Interpolated Testing Influences Focused Attention and Improves Integration of Information During a Video-Recorded Lecture

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Abstract

Although learning through a computer interface has become increasingly common, little is known about how to best structure video-recorded lectures to optimize learning. In 2 experiments, we examine changes in focused attention and the ability for students to integrate knowledge learned during a 40-min video-recorded lecture. In Experiment 1, we demonstrate that interpolating a lecture with memory tests (tested group), compared to studying the lecture material for the same amount of time (restudy group), improves overall learning and boosts integration of related information learned both within individual lecture segments and across the entire lecture. Although mind wandering rates between the tested and restudy groups did not differ, mind wandering was more detrimental for final test performance in the restudy group than in the tested group. In Experiment 2, we replicate the findings of Experiment 1, and additionally show that interpolated tests influence the types of thoughts that participants report during the lecture. While the tested group reported more lecture-related thoughts, the restudy group reported more lecture-unrelated thoughts; furthermore, lecture-related thoughts were positively related to final test performance, whereas lecture-unrelated thoughts were negatively related to final test performance. Implications for the use of interpolated testing in video-recorded lectures are discussed.

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