Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 101–120

Commentary: Towards an Integrated View of Learning from Text and Visual Displays

  • Wolfgang Schnotz

DOI: 10.1023/A:1013136727916

Cite this article as:
Schnotz, W. Educational Psychology Review (2002) 14: 101. doi:10.1023/A:1013136727916


Visuo-spatial text adjuncts such as static or animated pictures, geographic maps, thematic maps, graphs, and knowledge maps that have been analyzed in the articles contained in this special issue provide complex pictorial information that complements the verbal information of texts. These spatial text adjuncts are considered as depictive representations that can support communication, thinking, and learning. An essential precondition of this supportive function is that the visuo-spatial displays interact appropriately with human visual perception and the individual's cognitive system, which is characterized by prior knowledge, cognitive abilities, and learning skills. Accordingly, effective learning with visuo-spatial text adjuncts can be fostered by instructional design and by adequate processing strategies, both dependent on sufficient understanding of how the human cognitive system interacts with these displays. Perspectives for further research in this area are provided.

visual displaysspatial displaysadjunct displaysspatial cognitionrepresentations

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Schnotz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General and Educational PsychologyUniversity of Koblenz – LandauLandauGermany