Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Roger Azevedo

Committee Member

Richard A. Dale

Committee Member

Elizabeth B. Meisinger


This dissertation project used 80 undergraduate students to examine the effectiveness of three forms of facilitation in hypermedia learning with text and diagrams about the human circulatory system: 1) signaling key terms, 2) prompted referencing of diagrammatic representations, and 3) integration scaffolding which provided facilitation in locating corresponding components within diagrams. These three experimental manipulations were compared to a control condition in which learners used the same hypermedia learning environment, without any facilitative feature in coordinating between text and diagrams. Two measures captured differences in learning: 1) a multiple choice pretest and posttest of declarative and conceptual knowledge and 2) a diagram interpretation task requiring learners to use diagrams to explain their understanding of the circulatory system. Eye-tracking measures and concurrent think-aloud protocols were collected during the 20-minute learning sessions to provide process measures of students' learning and a self-report cognitive load measure was administered immediately after the learning session. Results indicated that the integration scaffolding condition led to higher posttest scores on the multiple choice measure, but no significant differences were detected for the diagram interpretation task. Eye-tracking results demonstrated that the integration scaffolding condition had a higher number of and a higher total duration of fixations on relevant areas within the diagrams. The relevant areas represent diagrammatic representations corresponding to the textual referents within the accompanying text. Additionally, these learners spent a significantly larger proportion of their time inspecting diagrams looking at the relevant areas of the diagrams and a significantly larger proportion of these learners' fixations were on relevant areas. Analyses of learners' self-regulated learning processes, based on concurrent think-aloud protocols, indicated that the integration scaffolding condition also generated more correct summarizations than the remaining groups. The self-report cognitive load measure failed to reveal any differences among the learning conditions. Taken together, these results provide support for models of text-picture integration (Mayer, 2005; Schnotz, 2005) and, to some extent, Cognitive Load Theory. Further, the experiment suggests that directing learners' attention to corresponding elements within text and diagrams can be an effective technique for facilitating the process of text-picture integration.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.