Supporting Visual and Verbal Learning Preferences in a Second-Language Multimedia Learning Environment

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English-speaking college students who were enrolled in a German course read a 762-word German language story presented by a computer program. For key words in the story, students could choose to see a translation on the screen in English (i.e., verbal annotation) or view a picture or video clip representing the word (i.e., visual annotation), or both. Students remembered word translations better when they had selected both visual and verbal annotations during learning than only 1 or no annotation students comprehended the story better when they had the opportunity to receive their preferred mode of annotation. Results are consistent with a generative theory of multimedia learning that assumes that learners actively select relevant verbal and visual information, organize the information into coherent mental representations, and integrate these newly constructed visual and verbal representations with one another.

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