Spatial and Nonspatial Integration in Learning and Training with Multimedia Systems

Spatial and Nonspatial Integration in Learning and Training with Multimedia Systems

Tad T. Brunyé (U.S. Army NSRDEC, Consumer Research & Cognitive Science, USA & Tufts University, USA), Tali Ditman (Tufts University, USA & Massachusetts General Hospital, USA) and Jason S. Augustyn (U.S. Army NSRDEC, Consumer Research & Cognitive Scien)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-158-2.ch007
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Multiformat and modality interfaces have become popular and effective tools for presenting information in training and instructional systems. Technological innovation, however, has far surpassed researchers’ understanding of how and under what circumstances these technologies are useful towards information gathering. Some recent research has begun to characterize the cognitive mechanisms that may be responsible for the comprehension and memory advantages typically seen with multimedia learning, as well as the role of individual differences in this process. Other work has defined effective pedagogical practices, such as instructional content and organization, for producing engaging and effective learning experiences. This chapter attempts to bridge these two research areas and provides concrete design recommendations for current instructional practice and directions for future research.
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When I was a child, I judged how interesting books would be based upon the picture-to-page ratio. Only high ratio books would stand a chance of ending up in my backpack. Much older now, to some extent, I still adhere to this rule. In reading textbooks, I know that the ones that are more helpful to my students are those that embed pictures in the text. Perhaps not surprisingly and consistent with much research (e.g., Mayer, 2001; Paivio, 1986), smartly-combined pictures and text is inevitably a better learning medium than either format in isolation. However, it is clear that the story is not that simple. In 2006 alone, PsycINFO lists 184 multimedia publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and handbooks, demonstrating that while much is known, much is also being explored with regard to the cognitive and educational influences of multimedia across a wide range of applications. Increases in the availability of technologies with which educators, experimenters, and software companies can integrate text, images, narration, animation, and virtual reality have unfortunately not corresponded with increases in educational and cognitive psychologists’ understanding of how such technologies influence learning. The application of these technologies is as broad as the research that engenders them: from the young student studying photosynthesis to the Soldier studying maps and descriptive details about an area of operation. Across these applications, educators, designers, and engineers must ensure that information gatherers are successfully processing and comprehending, and ultimately using knowledge in appropriate ways.

To address this need four questions are posed that have broad and powerful implications for both systems design and educational effectiveness: 1) what effects, if any, do format and modality manipulations have on eventuating memory form and function, 2) which working memory mechanisms are involved in the processing, manipulation and integration of multi-format and multi-modality information, 3) how does the effectiveness of manipulations vary as a function of learning material types (e.g., facts, rules, procedures), and 4) what, if any, individual differences predict the success of various media combinations?

