How to turn a professor into a superstar

How to turn a professor into a superstar

How to turn a professor into a superstar

 Is animation merely something cute or cool, or does it add something to our ability to absorb information?

Recently this question was investigated by Richard Wiseman, a British professor of psychology, who is also a YouTube superstar. Wiseman’s videos have so far amassed 90 million views, placing him in a super-league normally populated by the leading news and entertainment channels. In other words, the professor  is a hit!

But Wiseman’s research was not about his own videos, but those by RSA Animate – a British animation project of the Royal Society of Arts. Since 2009, as part of this project, a series of animated videos has been produced that has become a classic – among the better known is Sir Ken Robinson’s lecture on “Changing Education Paradigms”, which alone has garnered over 9 million views on YouTube.

The increase in recall is nowhere near double – recall increased from 70% for the filmed clip of the lecture to 92% for the animated clip. But this is still very impressive, since absorption of information and recall are no picnic. In this area, an increase of even a few percentage points is tremendous news. Furthermore, in general, to the extent that one can capture the viewer’s attention, every additional percentage point of successful recall requires a much larger effort. An increase from 70% to 92%, obtained without any change at all in the verbal content, is already reason to celebrate. I can well imagine Prof. Wiseman jumping for joy over the results, in much the same way that Prof. Higgins danced for joy when he heard Eliza Doolittle correctly pronounce “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.”

Proof of the educational power of Andrew Park’s unique style interests me both as a media person and as a producer in this specific field. I hope to continue to share things that I have found in this area. Of course, in light of the conclusions from Wiseman’s research, I will make sure that every idea is accompanied by some graphic element as well.


By: Edo Amin