcomes. Furthermore, motivation and learning strategies do not mediate the effect of the treatment on learning outcomes. However, the descriptive results illustrated with regard to motivation that the questions lead to the highest enjoyment. In addition, the explorative analysis of log data indicated that these questions make the trainees deal more intensively with the learning content.

Regarding video-based collaborative learning, the results of study 3 showed that collaborative learning with group awareness support outperforms individual video-based learning in terms of learning outcomes, but no difference was given between collaborating groups with and without additional trainer support. Taking into account the competence development over time, results indicated that the perceived competence improves over time in all experimental groups, with the improvement being greater in video-based collaborative learning with trainer support than without this support.

Overall, the designed didactic measures support hypothesis-led and social processes. As a conclusion, the concept envisages using learning videos for self-learning scenarios with knowledge-activating questions, but also for collaborative learning in the classroom with strong involvement of the trainer and group awareness support.