Audio Cues: Can Sound Be Worth a Hundred Words?
Multimedia content is increasingly being used in the context of e-learning. In the absence of classroom-like active interventions by instructors, multimedia-based learning leads to disengagement and shorter attention spans. In this paper, we present a framework for using audio cues interspersed with the content to improve student engagement and learning outcomes. The proposed framework is based on insights from cognitive theory of multimedia learning, modeling of working memory and successful use of audio in the film industry. On a set of 20 freshmen engineering students, we demonstrate that the systematic use of audio cues led to 37.6 % relative improvement in learning outcome and 44 % relative improvement in long-term retention. Post-study interviews establish that the associated students improved recall and engagement to the presence of audio cues.
KeywordsCognitive theory of multimedia learning Working memory Audio cues E-learning performance Student retention
We gratefully acknowledge Safinah A. Ali for all her help and assistance in building our audio cue framework.
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