An Aptitude-Treatment-Interaction-Approach on Motivation and Student's Self-Regulated Multimedia-Based Learning

Hermann Astleitner, Maria Koller


The goal of this study was to develop the research basics for identifying individual differences in multimedia learning and motivation. Within this study, the effects of implementing motivational design of instruction within multimedia-based learning were tested. Motivational design of instruction was related to the ARCS-model and resulted in using instructional strategies for increasing attention and relevance of the learning material. In addition, an aptitude-treatment-interaction (ATI)-approach was developed which connected motivational design of instruction to mental resources management, motivational processing, pre-motivation, motivation to learn, and knowledge acquisition. For testing the theoretical assumptions, there were four types of a multimedia-based instructional system implemented: One instructional system had no ARCS strategies, one had attention strategies, another had relevance strategies, and one finally had both attention and relevance strategies. Four groups of elementary school students (n = 68) had to learn with the different instructional systems. The effects of learning with these instructional systems were measured on motivation to learn and on knowledge acquisition. Pre-motivation (outcome-valences), pre-knowledge, and cognitive load represented aptitude- and process-variables. Results indicated that a combination of both attention and relevance strategies improved motivation to learn, especially for those students with low levels of pre-motivation. Pre-knowledge increased and cognitive load decreased knowledge acquisition. Finally, open research questions and methodological aspects are outlined. In addition, suggestions for the design of instructional multimedia are given.

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