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Contextualization in Video Education in Africa: A Participatory, Applied Cognitive Science Approach


This research was conducted to better understand video as a learning medium for adult skill learning in developing nations. It included a Participatory Video project, guiding media creation with Cognitive Science and an experimental study about the effect of the inclusion of contextual information in learning from video. The research was conducted in The Gambia, West Africa, with Gambian collaborators for the Participatory Video creation and Gambian rural women as the experimental participants. In this work, the Participatory Video creation process was shared, including how Cognitive Science research was used to guide it. The second research component used experimental methodology in a rural village to examine how extra auditory contextual information affected learning from video. Ninety-two rural Gambian women saw either a direct version of a video about composting or a version with extra contextual information. Learning was measured through the average number of key elements mentioned during reteaching. The learning was high in both groups, and not significantly different. There was a significant interaction between prior knowledge about composting and video version viewed. Additionally, in the experimental research, qualitative, open-ended interviews were used to examine Gambian attitudes regarding video learning. Villagers valued the access to information, the benefits that access provided, the power it gave them in their worlds, and the visual nature of the presentation. This information can be used to guide a continued video refinement process. All of these components contribute to different fields to improve the overall understanding of video education for adults in rural, developing areas.

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