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An experiment investigating the effects of motivation on Cognitive Multimedia Learning Theory

Author Peter Gillis
Abstract Recently there has been an increased interest in exploring the relationship between Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and Motivation. Both areas have large bodies of research already. Both have well established theories like Mayer's Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) and Self Determination Theory of motivation. From the TEL perspective the call is driven by the fact that theories such as CTML are global and do not take motivation into account. This study sought to remedy this dearth and investigate the effect of motivation on Modality, one of the ten principles of CTML. Modality holds that better learning occurs when materials are presented as audio/visual rather than on-screen text/visual. Modality has not traditionally been tested in this fashion. 207 5th year students participated in an experiment to investigate the effect of Motivation on Modality. The results of the research did not show support for the hypothesis in relation to the positive forms of motivation. However, the negative form of motivation, amotivation, did show significant interaction, where highly amotivated participants performed significantly better with traditional text/video materials rather than the audio/visual format, the opposite of modality, known as reverse modality. The results provide three interesting insights, which might guide instruction and provide areas for future research. First, is amotivation a more sensitive measure of engagement level than motivation. Second as amotivation is a barrier, it may be susceptible to being removed using methods such as context and defining learning steps, thereby motivating learners. Finally the amotivated performed better with traditional, rather than multimedia materials (reverse modality). Could learning materials in the future be personalised to suit amotivation levels?
Keywords Amotivation, Modality, Motivation, Multimedia Learning, Cognitive Load Theory
Published In ICEP Proceedings 2013
Date 2013
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