You Know it’s Edutainment When…

by Justin Skycak on

Passive consumption. Lack of depth. Lack of rigorous assessments. Failing upwards. Lack of skill development.

Here are some warning signs that the educational resource you’re using is edutainment and will not actually help you learn.

Passive consumption. You need to actively solve problems, not passively consume content. Of course, some amount of instructional explanation will be required before you can solve problems, but you should be spending the vast majority of your time solving problems.

Lack of depth. Edutainment producers will often cherry-pick examples and problems from the simplest cases that one could possibly encounter. While simple cases can of course provide good scaffolding when followed up with more complex cases, edutainment will stop short and then dishonestly assure the learner that they understand the full topic being discussed.

Lack of rigorous assessments. In order to achieve mastery, students must be held accountable for what they learn. If assessments are trivial or nonexistent, then it indicates that either nothing is really being taught, or the resource is not concerned with helping students achieve mastery.

Failing upwards. If the resource allows you to progress forward to more advanced material even when you perform poorly on simpler material, then you’ll get to the end of the resource without actually having learned its contents.

Lack of skill development. If you are not able to demonstrate the skills that you have learned, then you haven’t actually learned anything at all.