While binge watching isn’t considered educational, could binging on educational content be effective?
As most of us know, binge watching leads to poorer sleep, less family time in front of the TV, and even less enjoyment of the content. However, if the content was educational, could learning outcomes improve? This is the question being asked around schools.
Eric Bradlaw is a researcher and marketing professor at Wharton and has been looking into the behaviors of binging. He researched the impact for marketers of customer “clumping” behavior — extended periods of inactivity punctuated with short, intense buying bursts. Now, he is teaming up with another marketing professor, J. Wesley Hutchinson, and doctoral candidate Joy Lu, to analyze online learning data. The goal is to understand the connection between content consumption and the “long-run accumulation of knowledge.” The data being examined is from people taking two courses offered by the professors.
Bradlaw and his associates identified two forms of binging behavior: “temporal binging,” where the individual consumes multiple lectures in a single sitting rather than spreading them out over time and they might switch between the two courses (marketing, operations, marketing, operations); and “content binging,” where they consume lectures from the same course in succession with few switches between courses (marketing, marketing, marketing, the operations, operations, etc.).
Bradlow claimed in an interview, “people who binge tend to do better. They also tend to stay on the platform longer.” When the content was released simultaneously from multiple different courses, people binged even more (because they had access to more content), and they tended to get higher test scores.
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