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ERIC Number: EJ1036430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 72
ISSN: ISSN-0256-2928
Focus of Attention and Choice of Text Modality in Multimedia Learning
Schnotz, Wolfgang; Mengelkamp, Christoph; Baadte, Christiane; Hauck, Georg
European Journal of Psychology of Education, v29 n3 p483-501 Sep 2014
The term "modality effect" in multimedia learning means that students learn better from pictures combined with spoken rather than written text. The most prominent explanations refer to the split attention between visual text reading and picture observation which could affect transfer of information into working memory, maintenance of information in working memory or the effective size of working memory. The assumption of a continuous need for split attention is questionable, however. Learners can keep pictorial information in working memory, when they have seen the picture before, especially if they have higher prior knowledge. Instead of suffering from a permanent split attention, learners frequently show tendencies to simply ignore pictures. This suggests guiding learners towards picture analysis by picture-related text paragraphs. We assume that these paragraphs are associated with stronger modality effects than content-related paragraphs, especially if the pictures are new to learners. These assumptions were tested in an experiment with 120 students learning about volcanism from illustrated text consisting of segments each including a content-related paragraph followed by a picture-related paragraph describing the accompanying visualization. Content-related and picture-related paragraphs were presented as visual or auditory texts leading to 2x2 conditions of text presentation. Picture novelty was manipulated by presenting a picture throughout the whole segment or only when the picture-related paragraph was read. As expected, picture-related paragraphs were associated with stronger modality effects than content-related paragraphs if picture novelty is high. The distinction between different kinds of paragraphs seems to be important for the prediction of modality effects.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A