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      Increased interestingness of extraneous details in a multimedia science presentation leads to decreased learning.

      Journal of Experimental Psychology. Applied

      Attention, Common Cold, virology, Digestion, physiology, Female, Health Education, Humans, Male, Mental Recall, Young Adult, Multimedia, Problem Solving, Retention (Psychology), Rhinovirus, pathogenicity, Science, education, Teaching, Transfer (Psychology), Adolescent

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          Abstract

          In Experiment 1, students received an illustrated booklet, PowerPoint presentation, or narrated animation that explained 6 steps in how a cold virus infects the human body. The material included 6 high-interest details mainly about the role of viruses in sex or death (high group) or 6 low-interest details consisting of facts and health tips about viruses (low group). The low group outperformed the high group across all 3 media on a subsequent test of problem-solving transfer (d = .80) but not retention (d = .05). In Experiment 2, students who studied a PowerPoint lesson explaining the steps in how digestion works performed better on a problem-solving transfer test if the lesson contained 7 low-interest details rather than 7 high-interest details (d = .86), but the groups did not differ on retention (d = .26). In both experiments, as the interestingness of details was increased, student understanding decreased (as measured by transfer). Results are consistent with a cognitive theory of multimedia learning, in which highly interesting details sap processing capacity away from deeper cognitive processing of the core material during learning. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved.

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          19102616
          10.1037/a0013835

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