You are here:

Should Multimedia Instruction be Easier to Understand? Implications of Animation Induced Illusion of Understanding

, none, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Austin, Texas, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-92-1 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


This presentation discusses the instructional design implications of animation induced illusion of understanding, a phenomenon that was demonstrated in a randomized, double-blind experiment that compared the instructional efficacy of static images and representational animation. Among low proficient learners, animation learners (a) found the instruction easier to understanding and (b) developed more optimistic self-assessments than static image learners. However, animation learners performed more poorly on a learning outcome measure (transfer test) than static image learners. Therefore, the instructional format that low proficient learners thought was easier to understand and from which they believed they had learned more was, in actuality, instructionally inferior.


Paik, E. (2012). Should Multimedia Instruction be Easier to Understand? Implications of Animation Induced Illusion of Understanding. In P. Resta (Ed.), Proceedings of SITE 2012--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 748-751). Austin, Texas, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved January 17, 2019 from .

View References & Citations Map


  1. De Koning, B.B., Tabbers, H.K., Rikers, R.M.J.P., & Paas, F. (2009). Towards a framework for attention cueing in instructional animations: Guidelines for research and design. Educational Psychology Review, 21, 113 – 140.
  2. Hegarty, M., Kriz, S., & Cate, C. (2003). The roles of mental animations and external animations in understanding mechanical systems. Cognition and Instruction, 21, 325-360.
  3. Hoffler, T., & Leutner, D. (2007). Instructional animation versus static pictures: A meta-analysis. Learning and Instruction, 17, 722-738.
  4. Kühl, T., Scheiter, K., Gerjets, P., & Gemballa, S. (2011). Can differences in learning strategies explain the benefits of learning from static and dynamic visualizations? Computers& Education, 56, 176– 187.
  5. Lewalter, D. (2003). Cognitive strategies for learning from static and dynamic visuals. Learning and Instruction, 13, 177 – 189.
  6. Mayer, R.E., Hegarty, M., Mayer S. & Campbell, J. (2005). When static media promote active learning: Annotated illustrations versus narrated animation in multimedia instruction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 11, 256-265.
  7. Paik, E. (2009). Learning about Dynamic Systems with Multimedia Presentations Containing Motion Animation and Highlighting Animation. In G. Siemens& C. Fulford (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2009 (pp. 684-693). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
  8. Schnotz, W. & Rasch, T. (2005). Enabling, facilitating, and inhibiting effects of animation in multimedia learning: Why reduction of cognitive load can have negative results on learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53, 47-58.
  9. Schnotz, W. & Lowe, R.K. (2008). A unified view of learning from animated and static graphics. In R.K. Lowe& W. Schnotz (Eds.), Learning with animation. Research implications for design (pp. 304-356). New York:

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact