Using Iconic Graphics in Entity-Relationship Diagrams: The Impact on Understanding

Using Iconic Graphics in Entity-Relationship Diagrams: The Impact on Understanding

Kamal Masri (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Drew Parker (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Andrew Gemino (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/jdm.2008070102
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Abstract

This study reports on an experiment examining the impact of iconic graphics on participants’ understanding of domains represented by entity relationship diagrams. Cognitive load theory and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning are used to hypothesize that iconic graphics reduce the cognitive load of model viewers, leading to more complete mental models and consequently improved understanding. Results, as measured by transfer (problem solving) tasks, confirm the main hypothesis. Additionally, iconic images were found to be less effective in improving domain understanding with English-as-a-second-language (ESL) participants. ESL results are shown to be consistent with predictions based on the cognitive load theory.

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