When students enroll in MOOCs, they almost always watch a series of video lectures. But just watching videos — without also engaging interactively — is an ineffective way to learn, according to a study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

The study, “Learning Is Not a Spectator Sport: Doing Is Better Than Watching for Learning From a MOOC,” looked at a generally available course, offered through the Georgia Institute of Technology, called “Introduction to Psychology as a Science.” Some students chose to take it as a traditional MOOC, spending most of their time watching video lectures. Others opted for a version that combined the MOOC and interactive materials produced by Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative.