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Memory-context effects of screen color in multiple-choice and fill-in tests
Article

, effectPerformance, Inc., United States ; , , Penn State University, United States

Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia Volume 14, Number 4, ISSN 1055-8896 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

In this experimental study, 44 undergraduates completed 5 computer-based instructional lessons and either 2 multiple-choice tests or 2 fill-in-the-blank tests. Color-coded borders were displayed during the lesson, adjacent to the screen text and illustrations. In the experimental condition, corresponding border colors were shown at posttest. In the control condition, border colors in the posttest were mismatched with those used in the lesson. Participants were not informed of this color manipulation. Based on Tulving and Thomson's (1973) encoding specificity principle, the experimental group should remember significantly more content. Conversely, Murnane, Phelps, and Malmberg's (1999) ICE theory predicts that color-coding will have little effect on memory retrieval, since participants did not explicitly and actively integrate the topics with the color-coding scheme. Results generally favor ICE theory, however, the effects of practice/feedback varied by test format and color condition. A topic-color test measured the number of topic-color associations that were implicitly encoded and remembered. Gender and format differences were detected.

Citation

Prestera, G., Clariana, R. & Peck, A. (2005). Memory-context effects of screen color in multiple-choice and fill-in tests. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 14(4), 415-436. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved January 17, 2020 from .

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