The effect of cognitive aging on multimedia learning
Boaventura Dacosta, University of Central Florida, United States
University of Central Florida . Awarded
If not designed in consideration to the workings of the human mind, multimedia learning environments can impose too high a demand on working memory. While such high cognitive load presents challenges for learners of all ages, older learners may be particularly affected as research on cognitive aging has shown the efficiency of working memory declines with age. Research has suggested that cognitive load theory (CLT) and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML) are likely to accommodate the cognitive needs of older learners; however, few of the principles emerging from these theories have been examined in the context of cognitive aging. The abundance of studies has focused on younger learners, prompting the need for further research of CLT and CTML principles with regard to age.
This study contributes to the body of research on the cognitive aging principle by extending research on the modality effect with middle-aged learners. Ninety-two participants ranging in age from 30 to 59 were exposed to multimedia learning treatments presented as animation with concurrent narration and animation with concurrent text, followed by retention, concept, and transfer tests of multimedia learning. Demographic and descriptive statistics were performed along with a multivariate analysis of variance. The findings did not show a modality effect with middle-aged learners; however, results need to be interpreted with care as possible explanations may entail other causes for the lack of a modality effect other than age.
Dacosta, B. The effect of cognitive aging on multimedia learning. Ph.D. thesis, University of Central Florida.
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