The present chapter attempts to answer these questions by reviewing research from cognitive, educational, and human factors psychology and pointing out gaps in knowledge that can motivate subsequent experimental investigations. Three broad domains are examined for which multimedia may prove an effective learning tool: spatial learning (e.g., maps, spatial descriptions, virtual reality), procedure learning (e.g., object assembly), and declarative learning (e.g., facts, rules, information). Theoretical motivations are provided regarding how media manipulations affect human mental representation, how these effects vary with the domain of application, and how the human mind uses working memory to manipulate and integrate spatial and verbal information towards abstract and flexible final memory forms. Finally, insights are provided into how educators may predict the success of multimedia at the level of the individual student.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Robert Zheng
Chapter 1
Renae Low
Our knowledge of human cognitive architecture has advanced dramatically in the last few decades. In turn, that knowledge has implications for... Sample PDF
Cognitive Architecture and Instructional Design in a Multimedia Context
Chapter 2
Peter E. Doolittle
This chapter addresses the role that working memory capacity (WMC) plays in learning in multimedia environments. WMC represents the ability to... Sample PDF
Multimedia Learning and Working Memory Capacity
Chapter 3
Anne E. Cook
This chapter focuses on issues dealing with the definition and measurement of cognitive load in multimedia and other complex learning activities.... Sample PDF
Measurement of Cognitive Load During Multimedia Learning Activities
Chapter 4
Stephen K. Reed
This chapter discusses a theoretical framework for designing multimedia in which manipulation, rather than perception, of objects plays the... Sample PDF
Manipulating Multimedia Materials
Chapter 5
Katharina Scheiter, Eric Wiebe, Jana Holsanova
Multimedia environments consist of verbal and visual representations that, if appropriately processed, allow for the construction of an integrated... Sample PDF
Theoretical and Instructional Aspects of Learning with Visualizations
Chapter 6
Florian Schmidt-Weigand
This chapter introduces eye tracking as a method to observe how the split of visual attention is managed in multimedia learning. The chapter reviews... Sample PDF
The Influence of Visual and Temporal Dynamics on Split Attention: Evidences from Eye Tracking
Chapter 7
Tad T. Brunyé, Tali Ditman, Jason S. Augustyn
Multiformat and modality interfaces have become popular and effective tools for presenting information in training and instructional systems.... Sample PDF
Spatial and Nonspatial Integration in Learning and Training with Multimedia Systems
Chapter 8
Mike DeSchryver
We claim that the Web has the potential to be a quintessential multimedia environment for complex learning, particularly in ill-structured domains.... Sample PDF
New Forms of Deep Learning on the Web: Meeting the Challenge of Cognitive Load in Conditions of Unfettered Exploration in Online Multimedia Environments
Chapter 9
Renae Low
In the field of multimedia learning, although research on cognitive effects and their implications for instructional design is rich, research on the... Sample PDF
Motivation and Multimedia Learning
Chapter 10
Min Liu, Paul Toprac, Timothy T. Yuen
The purpose of this study is to investigate students’ engagement with a multimedia enhanced problem-based learning (PBL) environment, Alien Rescue... Sample PDF
What Factors Make a Multimedia Learning Environment Engaging: A Case Study
Chapter 11
Michael J. Hannafin, Richard E. West, Craig E. Shepherd
This chapter examines the cognitive demands of student-centered learning from, and with, Web-based multimedia. In contrast to externally-structured... Sample PDF
The Cognitive Demands of Student-Centered, Web-Based Multimedia: Current and Emerging Perspectives
Chapter 12
Lloyd P. Rieber
This chapter presents a review of research on the use and role of interactive simulations for learning. Contemporary theories of learning... Sample PDF
Supporting Discovery-Based Learning within Simulations
Chapter 13
Gina J. Mariano
The role and promotion of transfer in multimedia instructional environments is an oft-neglected concept in instructional multimedia research.... Sample PDF
Fostering Transfer in Multimedia Instructional Environments
Chapter 14
Kirsten R. Butcher, Sebastian de la Chica, Faisal Ahmad, Qianyi Gu, Tamara Sumner, James H. Martin
This chapter discusses an emerging theme in supporting effective multimedia learning: developing scalable, cognitively-grounded tools that customize... Sample PDF
Conceptual Customization for Learning with Multimedia: Developing Individual Instructional Experiences to Support Science Understanding
Chapter 15
Mingming Zhou
We suggest that multimedia environments can benefit from learning as well as offer significant capacity to serve as research purposes. Because... Sample PDF
Designing Multimedia to Trace Goal Setting in Studying
Chapter 16
Alan D. Koenig, Robert K. Atkinson
The first part of this chapter explores how narrative can be used as a cognitive aid in educational video games. It discusses how narrative is... Sample PDF
Using Narrative and Game-Schema Acquisition Techniques to Support Learning from Educational Games
Chapter 17
Marian J.A.J. Verhallen
Advanced digital storybooks offer, in addition to an oral rendition of text, the possibility of enhancing story content through the use of video. In... Sample PDF
How Literacy Emerges from Living Books in the Digital Era: New Chances for Young Linguistically Disadvantaged Children
Chapter 18
Wolff-Michael Roth
To learn by means of analogies, students have to see surface and deep structures in both source and target domains. Educators generally assume that... Sample PDF
Emergence of Analogies in Collaboratively Conducted Computer Simulations
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