In formal schooling, there is a marked tendency to present the majority of information in language, specifically in printed text. Many students for whom language is not a particular strength thus face persistent barriers not experienced by others. The experimental studies on the option of illustrating key concepts non-linguistically listed here span a range of media. There is extensive research to support the representation of information through a variety of formats: video, diagram, image, music, animation, and more. The scholarly reviews and opinion pieces provide more classroom-based perspectives on the importance of using a range of media to convey content to students.
Experimental and Quantitative Evidence
Anderson, D. R., Fite, K. V., Petrovich, N., & Hirsch, J. (2006). Cortical activation while watching video montage:An fMRI study. Media Psychology, 8(1), 7-24.
Babbitt, B. C., & Miller, S. P. (1996). Using hypermedia to improve the mathematics problem-solving skills of students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29(4), 391-401, 412.
Bodemer, D., Ploetzner, R., Bruchmuller, K., & Hacker, S. (2005). Supporting learning with interactive multimedia through active integration of representations. Instructional Science, 33(1), 73-95.
Bodemer, D., Ploetzner, R., Feuerlein, I., & Spada, H. (2004). The active integration of information during learning with dynamic and interactive visualisations. Learning & Instruction, 14(3), 325-341.
Boone, R., & Higgins, K. (1993). Hypermedia basal readers: Three years of school-based research. Journal of Special Education Technology, 12(2), 86-106.
Bottge, B. A., & Hasselbring, T. S. (1993). A comparison of two approaches for teaching complex, authentic mathematics problems to adolescents in remedial math classes. Exceptional Children, 59(6), 556-566.
Butler, F. M., Miller, S. P., Crehan, K., Babbitt, B., & Pierce, T. (2003). Fraction instruction for students with mathematics disabilities: Comparing two teaching sequences. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 18(2), 99-111.
Calvert, S. L., & Billingsley, R. L. (1998). Young children's recitation and comprehension of information presented by songs. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 19(1), 97-108.
Carlson, R., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2003). Learning and understanding science instructional material. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(3), 629-640.
Cennamo, K. S. (1993). Learning from video: Factors influencing learners' preconceptions and invested mental effort. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 41(3), 33-45.
Center, Y., Freeman, L., Robertson, G., & Outhred, L. (1999). The effect of visual imagery training on the reading and listening comprehension of low listening comprehenders in year 2. Journal of Research in Reading, 22(3), 241-256.
Chun, D. M., & Plass, J. L. (1996). Facilitating reading comprehension with multimedia. System, 24(4), 503-519.
Doty, D. E., Popplewell, S. R., & Byers, G. O. (2001). Interactive CD-ROM storybooks and young readers' reading comprehension. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 33(4), 374-384.
Dubois, M., & Vial, I. (2000). Multimedia design: The effects of relating multimodal information. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 16(2), 157-165.
Filippatou, D., & Pumfrey, P. D. (1996). Pictures, titles, reading accuracy and reading comprehension: A research review (1973-95). Educational Research, 38(3), 259-291.
Furnham, A., De Siena, S., & Gunter, B. (2002). "Children's and adults' recall of children's news stories in both print and audio-visual presentation modalities": Correction. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16(2), 191-210.
Gambrell, L. B., & Jawitz, P. B. (1993). Mental imagery, text illustrations, and children's story comprehension and recall. Reading Research Quarterly, 28(3), 256-276.
Gentry, M. M., Chinn, K. M., & Moulton, R. D. (2005). Effectiveness of multimedia reading materials when used with children who are deaf. American Annals of the Deaf, 149(5), 394-403.
Gerlic, I., & Jausovec, N. (1999). Multimedia: Differences in cognitive processes observed with EEG. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47(3), 5-14.
Grace-Martin, M. (2001). How to design educational multimedia: A "loaded" question. Journal of Educational Multimedia & Hypermedia, 10(4), 397-409.
Hari Narayanan, N., & Hegarty, M. (2002). Multimedia design for communication of dynamic information.International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 57(4), 279-315.
Hegarty, M., Narayanan, N. H., & Freitas, P. (2002). Understanding machines from multimedia and hypermedia presentations. In J. Otero, J. A. Leon & A. C. Graesser (Eds.), The psychology of science text comprehension. (pp.357-384). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Holmes, B. C. (1987). Children's inferences with print and pictures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79(1), 14-18.
