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In recorded lectures, do people learn differently from a visibly happy instructor than from a bored instructor? That’s the question that Horovitz & Mayer address in the June 2021 issue of Computers in Human Behavior. In their study (n=112), these researchers hypothesized that learners who viewed a video lecture from a happy instructor would be more likely to feel happier and perform better on course assessments than those who viewed lectures delivered by an obviously bored instructor. Their findings indicate that learners who viewed the happy instructor’s videos were more likely to feel motivated to learn, but ultimately, the instructor’s emotions had no effect on the learners’ posttest scores. Still, we think it's worth putting on a happy face.

Key Takeaway

Recording an instructional video? Your positive affect can have important implications for your individual learners’ moods and motivations.

Read More (Paywall)

Horovitz, T. & Mayer, R. E. (2021). Learning with human and virtual instructors who display happy or bored emotions in video lectures. Computers in Human Behavior, 119.

A Tip for Researchers!

Frustrated by the paywall? We get it. Potential solutions: Ask your local public librarian for access to these journals, or request the articles through your local library’s InterLibrary Loan service, “which is essential for the democratization of research” (see: InterLibrary Loan will change your life).

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This article review and summary was included in Learning Science Weekly, a weekly newsletter published by the researchers in Intellum's Learning Science department. If you'd like more recommendations on how you can apply findings from the learning sciences into your practice, subscribe today!

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