Learners learn more from spatially separated text and pictures after they have been instructed to physically integrate these sources than without such an instruction. We investigated whether instructing learners to mentally integrate textual and pictorial information would yield similar results. Eighty-seven participants studied a picture with accompanying text about an electrical circuit. Text and picture were presented as spatially separated sources or in an integrated format. In the separated format, participants were instructed to use (1) a mental learning strategy, (2) a physical learning strategy, or (3) no learning strategy. Participants in the separated condition using a mental learning strategy and the integrated condition obtained higher recall and comprehension (but not causal inference) performance than participants in the separate conditions with the physicalor no learning strategy. This indicates that instructing learners to mentally integrate spatially separated text and pictures when studying split-attention material can be an effective learning strategy

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Contemporary Educational Psychology
Department of Psychology

de Koning, B.B, Rop, G, & Paas, G.W.C. (2020). Learning from split-attention materials: Effects of teaching physical and mental learning strategies. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 61. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/128039