The cognitive effects of verbal redundancy and animated concept maps on learning

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(Thesis) Ph.D.
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This dissertation seeks to contribute to the literature on the selection and combination of media to facilitate learning. Principally, this research seeks to understand the effects of learning from four different media types concurrently presented with audio narration: (a) static text, (b) animated text, (c) static concept map, and (d) animated concept map. The inclusion of audio narration in multimedia materials introduces verbal redundancy, which is the concurrent presentation of verbatim spoken and printed words. Therefore, an additional goal of this work is to comprehensively review prior research on verbal redundancy. A meta-analysis was conducted to review experimental studies that compared verbally redundant presentations with non-verbally redundant presentations. After an extensive search for studies meeting specified inclusion criteria, data was extracted from 48 independent verbal redundancy effect sizes obtained from 32 research reports with a total of 3,192 participants. Overall results indicated that students who learned from redundant multimedia presentations outperformed those who learned from non-redundant presentations but this effect was dependent on learners’ prior knowledge, pacing of learning materials, and inclusion of animation or diagrams. Specifically, verbal redundancy benefited low prior knowledge learners exposed to system-paced learning materials provided there were no concurrently presented images. However, heterogeneity was found in most categories of analyses. The effects on transfer, recall and comprehension of a learner-paced, concept map accompanied by redundant audio narration was investigated through a 2 X 2 factorial experiment in which an animation factor (animation versus static) was crossed with a representation factor (concept map versus text). One hundred and forty participants were randomly assigned to study one of four learner-paced multimedia presentations (animated concept map, static concept map, animated text and static text). Both concept map groups outperformed both text groups on tests of free recall and transfer. The animated concept map group outperformed the static text group on a knowledge test (p
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