Effects of three multimedia instructional presentation formats containing animation and narration on recall and problem-solving performance

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Virginia Tech


The use of multimedia in instruction is becoming increasingly popular. A large wealth of multimedia products are now available to teachers. Products such as interactive books, multimedia encyclopedias, computer-based instructional programs, and CD-ROMs are being incorporated into classroom instruction. Most recently, improvements in hardware and software have made it possible for educators to design and develop instructional multimedia presentations for their own use. Despite the increased use of multimedia instructional materials, there is still relatively little research investigating the effects of multimedia attributes, such as animation and narration, upon the learning outcomes of recall and problem-solving.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of three different formats of instructional multimedia presentations on the recall and problem-solving performance of novice-level learners. In this study, participants were randomly assigned to view computer-based presentations covering two topics. Participants receiving the words-before-pictures treatments viewed programs containing narration followed by animation; participants receiving the pictures-before-words treatments viewed programs containing animation followed by narration; participants receiving the words-with-pictures treatments viewed programs containing animation and narration, simultaneously.

Recall and problem-solving tests were administered immediately following the treatments to measure recall and problem-solving performance. There were no significant differences among the three treatment groups. Further investigation also revealed that participants taking the recall test first scored higher in recall than participants taking the problem-solving test first.



audiovisual instruction, computer use