Instructional Science

, Volume 32, Issue 1–2, pp 115–132 | Cite as

Assessment of Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning with Dual-Task Methodology: Auditory Load and Modality Effects



Using cognitive load theory and cognitivetheory of multimedia learning as a framework,we conducted two within-subject experimentswith 10 participants each in order toinvestigate (1) if the audiovisual presentationof verbal and pictorial learning materialswould lead to a higher demand on phonologicalcognitive capacities than the visual-onlypresentation of the same material, and (2) ifadding seductive background music to anaudiovisual information presentation wouldincrease the phonological cognitive load. Weemployed the dual-task methodology in order toachieve a direct measurement of cognitive loadin the phonological system. In bothexperiments, the modality effect could beconfirmed in the patterns of secondary taskperformance and in the primary learning task.


Direct Measurement Modality Effect Cognitive Load High Demand Learning Task 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland Brünken
    • 1
  • Jan L. Plass
    • 2
  • Detlev Leutner
    • 3
  1. 1.Georg Elias Müller Institut of PsychologyGeorg August University GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.The Steinhardt School of EducationNew York UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Learning PsychologyUniversity DuisburgEssenGermany

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