ERIC Number: ED264844
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Optimal Structures for Multimedia Instruction. Final Report.
Goguen, Joseph; And Others
This 2-year study, which took a multidisciplinary approach to the problem of discovering principles for designing effective multimedia instruction, focused on the effects on instructional effectiveness of the discourse structure of instructional materials and the coordination of multiple instructional media. The task domain was a logic box said to control an irrigation system. Fifteen different stimuli were prepared, each including an explanation of how the box works; each was shown to a group of approximately 25 California community college students. The stimuli were videotapes of a professional actor following a carefully prepared multimedia script involving use of verbal explanation, diagrams on a blackboard, and the box itself. The stimuli comprised two series, the first using a fully-crossed design with three binary independent variables, and the second exploring seven variants of a single explanation type. Separate objective tests were devised for each series, sharing several questions to permit cross-series comparisons. Analyses relied chiefly on 1- and 3-way ANOVAS, tests to evaluate between group differences, and correlations between individual items and total test scores. The major findings suggest that the choice of discourse type can strongly affect comprehension; comprehension can be improved by gestural coordination between visual and verbal material and use of suitable visual icons; both cognitive level and manipulation of the internal structure of discourse units have significant and systematic effects on comprehension; and inclusion of summaries, particularly initial summaries, seems to assist comprehension. Eight guidelines for media production are included, and scripts and test materials used in the experiment are appended. A reference list is also provided. (JB)
Descriptors: Analysis of Variance, Cognitive Ability, Discourse Analysis, Educational Principles, Educational Strategies, Instructional Design, Instructional Improvement, Learning Strategies, Multimedia Instruction, Semiotics, Statistical Significance, Verbal Stimuli, Videotape Recordings, Visual Stimuli
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: SRI International, Menlo Park, CA.