Enhancing Example-Based Learning: Teaching on Video Increases Arousal and Improves Problem-Solving Performance

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Abstract

Recent findings show that after studying a text, teaching the learned content on video to a fictitious peer student improves learning more than restudying the content. This benefit may be in part due to increased arousal associated with the teaching activity. The present experiment investigated whether teaching on video is also effective for acquiring problem-solving skills from worked examples, and explored the role of cognitive load, worry, and arousal. Participants (N = 61 university students) first studied two worked examples on electrical circuits troubleshooting and completed a practice problem. Then they either taught the content of a worked example of the practice problem on video (teaching condition) or studied that worked example (control condition) for the same amount of time. Self-reported cognitive load was measured after each task and self-reported worry after the final task. Effects on arousal were explored via the Empatica wristband measuring electrodermal activity (EDA; i.e., galvanic skin response). Teaching the content of the worked example on video was not associated with more worry, but did result in higher perceived cognitive load, more arousal, and better performance on isomorphic and transfer problems on the posttest. Although this finding has to be interpreted with caution, teaching also seemed to moderate the effect of prior knowledge on transfer that was present in the study condition. This suggests that teaching is particularly effective for students who initially have low prior knowledge.

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