Attention cueing as a means to enhance learning from an animation



The question how animations should be designed so that learning is optimised, is still under discussion. Animations are often cognitively very demanding, resulting in decreased learning outcomes. In this study, we tried to prevent cognitive overload and foster learning by focusing the learners' attention to one element (i.e. process) of an animation using a cueing technique. Psychology students viewed an animation of the cardiovascular system and were subsequently given a comprehension test and a transfer test. One group studied the animation without a visual cue, while for another group a visual cue was added to the animation. Results indicated that cueing not only enhanced comprehension and transfer performance for cued information, but also for uncued information. It is concluded that cueing can be used as a technique to improve learning from an animation. Results are interpreted in terms of cognitive load theory (CLT). Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.