The effect of Internet-based multimedia reading environments on undergraduate students' reading comprehension
Leonard, Kristi Ann
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This study investigated the application of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning’s multimedia principle on reading comprehension, specifically in Internet-based reading environments with undergraduate students. Participants that completed the study were assigned to one of two treatment groups: text only and text and graphics. Participants completed a prior knowledge test, spatial ability test, reading comprehension test, and a cognitive load questionnaire. An ANCOVA was used to analyze the reading comprehension differences between the treatment groups, text only and text and graphics. The results of the study indicated that the inclusion or exclusion of graphics had no impact on reading comprehension. Additionally, correlational analysis was used to investigate the impact that the learner characteristics prior knowledge, spatial ability, and cognitive load had on reading comprehension. The results of the study indicated that overall, higher prior knowledge and higher spatial ability were beneficial to reading comprehension and higher cognitive load was detrimental to reading comprehension.