NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1170232
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1040-726X
Task Experience as a Boundary Condition for the Negative Effects of Irrelevant Information on Learning
Rop, Gertjan; van Wermeskerken, Margot; de Nooijer, Jacqueline A.; Verkoeijen, Peter P. J. L.; van Gog, Tamara
Educational Psychology Review, v30 n1 p229-253 Mar 2018
Research on multimedia learning has shown that learning is hampered when a multimedia message includes extraneous information that is not relevant for the task, because processing the extraneous information uses up scarce attention and working memory resources. However, eye-tracking research suggests that task experience might be a boundary condition for this negative effect of extraneous information on learning, because people seem to learn to ignore task-irrelevant information over time. We therefore hypothesised that extraneous information might no longer hamper learning when it is present over a series of tasks, giving learners the chance to adapt their study strategy. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments. In experiments 1a/1b, participants learned the definitions of new words (from an artificial language) that denoted actions, with matching pictures (same action), mismatching pictures (another action), or without pictures. Mismatching pictures hampered learning compared with matching pictures. Experiment 2 showed that task experience may indeed be a boundary condition to this negative effect on learning: the initial negative effect was no longer present when learners gained experience with the task. This suggests that learners adapted their study strategy, ignoring the mismatching pictures. That hypothesis was tested in experiment 3, using eye tracking. Results showed that attention to the pictures waned with task experience, and that this decrease was stronger for mismatching than for matching pictures. Our findings demonstrate the importance of investigating multimedia effects over time and in relation to study strategies.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A