Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Forde, Connie

Committee Member

Olinzock, Anthony

Committee Member

Davis, James

Committee Member

Du, Jianxia

Committee Member

Newman, Michael

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Instructional Systems and Workforce Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development


The purpose of this study was to examine the use of instructional design when considering the principles of cognitive load theory in traditional classroom instruction. The treatment group (N=31) was designed with a focus on two principles of cognitive load theory—multiple representation and contiguity. The multiple representation principle included text and pictures rather than spoken words and contiguity presented words and pictures simultaneously through multimedia video. The control group (N=26) did not focus on cognitive load theory principles and was discussion or text only—no multimedia video. This study was conducted using a pretest and posttest control group design and demographic survey. The participants consisted of students from an undergraduate computer applications class that was used to meet computer literacy requirements. The same instructor taught both instructional design methods in the traditional classroom setting. The major finding that there was a significant difference in achievement based on the instruction mode (integration of video vs. no integration of video) was constant across all variables in favor of the treatment group. Again, the control group had a mean posttest score of 80.58, and the treatment group had a mean posttest score of 84.48. The groups were significantly different based on the posttest exam, t = 3.28, p < .01. The treatment group scored significantly higher than the control group. The research also examined the relationships among the posttest scores and the various demographic variables. No meaningful relationships were identified. All associations were in the very low (less than .20) or low (.20-.39) level.