Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

James L. Moseley

Second Advisor

Gary R. Morrison


The focus of this study is to examine the effects of cognitive load theory, particularly the effects of redundancy and cueing, when learning from text and diagrams. A review of the literature on cognitive load and cueing is presented in three sections; the literature on split-attention and redundancy, studies investigating the modality effect, and literature of signaling or cueing related to performance and cognitive load in instructional design. In one experiment three hypotheses were tested; that novice participants would have lower cognitive load, higher recall and higher performance with a) cued text vs. plain text, b) audio text vs. visual text, and c) cued audio text vs. plain audio text. The study sought to confirm existing research on the effects of narration vs. written text on cognitive load, and to extend cognitive load research into the area of signaled text and narration. Although the results for the 3 hypotheses were not statistically significant, there was an indication of a practical trend supporting the effectiveness if cued audio text, where higher scores on the performance test were observed for these participants. Also, learner preferences were measured for the different text presentation methods, and a preference for cueing was strongly indicated, although no preference for audio text vs. visual text was identified. These findings contribute to the theory and practice surrounding the design and development of instruction; particularly instruction that is designed to be offered via the Internet, or web-based instruction. Further exploration into cued audio text, plain audio text, cued visual text and cued audio text, and their impact on cognitive load, recall and performance in instruction is a rich area for future research.