Media presentation mode, English listening comprehension and cognitive load in ubiquitous learning environments: Modality effect or redundancy effect?

Chi-Cheng Chang, Hao Lei, Ju-Shih Tseng


Although ubiquitous learning enhances students' access to learning materials, it is crucial to find out which media presentation modes produce the best results for English listening comprehension. The present study examined the effect of media presentation mode (sound and text versus sound) on English listening comprehension and cognitive load. Participants were 162 students majoring in Applied Foreign Language at a university in Taiwan. The students were randomly assigned to either single mode (sound) or double mode (sound and text). The research questions are (a) whether students learning with double mode outperformed students learning with single mode in listening comprehension; and (b) whether students learning with double mode encountered less cognitive load than students learning with single mode. If the answers to these questions are affirmative, then the modality effect occurs and the redundancy effect does not occur. The results demonstrated that (a) text significantly enhanced English listening comprehension and lowered cognitive load; (b) students with higher English listening comprehension experienced lower cognitive load, and vice versa; (c) text added no benefit to schema construction in long term memory; and (d) complex media presentations were not necessarily helpful to learning. Results (a) and (b) confirmed that the modality effect occurred, and the redundancy effect did not occur in the present study.

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