The negative impact of media diversity on self-regulated learning strategies and cognitive load

Christopher Lange, Jamie Costley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Quality of instruction within media-rich environments is an important aspect of the online learning process. Instructors need to avoid the presentation of confusing content caused by diverse forms of media, which can induce higher levels of extraneous processing and negatively affect germane cognitive load. Maintaining high levels of germane load is imperative for student success in e-learning, as germane load directly contributes to learning through the processing of relevant information. One approach that students may take to manage diverse forms of media is to regulate their effort, as past research has shown that high levels of effort not only positively contribute to learning, but also aid students in effectively overcoming distractions within the online learning environment. However, because extraneous processing caused by distracting media has such a negative influence on learning, it is hypothesised in this study that media diversity negatively moderates the relationship between self-regulated effort and germane load. This study analysed survey responses from a group of university students (N = 2363) who participated in online learning classes in South Korea and looked at the moderating effects of media diversity on the relationship between self-regulated effort and germane load. The results showed that as media diversity increased, the strength of the relationship between self-regulated effort and germane load decreased. A review of the extant research is provided along with analytical explanations as to why the results of this study show that self-regulated effort is not enough to overcome confusing content from media diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-179
Number of pages22
JournalIssues in Educational Research
Volume29
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 19 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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