The Effects of Context-Dependency of Seductive Details on Recall and Transfer in a Multimedia Learning Environment
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of context-dependency of seductive details on recall and transfer in multimedia learning environments. Two experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, the purpose was to identify context-dependent vs. context-independent seductive details in a lightning animation. Seductive details were considered as interesting yet irrelevant sentences in the narration of lightning animation. Sixty-seven undergraduate students participated in Experiment 1 and assigned interestingness scores to the 28 content irrelevant sentences. Participants were assigned to two different groups, context-dependent seductive details group (CDSD) and context-independent seductive details group (CISD). Participants in the CDSD group assigned interestingness scores after watching a lightning animation to be familiarized with the context of lightning formation. Participants in the CISD group watched a historical inquiry animation as a distraction task before assigning interestingness scores. The results of Experiment 1 revealed that 13 of 28 sentences in the lightning formation text were seductive details according to participants of the study. Ultimately, 6 of the 13 seductive details were determined to be context-dependent and 7 were determined to be seductive details were context-independent.
The purpose of Experiment 2 was to investigate the effects of context-dependency of seductive details on recall and transfer in multimedia learning environments. Undergraduate students (n = 184) were randomly assigned into four groups. Participants in all groups watched a lightning animation, and performed a recall and a transfer task. The first group watched an animation that did not include any seductive details. The second group watched the animation with context-dependent seductive details only. The third group watched the animation with context-independent seductive details only. The last group watched the animation with both types of seductive details. A 2x2 ANOVA for both recall and transfer, and contrast analyses were conducted to determine the effects of context-dependency of seductive details on recall and transfer. The results indicated that there was no significant effect of context-dependency of seductive details on recall or transfer. The findings are discussed in the context of the related literature and directions for future research are suggested.