ITEC 800 Research Project
Video vs. Text
General Discussion

     During the course of this research study, I have read and reviewed many journal articles on Multimedia Learning. I have conducted searches for video in learning, text in learning, video vs. text in learning and many more variations of the subject matter. In most cases, whenever video is included, the results focus on Multimedia in some form or another. One of the most citied researchers is Richard E. Mayer of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Mayer found that “Multimedia learners can integrate words and pictures more easily when the words are presented auditorily rather than visually. This split-attention effect is consistent with a dual-processing model of working memory consisting of separate visual and auditory channels.”(13) See the prezi at the bottom of this page to view the Dual Processing Model. Mayer also authored a handbook for the Cambridge University Press titled “The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning”. From the introduction, “During the past 10 years, the field of multimedia learning has emerged as a coherent discipline with an accumulated research base that has never been synthesized and organized in a handbook. The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning constitutes the world’s first handbook devoted to comprehensive coverage of research and theory in the field of multimedia learning.” Most of the research and papers focus on “attempts to use technology to improve the quality of educational resources”(3). How and why this enhances knowledge and learning is the basis for much of the multimedia concepts that have been developed.


     In regards to my basic research question, the issue is about what the preference is of learner, which does not necessarily correlate to what the learner needs, or is the best format for learning. Learners will not always choose the best way to learn, but knowing what they would choose, can provide insight into student satisfaction and motivation. “Satisfaction is considered by some a construct of motivation. With leveraging technology as learning devices or delivering instruction through  online venues on the increase, designers or instructors may be easily tempted to employ multimedia instructional technology with negative consequences” (4) I suspect that the general belief that all online instruction must include video and multimedia content may be overstated.


     In the field of instructional design, John Keller is internationally recognized for his contributions in the area of motivational design for instruction.” The four categories of motivational variables are attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction”(19), and from these Keller formed the acronym ARCS.  The ARCS model includes a systematic, seven-step approach to embed motivational strategies into instruction and helps to support instructional design methodology. From this research, I determined that satisfaction with the style of instruction experienced in the past, should indicate what learners choose if they are given a choice. If a learner experienced positive outcomes from viewing videos to learn something, they would be more likely to self-select that form of instruction again. If a learner experienced positive outcomes from using text, or ‘reading’ the instructions to a task, then they would be more likely to self-select text instructions in the future. Additional research suggested that identifying learners’ temperaments may predict satisfaction, however; it was found that temperament was not a significant factor; therefore; temperament should not be a predictor of choice in multimedia instruction.


     Getting closer to a discussion of the use of video and learning, research has been conducted into the learning preferences of students with access to video instruction as part of their online learning experience. Again, no significant difference was found “no strong correlation between the viewing styles and pervasive personal traits of students was perceived”(4).


     Finally, I found some research on perceived uses of video by students. “Through a survey set out to a group of university students in a computer based course, this research reports the use and beliefs of using video instructions as a tool for learning that transcends the classroom. Findings show that students will refer to video instructions first before attempting any other form of online instruction.”(20)


From this survey:

Table 1: Students’ belief and preference of video instructions for learning



Std Dev

Video is better than on screen text/textbooks

 Learn better with video than without them

Video helps learning

 Video holds attention






 .172 .111



*5 point Likert scale based on 1-Absolutely No to 5-Absolutely Yes


Students’ preference on seeking information for learning


Std Dev

Textbook/On Screen text

 Online (non-video)



Video posted by lecturer

 Videos from Expert (Content/subject matter)

 Videos from YouTube








1.061 1.480 1.031 1.169 .159 .159 .188


*5 point Likert scale based on 1-Never to 5-Always



Students’ belief on the aspects of a "good” streaming video


Std Dev

Video resolution

 Visual Content

 Audio Content

 Subtitles (Caption)

 Fast loading

 Short duration







.794 .626 .915 .785 .679 .803



*5 point Likert scale based on 1-Absolutely No to 5 Absolutely Yes


     While the students’ belief in the superiority of video over Textbook/ On Screen text, would indicate what their choices might be, this is not a definitive study of what learners would choose in a specific situation.


     See What’s Next for conculussions.