Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

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What’s the Eberly Center reading and thinking about this month?

The Research and Scholarship Digest, published the first Monday of each month, consists of short summaries of recently peer-reviewed studies on teaching and learning topics. This digest offers a view into what we are reading and thinking about at the Eberly Center that:

• adds to our understanding of how students learn
• is potentially generalizable across teaching contexts in higher education
• provokes reflection on implications for our teaching and educational development practices.

We hope the readers of this digest will find it a useful resource for staying in-tune with the rapidly expanding education research literature.


September 2018

It’s all a matter of perspective: Viewing first-person video modeling examples promotes learning of an assembly task.

This paper examines the effects that different ways of creating videos from an instructional design perspective can have on learning. In one experiment, 105 participants were randomly assigned to watch an instructional video that was filmed either with a first-person perspective or a third-person perspective, with the content being otherwise identical in both videos. It was found that participants who viewed the instructional video from a first-person perspective were able to perform the task from the video better than students who viewed the same video from a third-person perspective. This effect was shown to be even stronger for more complex tasks. In a second experiment, this effect was replicated in a different lab with 120 participants. These findings suggest an instructional design principle in which people learn better from videos constructed from a first-person perspective relative to a third-person perspective.

Fiorella, L., van Gog, T., Hoogerheide, V., & Mayer, R. E. (2017). Journal of Educational Psychology, 109(5), 653.
[link to article]

Faculty drivers and barriers: Laying the groundwork for undergraduate STEM education reform in academic departments.

Researchers sought to describe the response of faculty to efforts of shifting norms in teaching toward evidence-based and pedagogically informed practices. Analysis of responses resulted in ranked lists of issues categorized as barriers (18) or drivers (15). The distribution and frequency of faculty responses to efforts to shift teaching practices provides a useful framework for strategies that may be employed to effect change. The results and discussion offer valuable context for potential dialogue with faculty and may help to anticipate and preemptively address concerns and/or emphasize positive aspects that faculty view as driving forces that can be used to motivate change.

Shadle, S.E., Marker, A., & Earl, B. (2017). International Journal of STEM Education, 4:8, p. 1-13.
[link to article]


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