Advertisement

TechTrends

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 103–112 | Cite as

Does the Visual Appeal of Instructional Media Affect Learners’ Motivation Toward Learning?

  • Kei TomitaEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

While authors like Mayer (2009) suggest that designers should avoid using visuals for the purpose of attracting learners’ interests, some scholars suggest that visuals could influence learners’ emotions. In this study the author investigated whether the perception of the visual appeal of instructional handouts affects learners’ self-reported motivation to learn from the handouts. Two handouts were prepared for this study: a minimalist handout following Mayer’s (2009) Coherence Principle and an appealing handout complying with everyday visual trends. Participants were instructed to look at the handouts in different orders according to groups and were asked about their impressions of the handouts. The appealing handout was perceived as motivating when it was seen after the minimalist handout. However, the group that saw the minimalist handout first did not perceive the appealing handout as motivating. The result implies that not only the design but also the learning context influences learners’ self-reported motivation to engage with the handout.

Keywords

Aesthetics Cognitive load theory Cognitive theory of multimedia learning Instructional media Motivation Visual appeal Visual design 

References

  1. Anglin, G. J., Vaez, V., & Cunningham, K. L. (2003). Visual representations and learning: The role of static and animated graphics. In D. H. Jonassen & M. P. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology: A project of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Berleant, A. (2010). Art and Engagement (Reprint edition). Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Betrancourt, M. (2005). The animated and interactivity principles in multimedia learning. In The cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (1st ed., pp. 287–296). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Robinson, R. E. (1991). The art of seeing: An interpretation of the aesthetic encounter. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.Google Scholar
  5. Dewey, J. (2005). Art as experience. New York: Berkley Publishing Group (Original work published 1934).Google Scholar
  6. Dillon, A., & Jobst, J. (2005). Multimedia learning with hypermedia. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (1st ed., pp. 569–588). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Greenspan, S. I., & Benderly, B. L. (1998). The growth of the mind: And the endangered origins of intelligence. Reading: Da Capo Press.Google Scholar
  8. Greenspan, S. I., & Shanker, S. (2004). The first idea how symbols, language, and intelligence evolved from our early primate ancestors to modern humans. Cambridge: Da Capo Press.Google Scholar
  9. Hassenzahl, M. (2004). The interplay of beauty, goodness, and usability in interactive products. Human Computer Interaction, 19(4), 319–349. doi: 10.1207/s15327051hci1904_2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hassenzahl, M., & Monk, A. (2010). The inference of perceived usability from beauty. Human Computer Interaction, 25(3), 235–260. doi: 10.1080/07370024.2010.500139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kalyuga, S. (2005). Prior knowledge principle in multimedia learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (1st ed., pp. 325–337). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Keller, J. M., & Burkman, E. (1993). Motivation principles. In M. L. Fleming & W. H. Levie (Eds.), Instructional message design: Principles from the behavioral and cognitive sciences (2nd ed., pp. 3–53). Englewood Cliffs: Educational Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  13. Mayer, R. E. (2005). Principles for reducing extraneous process in multimedia learning: Coherence, signals, redundancy, spatial contiguity, and temporal contiguity principles. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (1st ed., pp. 325–337). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia learning (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Norman, D. (2002). Emotion & design: Attractive things work better. Interactions, 9(4), 36–42. doi: 10.1145/543434.543435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Parrish, P. (2005). Embracing the aesthetics of instructional design. Educational Technology, 45(2), 16–25.Google Scholar
  17. Parrish, P. (2009). Aesthetic principles for instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 57(4), 511–582. doi: 10.1007/s11423-007-9060-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rieber, L. P. (1994). Computers, graphics & learning. Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark.Google Scholar
  19. Rouet, J. F., & Potelle, H. (2005). Navigational principles in multimedia learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (1st ed., pp. 297–312). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tomita, K. (2014). A review of visual attractiveness in instructional materials. Educational Studies (Institute for Educational Research and Service, International Christian University), 56, 165–173.Google Scholar
  21. Uhrmacher, P. B. (2009). Toward a theory of aesthetic learning experiences. Curriculum Inquiry, 39(5), 613–636. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-873X.2009.00462.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Winn, W. D. (1990). A theoretical framework for research on learning from graphics. International Journal of Educational Research, 14(6), 553–564. doi: 10.1016/0883-0355(90)90025-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Winn, W. (1993). Perception principles. In M. L. Fleming & W. H. Levie (Eds.), Instructional message design: Principles from the behavioral and cognitive sciences (2nd ed., pp. 55–126). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  24. Zajonc, R. B. (2001). Mere exposure: A gateway to the subliminal. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10(6), 224–228. doi: 10.1111/1467-8721.00154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications & Technology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations