Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 485–505 | Cite as

The effects of diagrams and time-compressed instruction on learning and learners’ perceptions of cognitive load

  • Raymond S. Pastore


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of diagrams and time-compressed instruction on learning and learners’ perceptions of cognitive load. The following design factors, visuals (visuals and non-visuals) and time-compressed instruction (0%-normal paced, 25, and 50%) were presented to 216 university students to analyze learning in a multimedia environment. Participants listened to audio instruction of the heart and those in the visuals condition viewed 19 diagrams that corresponded to the verbal instruction. The dependent variables consisted of four achievement tests: drawing, identification, terminology, and comprehension. Review behaviors (back and replay buttons) and learners’ perceptions of cognitive load served as additional dependent variables. The results of this study indicate that listening to normal or moderately compressed (25%) instruction in a multimedia environment supports learning. At these speeds, cognitive load is not increased thus allowing learners to gain a conceptual understanding of the material.


Time-compressed instruction Multimedia Multiple representations Cognitive load Podcasts Diagrams 


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Slippery Rock UniversitySlippery RockUSA

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