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Investigating the impact of multimedia design principles on learning in an online context

, Capella University, United States

Capella University . Awarded


It is not well understood how specific design practices and strategies affect learning for students engaged in online coursework. While various instructional design practices that are claimed to be effective can readily be found in diverse educational contexts, some suggest that most have been perpetuated primarily through unchallenged tradition with little empirical evidence supporting their effectiveness. This study employed a quantitative approach and quasi-experimental design to empirically validate specific e-learning design practices by investigating how presenting identical instructional content that either applied or failed to apply varied multimedia focused design principles impacted learning, as measured by a comparison of online learners' pretest and posttest results. Study participants (N = 160) were given a ten-item pretest on the content and randomly assigned to either one of three experimental groups (n = 40), that was presented ten learning modules designed according to one of the studied principles, or a control group (n = 40) that was presented textual content only. After studying their learning modules, learners took a posttest to measure the learning that had occurred. An ANOVA indicated that there was no significant difference in learning for any of the groups. Whether learners were presented text based content exclusively or various combinations of multimedia, learners demonstrated that they could learn equally well. Study results suggest that learners can be highly receptive and adaptive to their learning environment regardless of the instructional media/modality used.


Fox, K.D. Investigating the impact of multimedia design principles on learning in an online context. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University. Retrieved April 12, 2021 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 22, 2013. [Original Record]

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