Video features predicting engagement in climate change education

Christodoulou, Vasiliki orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9215-0468, Saprikis, Vaggelis, Kythreotou, Louiza, Christodoulos, Monogios, Calikus, Ece and Joselowitz, Jared (2023) Video features predicting engagement in climate change education. E3S Web of Conferences, 436 .

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Climate change is a substantial threat. Awareness-raising and education are key goals. Social media provide an opportune context for the delivery of science education content. However, little research has examined which video features elicit engagement on climate change. This project focused on YouTube and aimed to identify the most predictive factors of video engagement on the topic of climate change. Video engagement was defined as an algorithmic composite of outcomes derived through YouTube API such as the number of views and number of comments, among other measures. A search of YouTube videos revealed an original list of 183 videos on climate change. A random selection of 90 videos was manually coded on engagement predictor variables (i.e., video type, presenter type, audio-visual elements, video content, and other features). Results indicated that most YouTube videos are consistent with a widely accepted scientific viewpoint on the topic although their scientific quality and video argumentation content do not appear to affect video engagement. Rather, presenter and video characteristics associated with entertainment emerge as more specific predictors influencing video engagement. Social media can be used as a fruitful avenue for imparting education on pertinent issues such as climate change although it is important to consider ways of balancing quality education with entertainment features.

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