Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Learning and Instruction


Learning & Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Busk

Second Advisor

Mathew Mitchell

Third Advisor

Sarah Capitelli


Elementary-school teachers are faced with the responsibility of finding the most effective ways to educate their students using multimedia approaches. The use of instruction with visuals and audio has resulted in positive learning outcomes on retention and transfer tasks for junior-high and high-school students. This approach that results in the modality principle has been tested less frequently in elementary-aged students.

The purpose of this study was to examine two different multimedia instructional approaches to investigate which condition offers beneficial learning outcomes through recall and transfer assessments during a lesson on different types of energy in fourth-grade classrooms using a Powerpoint® presentation. In addition, reading-comprehension levels were studied to investigate how students with varying reading levels performed on recall and transfer tasks when presented with an audio or visual presentation. The independent variables were the method of instruction including visuals with auditory information and visuals with written text and reading-comprehension scores from a previous assessment. The dependent variables were student performance on recall and transfer assessments.

Results from the study were not statistically significant for the method of

multimedia instruction overall on both dependent variables and for three different reading levels. Students who received multimedia instruction with visuals and written text and with visuals and audio performed similarly on recall and transfer tasks.

Results suggested that both methods of multimedia instruction, visuals with text and visuals with audio, can be used in elementary-school classrooms with similar outcomes on recall and transfer tasks. These results translate to students at different reading levels as well. When teachers are preparing or choosing lessons for elementary-aged students, a visual text or audio approach may benefit their students in similar ways.