6. Applying the Modality Principle: Present Words as Audio Narration Rather Than On-Screen Text

  1. Ruth Colvin Clark and
  2. Richard E. Mayer

Published Online: 4 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118255971.ch6

e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, Third Edition

e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, Third Edition

How to Cite

Clark, R. C. and Mayer, R. E. (2011) Applying the Modality Principle: Present Words as Audio Narration Rather Than On-Screen Text, in e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, Third Edition, Pfeiffer, San Francisco, CA, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118255971.ch6

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: 1 AUG 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470874301

Online ISBN: 9781118255971

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Keywords:

  • auditory channel;
  • cognitive channels;
  • e-learning;
  • graphics;
  • modality principle;
  • on-screen text;
  • visual channel

Summary

This chapter summarizes the empirical evidence for learning gains that result from using audio rather than on-screen text to describe graphics. To moderate this guideline, the chapter also describes a number of situations in which memory limitations require the use of text rather than audio. The psychological advantage of using audio presentation is a result of the incoming information being split across two separate cognitive channels—words in the auditory channel and pictures in the visual channel—rather than concentrating both words and pictures in the visual channel. What is new in the chapter is an update to the evidence reported in the second edition of e-learning and the science of instruction, including extensions of the modality principle to classroom contexts and supporting evidence from eye-tracking studies. The chapter presents a discussion of the boundary conditions for the modality principle—that is, the situations in which it applies most strongly.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

cognitive process; cognitive system; graphic design; learning