Gellevij, M., Van der Meij, H., De Jong, T. & Pieters, J.M. (2002). Multimodal versus Unimodal Instructions in a Complex Learning Context. Journal of Experimental Education, 70(3), 215-239.
This study examines whether users benefit more from a multimodal instruction (e.g., text + visuals) than from unimodal instructions in learn to use a complex software application. Forty-four students were given a textual manual or a multimodal one. During training cognitive load, and time and ability to recover from errors were measured. After training learning effects on trained and untrained tasks were assessed.
The results for cognitive load, training time, and learning effects in the present study showed a superior performance for multimodal instruction which led to a stronger mental model of the computer program, improved identification of window elements and objects, and which speeded up the location of window elements and objects.
Note: Publications in 2002 with Mark Gellevij as first author can be accessed by downloading Marks PhD Thesis which includes these papers. The address is: