Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Learning and Instruction


Learning & Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Mathew Mitchell

Second Advisor

Kevin Oh

Third Advisor

Susan Prion


Many teachers create multimedia resources for their students, but most are uncertain as to what factors to consider regarding the design of multimedia instructional materials. Prior research identified instructional design principles for multimedia including the coherence principle and voice principle.

The purpose of this study was to test the coherence principle in a realistic setting using a heterogeneous group of ninth grade students in a humanities course to determine the effect of seductive details on retention and problem-solving transfer. To extend understanding of the voice principle, this study examined the effect of the teacher’s voice on student learning as measured by retention and problem-solving transfer. Additionally, the study explored the relationship between prior knowledge, retention, and problem-solving transfer.

Accordingly, the study, a 2 x 2 factorial design used a convenience sample of 134 ninth grade students enrolled in a Christian Sexuality course in an urban, co-ed high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Students were randomly assigned to one of four groups for the four multimedia packages delivered over a month: No Seductive Details/Teacher Voice, No Seductive Details/Different Teacher Voice, Seductive Details/ Teacher Voice, or Seductive Details/ Different Teacher Voice. Students completed a prior knowledge inventory first and a retention inventory and problem-solving transfer inventory after each multimedia package.

Eight two-way ANOVAs were conducted to determine differences in performance between the groups. One statistically significant main effect for the seductive details condition, F(1, 121) = 4.32, p < .05 , d = 0.36 , was observed for problem-solving transfer in Video 1. In contrast to prior research conducted in laboratory settings, there was no seductive details effect observed. No statistically significant differences for voice were observed, but the descriptive statistics revealed a trend of improving scores for both retention and transfer for different teacher voice suggesting that social agency theory does not explain previous voice principle research. Prior knowledge was positively associated with transfer for teacher’s voice and with retention with different teacher’s voice.