Learners misperceive the benefits of redundant text in multimedia learning
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Research on metacognition has consistently demonstrated that learners fail to endorse instructional designs that produce benefits to memory, and often prefer designs that actually impair comprehension. Unlike previous studies in which learners were only exposed to a single multimedia design, the current study used a within-subjects approach to examine whether exposure to both redundant text and non-redundant text multimedia presentations improved learners' metacognitive judgments about presentation styles that promote better understanding. A redundant text multimedia presentation containing narration paired with verbatim on-screen text (Redundant) was contrasted with two non-redundant text multimedia presentations: (1) narration paired with images and minimal text (Complementary) or (2) narration paired with minimal text (Sparse). Learners watched presentation pairs of either Redundant + Complementary, or Redundant + Sparse. Results demonstrate that Complementary and Sparse presentations produced highest overall performance on the final comprehension assessment, but the Redundant presentation produced highest perceived understanding and engagement ratings. These findings suggest that learners misperceive the benefits of redundant text, even after direct exposure to a non-redundant, effective presentation.
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