ERIC Number: ED547908
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Seductive Details on Motivation and Learning in Multimedia Environments: Does Individual Interest Matter?
Schehl, Jeanne M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
Research about motivation indicates that a student's attention must be gained and sustained for learning to occur. As a result, motivational tactics, including adding interesting words, sounds and visuals to instructional materials, are commonly used by designers of instruction to trigger and sustain learners' interest and engagement during a lesson. Similarly, interest research has shown that strategies to enhance the interestingness of instructional materials are often successful in triggering situational interest--a transitory type of interest that results in focusing and engaging learners during a particular instructional task. However, multimedia learning theory rooted in cognitive processing research argues that these additions--sometimes referred to as seductive details--hinder, rather than help, learning. The present study examined whether individual interest moderates the effects of seductive details on motivation, and learning retention and transfer. The participants were 62 undergraduate students who were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Participants' interest in the subject of organic food was measured before they completed an online lesson about organic food. One group's lesson included seductive details additions that took the form of information about various celebrities' positive opinions, use of and advocacy for organic food. The other group completed the same lesson, minus the celebrity information. A motivation survey and tests of learning retention and learning transfer were administered after the online lesson. Results were compared between participants that completed instruction with or without seductive details added. Data from the study were analyzed using Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) and correlation procedures. No significant differences were found between the control and treatment group regarding motivation, retention or transfer. However, differences were found based on participants' entry level of interest between the low-, medium- and high-interest participants. For learning retention, the high-interest participants scored significantly higher than the low-interest participants. For motivation, the high-interest participants scored significantly higher than the low-interest participants and the medium-interest participants scored significantly higher than the low-interest participants. Though the study did not produce significant results regarding the effects of seductive details, it did address a gap in this line of research by using instructional materials for the experiment that were robust in terms of the amount and complexity of text and visuals. More research is needed to clarify the definition of a seductive detail and understand the conditions under which seductive details hurt learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
Descriptors: Multimedia Instruction, Multimedia Materials, Student Interests, Learner Engagement, Instructional Materials, Motivation Techniques, Retention (Psychology), Transfer of Training, Undergraduate Students, Experimental Groups, Control Groups, Organic Chemistry, Food, Online Courses, Multivariate Analysis, Teaching Methods, Instructional Effectiveness, Intermode Differences, Student Surveys, Academic Achievement, Interest Research
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A