mobile icon

Metacognitive influences on learning with multimedia

Working group: Multiple Representations Lab

Project Duration

11/2013 - 05/2016


IWM budget resources


This project aimed at investigating how thinking about the own learning and understanding influences learning with multimedia. The underlying assumption was that when students, for instance, prepare for an exam, they usually study materials until their desired level of understanding is reached; that is, students usually stop studying as soon as they believe that they learned sufficiently so that they would be able to perform well in the exam. When students learn with text and (colorful) pictures as opposed to learning with just text, they might be more prone to stop studying early, because the materials seem easy to understand (cf. multimedia heuristic; Serra & Dunlosky, 2010). Students are more confident regarding their own learning and understanding. Thus, multimedia can result in a lower invested mental effort, which can be detrimental to the study success (i.e., less well prepared for exam). Accordingly, the aims of this project were to identify whether and when multimedia leads to higher confidence in learning, and whether this is indeed detrimental to the study success. Moreover, interventions were tested that might increase the invested mental effort when learning with multimedia, and therefore foster successful studying.


Eitel, A., Benito, S. M., & Scheiter, K. (2017). Do it twice! Test-taking fosters repeated but not initial study of multimedia instruction. Learning and Instruction, 52, 36-45.

Eitel, A. (2016). How repeated studying and testing affects multimedia learning: Evidence for adaptation to task demands. Learning and Instruction, 41, 70-84.