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Designing Multimedia Messages for Classroom Settings

Multimodal Interaction


April 2007 - June 2010


German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)


screenshotAs regards the presentation of verbal information in multimedia-based learning environments, different design principles were postulated of how to present the verbal text to the learner. Two of these principles are the modality principle and the redundancy principle. In terms of the modality principle the verbal information, which accompanies the pictures, should be presented auditorily and not visually. Concerning the redundancy principle, the verbal information should not be presented visually and auditorily, but only auditorily.
A problem regarding these principles consists in the empirical studies, which were often conducted in a laboratory context under very artificial conditions. Therefore, it is important to examine if these principles are also valid in more realistic contexts or if they are artefacts of the laboratory situation. To explore the ecological validity of these principles this project ought to examine the modality principle und the redundancy principle in classroom settings, in order to test how far they are moderated by academic relevant variables (e.g. self-monitoring, complex texts and cooperative learning scenarios).
We anticipated an invalidation of the mentioned principles under realistic learning environments, as visually presented text could be at the advantage (e.g. individual reading strategies, individual reading speed).
The project was part of the DFG research group "Orchestrating Computer-supported Processes of Learning and Instruction".


  • University of Tuebingen
  • University of Braunschweig


  • Schüler, A., Scheiter, K., Gerjets, P., & Rummer, R. (2008). The modality effect in multimedia learning: Theoretical and empirical limitations. In P. A. Kirschner, F. Prins, V. Jonker, & G. Kanselaar (Eds.), International Perspectives in the Learning Sciences: Cre8ing a learning world. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference for the Learning Sciences – ICLS 2008 (Vol. 2, pp. 311-318). International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc. (ISLS).