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Does instructional format really matter? Cognitive load theory, multimedia and teaching English Literature

Martin, Stewart


Stewart Martin


This article reports a quasi-experimental study on the effects of multimedia teaching and learning in English Literature--a subject which places high cognitive load on students. A large-scale study was conducted in 4 high-achieving secondary schools to examine the differences made to students' learning and performance by the use of multimedia and to relate this to different kinds of multimedia. Statistical significance and effect size calculations indicated that the equivalent of one grade level in General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) was associated with the use of advanced and integrated multimedia, and that this was stronger than the effects of schools and sex of the students. It was found that advanced multimedia software eased cognitive overload, particularly in the area of intrinsic cognitive load. Limitations of the study are drawn, including the needs to examine process variables and learner-related variables. Conclusions and implications for further research and for enhancing teaching and learning with multimedia are made.


Martin, S. (2012). Does instructional format really matter? Cognitive load theory, multimedia and teaching English Literature. Educational Research and Evaluation, 18(2), 125-152.

Publication Date 2012-02
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Educational research and evaluation
Print ISSN 1380-3611
Electronic ISSN 1744-4187
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 2
Pages 125-152
Keywords Education
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Educational research and evaluation on 23rd February 2012, available online:


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