Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Instructional Design and Technology

Committee Director

Tian Luo

Committee Member

John W. Baaki

Committee Member

Doris Bolliger


Multimedia principles are developed and employed to design effective multimedia instructions that foster learning. Specifically, multimedia principles such as personalization, voice, and embodiment principles are developed based on social cues to promote deep learning. Most researchers in the past have investigated the individual effects of these principles on learning. The goal of the present study was to investigate the additive effects of these abovementioned principles on learners’ perceived cognitive load, emotions, attitude, and learning outcomes (i.e. retention and transfer of knowledge). Sixty college students participated in this study. Participants were asked to complete two short instructional modules and a short learning assessment after each module. Additionally, they were asked to complete a NASA Task Load Index (TLX) questionnaire, emotion assessment, and attitude questionnaire. The results suggested that non-personalized instructions lead to higher cognitive load than the personalized instructions. Participants in the personalized voice with embodiment condition had the least feelings of disgust when learning the information and had highest retention scores. Additionally, personalized voice narrations were found to be detrimental for learning. However, if personalized voice narrations are used for instructional purposes, then it must be accompanied with an embodiment to foster learning and improve performance on transfer of knowledge. The findings of this study could be used to improve the design of the multimedia instructions that are effective in fostering learning.


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