Static representational pictures (RPs) have been focused in research on the multimedia effect in testing and might be especially important in arithmetical word problems, which require a multi-stage mental processing to segment the task. To further highlight the task segments visually, dynamic visualizations could help. However, conventional animations might not apply to this context and the role of dynamic visualizations with temporal segmentations (i.e., animated RPs) is unexplored. This classroom experiment with 456 students investigated multimedia and modality effects in 24 mathematical word problems. Our 3×2 mixed design included three multimedia conditions (static RPs, animated RPs, and text-only) and two modality conditions (written text vs. spoken text). We investigated effects on response correctness, metacognitive ratings, item-solving satisfaction and time on task. Both static and animated RPs increased response correctness, item-solving satisfaction, and metacognitive ratings compared to text-only. Time on task was affected in distinctive ways in both RP conditions and also varied depending on text modality. Spoken text barely increased response correctness in animated RP items but not at all in static RP items. Moderator analyses revealed that the effects of static and animated RPs on response correctness were dependent on the text modality but varied across school types and the level of mathematical prior knowledge. For students at non-academic-track schools or with low prior knowledge, static and animated RPs improved response correctness compared to text-only across both modalities. For students at academic-track schools or with high prior knowledge, mainly combinations of static or animated RPs with spoken text were effective.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102151
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2023

    Research areas

  • Methodological research and machine learning - Multimedia effect, Representational pictures, Animations, Modality effect, Digitalization

ID: 7108880