mobile icon

Validation and reactivation processes in learning with texts and pictures

WorkgroupMultiple Representations
FundingDeutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Project description

Learning with texts and pictures, so-called multimedia material, plays a central role in different learning contexts (e.g. school). While the positive effect of text-picture combinations on learning success has been demonstrated frequently, the underlying cognitive processes have received less attention so far. Therefore, the project focuses on the cognitive processes in learning with text-picture combinations. We aim to further develop existing theories and to derive supportive measures for learners.

In the current project, we draw on theories from a related field of research, namely text comprehension research. Text comprehension research postulates, among other aspects, three processes that are relevant to text comprehension: Integration, validation, and reactivation. The project focuses on the processes of validation and reactivation. The validation process checks whether the integration of textual information with already existing knowledge makes sense against the background of general world knowledge and the specific context. The reactivation process, on the other hand, reactivates information that is no longer available in working memory but is needed to establish connections. It is assumed that both the validation and the reactivation process are of automatic nature.

In order to investigate whether these two processes also play a role in learning with text-picture combinations, we apply different experimental paradigms, such as the Stroop effect or the Fan effect, to learning with text-picture combinations. Special attention is paid to whether validation and reactivation processes can also be automatic in learning with multimedia, which one would expect based on memory-related text processing theories, or whether they are exclusively active processes controlled by the learners, which one would expect based on multimedia theories (Mayer, 2021).


Schüler, A., & Frick, P. (2024). Do passive cross-modal validation processes occur when processing multimedia materials? Learning and Instruction, 93, Article 101956. Open Access


PD Dr. Anne Schüler PD Dr. Anne Schüler
Tel.: +49 7071 979-341

Project team

Pauline Frick