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Comparison of Different Instructional Multimedia Designs for Improving Student Science-Process Skill Learning

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Abstract

This study developed three forms of computer-based multimedia, including Static Graphics (SG), Simple Learner-Pacing Animation (SLPA), and Full Learner-Pacing Animation (FLPA), to assist students in learning topographic measuring. The interactive design of FLPA allowed students to physically manipulate the virtual measuring mechanism, rather than passively observe dynamic or static images. The students were randomly assigned to different multimedia groups. The results of a one-way ANOVA analysis indicated that (1) there was a significant difference with a large effect size (f = .69) in mental effort ratings among three groups, and the post-hoc test indicated that FLPA imposed less cognitive load on students than did SG (p = .007); (2) the differences of practical performance scores among groups reached the statistic significant level with a large effect size (f = .76), and the post-hoc test indicated that FLPA fostered better learning outcomes than both SLPA and SG (p = .004 and p = .05, respectively); (3) the difference in instructional efficiency that was computed by the z-score combination of students’ mental effort ratings and practical performance scores among the three groups obtained the statistic significant level with a large effect size (f = .79), and the post-hoc test indicated that FLPA brought students higher instructional efficiency than those of both SLPA and SG (p = .01 and .005, respectively); (4) no significant effect was found in instructional time-spans between groups (p = .637). Overall, FLPA was recommended as the best multimedia form to facilitate topographic measurement learning. The implications of instructional multimedia design were discussed from the perspective of cognitive load theory.

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Correspondence to Chun-Yen Chang.

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Chien, YT., Chang, CY. Comparison of Different Instructional Multimedia Designs for Improving Student Science-Process Skill Learning. J Sci Educ Technol 21, 106–113 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-011-9286-3

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