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Evaluating Learner Motivation, Engagement and Retention

The Impact of Story-Based Back Injury Prevention Video Training on Learner Motivation, Engagement, and Retention


Examine the impact of story- and video-based back injury prevention training on learner motivation, engagement, and retention.


The proliferation of greater access to and investment in online learning creates more opportunities for video instruction. Developing video instruction—especially story-based modules utilizing creative writers, actors, set, costumes, etc.—requires a greater investment in resources, namely time and cost. While studies show that video can be an effective medium for healthcare training, there is a lack of research examining the effects of media choice on motivation, engagement, and retention. We will examine the impact of story-based video training on learner motivation, engagement, and retention, while controlling for age, gender, and race/ethnicity. 


The study will be a randomized controlled trial in which the experimental group receives a half-hour story-based video training on back injury prevention. The control group will receive the same overall content and course length but the training will be more text-based and not include a story-based video presentation. Specific measures for all participants will include the “motivation to learn” questions from the E-Learning Usability Evaluation Questionnaire [1](motivation), course completion rates (engagement), and questions testing knowledge immediately after taking the course and at 90-days post-course (retention). Participants will also complete survey questions about course features during the posttest. We will address the questions of this study using logistic regression and analysis of variance procedures. 

[1] Zaharias, P. Developing a usability evaluation method for e-learning applications: beyond functional usability. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction Vol 25 (1), January 2009, 75-98.