Wednesday, September 28

The hidden benefit of recorded lectures: watching them at twice the speed improves learning, study finds

With the onset of the pandemic, many educational institutions generalized a practice that had already been carried out in some online training platforms: record your classes due to the impossibility of teaching them in person and the difficulties of giving them by video call. Many students liked this solution, since it allowed them to see them at any time and review them if they needed to review some concepts. Now, in addition, an investigation reveals One more benefit: putting them at twice the speed improves learning.

The aforementioned study, prepared by the University of California at Los Angeles, indicates that students who watched classes recorded at twice the speed they learned the same as those who watched it at the normal pace of the video, so they got the same result in half the time.

For this study, its authors selected 231 students to watch two YouTube videos, one related to real estate and the other to the Roman Empire, and the divided into four groups according to viewing speed: normal, 1.5x, 2x and 2.5x. The instructions they were given were simple, see them in full screen, without pausing until the end and without taking notes.

Once viewed, all of them were tested and the results showed that the students who had viewed the video at speeds of 1.5x and 2x had acquired knowledge very similar to those who had visualized it at a normal rate. Only those who did it at 2.5x had problems and learned less.

In this way, the researchers conclude that viewing speed only impairs learning when it makes it difficult to understand what the teacher says, but as long as its message is intelligible, the student can learn the same in less time.

The study authors also conducted various tests to see when accelerated viewing of the videos worked best, and how repeating them improved learning. They concluded that the more times the recorded class was seen, the more was learned, something quite obvious, but also that if the student saw it for the first time at 2x speed, then he would study his notes and watched it again just before the exam, performed better on the test.

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On the other hand, the researchers checked whether watching the videos multiple times at different speeds improved learning, in case viewing them first at a normal pace and then at twice the speed, or vice versa, had some benefit in educational performance. The results of this test indicated that there was no difference.

Despite all these results, the study authors caution that their conclusions are valid for relatively simple syllabias they took the test based on two educational videos on basic economic and historical knowledge. Therefore, they explain, further research should be done to find out whether speeding up videos with more complex topics is just as effective in improving student performance.

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