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Online explainer videos: Features, benefits, and effects


Schorn, Anna (2022). Online explainer videos: Features, benefits, and effects. Frontiers in Communication, 7:1034199.

Abstract

Explainer videos are short films that explain abstract concepts and relationships, usually in an educational context. They apply storytelling techniques and focus on relevant facts using different visualizations. However, when reviewing the literature, it becomes evident that there is no universally applied definition for explainer videos and no consistent categorization. The vast majority of studies investigate explainer videos as learning tools, although many explainer videos follow persuasive goals. There are very little studies on the persuasiveness, which is problematic because explainer videos appear to be more than an important learning or teaching tool; rather, they are an activistic tool for promoting scientific topics and are a crucial marketing measure. In particular, in the context of science communication, it appears essential to investigate the impact on attitude and behavioral outcomes because there are numerous high-reach videos on YouTube that contradict scientific consensus. At the same time, explainer videos apply storytelling techniques, an informal communication style, and combine an off-voiceover with clear animations, which might lead to eased processing fluency and a positive experience, fostering persuasive outcomes. This mini review elaborates on these research gaps and compiles the state of research on explainer videos, with a focus on persuasive effects in informal settings, drawing on concepts from (science) communication and education.

Abstract

Explainer videos are short films that explain abstract concepts and relationships, usually in an educational context. They apply storytelling techniques and focus on relevant facts using different visualizations. However, when reviewing the literature, it becomes evident that there is no universally applied definition for explainer videos and no consistent categorization. The vast majority of studies investigate explainer videos as learning tools, although many explainer videos follow persuasive goals. There are very little studies on the persuasiveness, which is problematic because explainer videos appear to be more than an important learning or teaching tool; rather, they are an activistic tool for promoting scientific topics and are a crucial marketing measure. In particular, in the context of science communication, it appears essential to investigate the impact on attitude and behavioral outcomes because there are numerous high-reach videos on YouTube that contradict scientific consensus. At the same time, explainer videos apply storytelling techniques, an informal communication style, and combine an off-voiceover with clear animations, which might lead to eased processing fluency and a positive experience, fostering persuasive outcomes. This mini review elaborates on these research gaps and compiles the state of research on explainer videos, with a focus on persuasive effects in informal settings, drawing on concepts from (science) communication and education.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social Sciences (miscellaneous), Communication
Language:English
Date:23 November 2022
Deposited On:29 Nov 2022 13:15
Last Modified:29 Mar 2024 02:35
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:2297-900X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2022.1034199
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)