Two experiments investigated whether studying a text with an "explanation intention" and then actually explaining it to (fictitious) other students in writing, would yield the same benefits as previously found for explaining on video. Experiment 1 had participants first studying a text either with the intention to explain it to others or to complete a test, and subsequently restudying vs. explaining in writing. Neither study intention nor explaining affected learning outcomes. Experiment 2 directly compared explaining in writing and on video. Participants studied a text with a test intention followed by restudy, or study with an explanation intention followed by either explaining in writing or on video. Explaining on video, but not in writing, enhanced learning more than restudy. These findings suggest that the benefits of explaining on video are not a result of engaging in explanation per se. Results are discussed in light of feelings of social presence.

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Contemporary Educational Psychology
Department of Psychology

Hoogerheide, V, Deijkers, L, Loyens, S.M.M, Heijltjes, A.E.G, & van Gog, T.A.J.M. (2016). Gaining from explaining: Learning improves from explaining to fictitious others on video, not from writing to them. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 44-45, 95–106. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.02.005