Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Instructional Design & Technology

Committee Director

Gary R. Morrison

Committee Member

Ginger S. Watson

Committee Member

Linda Bol


Video provides an increasingly valuable medium for delivery of instruction in a growing number of content areas. Growth of online instructional applications has been prompted by expansion of the Internet and video streaming technology, adding to the need for design practices that produce more effective and efficient instructional videos. This study examined the use of signaling for multimedia to reduce cognitive overload and increase mental effort when learning mathematical concepts and procedures from instructional video. Signaling addresses the issue of directing the learner's attention by using visual or verbal cues that stress importance and organization (Mayer, 2009). Effectively signaled instructional videos could improve student learning by encouraging schema formation through increased mental effort, directed attention, and reduced cognitive load. Adding to the literature on signaling multimedia, signals were divided into categories of visual and verbal to investigate their individual value to the medium of instructional video.

Results of this study indicated that visual signaling provided a greater benefit to students learning mathematics from instructional video than verbal signaling. Specifically, test performance was improved when visual signals were included in video instruction, both with and without the use of verbal signals. Retention of knowledge, however, showed improvement when visual signaling was present, but not when visual and verbal signals were combined. There was also an increase found in the learner's perception of their performance indicating improved self-efficacy when visual signaling was employed, along with a decrease in frustration with the learning task. Mental demand, or cognitive load, reported by the learner, lessened with the application of visual signals, both with and without verbal signaling. Finally, learner interest in the instructional video showed a marked improvement with the addition of visual signals to the presentation.


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