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Educational films in the classroom: Increasing the benefit

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Learning and Instruction Volume 17, Number 2, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Educational films for children aim to impart knowledge about a certain topic. In the present paper, it is investigated how much and what kind of information children can remember from educational films and how knowledge acquisition through films could be enhanced. The studies described here were designed to test the hypothesis that children's memory for an educational film, especially their memory for important aspects, can be enhanced by providing domain-specific prior knowledge in a School Lesson, compared to repeated watching and to single watching. In a pilot study, importance ratings were gathered from adults for the questions used in children's memory interview in order to define central and non-central questions. A total of 175 8- and 10-year-old children participated and were randomly assigned to a Film once condition, a "Film Repetition" condition, a "School Lesson once" condition or a "School Lesson plus Film" condition. Results showed that important information was generally better remembered than unimportant information. Participants in the Film Repetition condition and in the School Lesson plus Film condition performed equally well and significantly better than those in the Film once condition and School Lesson once condition. Poor performance in the Film once condition does not seem to be due to a lack of domain-specific knowledge, because the Film Repetition had the same beneficial effects as the School Lesson plus Film condition. Alternative explanations are discussed.


Michel, E., Roebers, C.M. & Schneider, W. (2007). Educational films in the classroom: Increasing the benefit. Learning and Instruction, 17(2), 172-183. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved February 4, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on February 1, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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