The field of Search as Learning addresses questions surrounding human learning during the search process. Existing research has largely focused on observing how users with learning-oriented information needs behave and interact with search engines. What is not yet quantified is the extent to which search is a viable learning activity compared to instructor-designed learning. Can a search session be as effective as a lecture video'our instructor-designed learning artefact'for learning? To answer this question, we designed a user study that pits instructor-designed learning (a short high-quality video lecture as commonly found in online learning platforms) against three instances of search, specifically (i) single-user search, (ii) search as a support tool for instructor-designed learning, and, (iii) collaborative search. We measured the learning gains of 151 study participants in a vocabulary learning task and report three main results: (i) lecture video watching yields up to 24% higher learning gains than single-user search, (ii) collaborative search for learning does not lead to increased learning, and (iii) lecture video watching supported by search leads up to a 41% improvement in learning gains over instructor-designed learning without a subsequent search phase.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCIKM'18
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-145036014-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2018 - Torino, Italy
Duration: 22 Oct 201826 Oct 2018


Conference27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2018

ID: 47930054