The children who watched the video instructions were usually unable to locate the hidden toy. But those who received the instructions from a real person usually were able to locate the toy. Developmental Psychologist, Georgene Troseth, Ph.D., says the study suggests children may not pay attention or believe the information if it doesn’t come from a “live” person.
In a second study, an interactive video was used to instruct the children on how to find the hidden stuffed animal. This video aimed to engage the child’s attention by having the television instructor appear to talk directly to the child – asking questions, waiting for responses and offering verbal praise. After five minutes of interaction, the children were able to locate the toy. This research suggests some of the newer interactive educational programs – those that appear to speak directly to the child and offer time for a response – are more effective in promoting learning.