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Audio’s Effectiveness in the E-Learning Environment. WIKI PART 2. Audio in the E-Learning Environment. Presenting words in audio coupled with graphics, rather than on-screen text, results in significant learning gains. The Cognitive Theory of Learning.

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audio in the e learning environment
Audio in the E-Learning Environment
  • Presenting words in audio coupled with graphics, rather than on-screen text, results in significant learning gains
the cognitive theory of learning
The Cognitive Theory of Learning
  • People have separate information processing channels for visual/pictorial processing and auditory/verbal processing
  • Graphics and text process in the same channel and must compete for some limited visual attention
  • Presenting verbal explanations limits the load on the visual channel
why include audio
Why Include Audio?
  • When presented with text that is explaining attached graphics creates an overload on the visual/pictorial channel
  • The channel has to process both the text and the graphics
  • An overload on the visual channel can be avoided by replacing the text with an audio narration
  • E-Learning courses should avoid overloading when possible
why continued
Why? Continued…
  • Audio narrations give the learner the opportunity to view the graphic and listen to the explanation simultaneously using two different channels in the brain
  • This prevents an overloading of both channels
  • According to studies taken by Clark & Mayer (2008) when words were spoken explaining graphics rather than printed explanations only, students performed at a much higher rate
audio is effective
Audio is Effective

The Modality Effect

  • People learn more deeply from multimedia lessons when words explaining concurrent graphics are presented as speech rather than as on-screen text
  • For example this colony development graphic should be presented as speech instead of text only
audio is most effective when
Audio is Most Effective When…
  • The material being presented is complex and moving at a fast rate
  • Only when using text and graphics together


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2008). E-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumer and designer of multimedia learning. (2nd ed.) San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.