The Effectiveness of Interactivity in Computer-Based Instructional Diagrams

  • Lisa Whitman
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5611)


This study investigates if interaction between a student and instructional diagrams displayed on a computer can be effective in significantly improving understanding of the concepts the diagrams represent over viewing animated or static instructional diagrams. Participants viewed either interactive, animated, or static versions of multimedia tutorials that taught how a simple mechanical system, a lock, worked and how a complex mechanical system, an automobile clutch, worked. Participants were tested on recall and comprehension to determine which presentation style; static, animated, or interactive; greater impacts learning, and whether that impact is mediated by the complexity of the mechanical system. Participants who studied from interactive multimedia presentations demonstrating how simple and complex mechanical systems work performed significantly better on comprehension tests for both mechanical systems than those who studied from static or animated presentations. However, all participants performed similarly on recall tests. Research on the effectiveness of computer learning environments and how to optimize their potential for effective instruction through improved multimedia design is important as computers are increasingly being used for training and education.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Whitman
    • 1
  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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