Yue Ma

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hung, Wei-Chen||Hsu, Pi-Sui

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment


Distribution (Probability theory)--Computer-assisted instruction; Sampling (Statistics)--Computer-assisted instruction


This dissertation investigated the relationship of two types of visual presentations and their effects on college graduate students’ cognitive load performance and knowledge transfer. Richard Mayer’s Multimedia Design Model, John Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory and Allan Paivio’s Dual Coding Theory were used as the theoretical constructs for the research study. Robert Gagné’s events of instruction were used to design the computer program procedures. This research was generated from recent study results of computer animations. Those research studies provided inconclusive results on computer animations. Their focus was on whether animation and static visual displays could enhance learning outcome. Current debates are focused on knowledge transfer and retention, and disagreements still exist. Two computer programs were used in this study. One used computer animation to present the concept of sampling distribution, and the other one used static visual computer displays to present the key frames of the concept of sampling distribution. Sampling distribution simulation was originally developed by Rice University Statistics Lab. Permission to use the simulation was granted prior to the study. The independent variable was instructional strategy, either computer animation or static visual computer displays. The dependent variable was the knowledge transfer test. Three controlling variables were used in the study: prior knowledge, spatial orientation and visualization scores. Graduate students consisting of 112 individuals enrolled in an introductory statistical course and an educational research course at a Midwest university participated in the study. The research design incorporated animated visual display and static visual display of learning a statistical concept - sampling distribution as instructional message design strategies controlling for prior knowledge and spatial ability scores. Results indicated that students in the animation group had significantly higher knowledge transfer scores than those in the static visual group. Students in the animation group also had higher mental efficiency scores than those in the static visual group. Reliability and validity tests were performed and post hoc data analysis results again confirmed the original result that the computer animation group out-performed the static visual group on the knowledge transfer test.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 84-89)


v, 120 pages




Northern Illinois University

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