Reading Subtitles and Taking Enotes While Learning Scientific Materials in a Multimedia Environment: Cognitive Load Perspectives on EFL Students

November 6, 2016

subtitleThe present study investigated the effects of providing subtitles and taking enotes on cognitive load and performance. A total of 73 English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) undergraduates learned brain anatomy and cognitive functions through multimedia programs. We used a 2 (subtitle/no) x 2 (taking enotes/no) factorial design to test the following: (1) if cognitive demand would vary among different groups, and (2) if providing subtitles or taking enotes would facilitate learning. Four versions of multimedia materials had exactly the same content and differed only in the availability of subtitles or enote functions. The enote tool was designed for effective note-taking with regard to video/animation, making it possible to directly link notes to a specific scene. The results indicated that animation with subtitles groups help reduce cognitive load and increase performance. No significant differences were found in either cognitive load or post- performance for those who learned with or without taking enotes. Although previous studies suggest subtitles may lead to a split-attention effect for native learners, we found a dual-coding effect (or reverse split-attention effect) for EFL learners.

Journal of Educational Technology & Society