Houts, P. S., Doak, C. C., Doak, L. G., & Loscalzo, M. J. (2006). The role of pictures in improving health communication: A review of research on attention, comprehension, recall, and adherence. Patient Education & Counseling, 61(2), 173-190.
Innes Helsel, F. K., H., H. J., Miller, G., Malinow, A., & Murray, E. (2006). Identifying evidence-based, promising and emerging practices that use screen-based technology to teach mathematics in grades K-8: A research synthesis. CITEd Research Center. Retrieved February 3, 2009 from http://www.cited.org/index.aspx?page_id=24&resource_id=302.
Jones, L. C., & Plass, J. L. (2002). Supporting listening comprehension and vocabulary acquisition in French with multimedia annotations. The Modern Language Journal, 86(4), 546-561.
Kalyuga, S., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1999). Managing split-attention and redundancy in multimedia instruction.Applied cognitive psychology, 13(4), 351-371.
Kamil, M., Intrator, S., & Kim, H. (2000). The effects of other technologies on literacy and literacy learning. In M. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, P. Pearson & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (pp. 771-788). Mahwah, NJ:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Koroghlanian, C., & Klein, J. D. (2004). The effect of audio and animation in multimedia instruction. Journal of Educational Multimedia & Hypermedia, 13(1), 23-46.
Kozma, R. (2003). The material features of multiple representations and their cognitive and social affordances for science understanding. Learning & Instruction, 13(2), 205-226.
Leahy, W., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2003). When auditory presentations should and should not be a component of multimedia instruction. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17(4), 401-418.
Lee, Y., Park, S., Kim, M., Son, C., & Lee, M. (2005). The effects of visual illustrations on learners' achievement and interest in PDA (personal digital assistant) based learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 33(2), 137-791.
Levie, W. H., & Lentz, R. (1982). Effects of text illustrations: A review of research. Educational Communication & Technology Journal, 30(4), 195-232.
Lewalter, D. (2003). Cognitive strategies for learning from static and dynamic visuals. Learning & Instruction, 13(2), 177-189.
Lowe, R. (2004). Interrogation of a dynamic visualization during learning. Learning & Instruction, 14(3), 257-274.
Lowe, R. K. (2003). Animation and learning: Selective processing of information in dynamic graphics. Learning & Instruction, 13(2), 157-176.
Matthew, K. (1997). A comparison of the influence of interactive CD-ROM storybooks and traditional print storybooks on reading comprehension. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 29(3), 263-275.
Mayer, R. E. (2001). Multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. E. (2002). Using illustrations to promote constructivist learning from science text. In J. Otero, J. Leon & A. C. Graesser (Eds.), The psychology of science text comprehension (pp. 333-356). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Mayer, R. E. (1997). Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions? Educational Psychologist, 32(1), 1-19.
Mayer, R. E., & Anderson, R. B. (1992). The instructive animation: Helping students build connections between words and pictures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(4), 444-452.
Mayer, R. E., Heiser, J., & Lonn, S. (2001). Cognitive constraints on multimedia learning: When presenting more material results in less understanding. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 187-198.
Mayer, R. E., & Sims, V. K. (1994). For whom is a picture worth a thousand words? Extensions of a dual-coding theory of multimedia. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(3), 389-401.
Mayer, R. E. (2003). The promise of multimedia learning: Using the same instructional design methods across different media. Learning & Instruction, 13(2), 125-139.
McClean, P., Johnson, C., Rogers, R., Daniels, L., Reber, J., Slator, B. M., et al. (2005). Molecular and cellular biology animations: Development and impact on student learning. Cell Biology Education, 4(2), 169-179.
Paas, F., Van Gerven, P. W. M., & Wouters, P. (2007). Instructional efficiency of animation: Effects of interactivity through mental reconstruction of static frames. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21(6), 783-793.
Plass, J. L., Chun, D. M., Mayer, R. E., & Leutner, D. (2003). Cognitive load in reading a foreign language text with multimedia aids and the influence of verbal and spatial abilities. Computers in Human Behavior, 19(2), 221-243.
Reimer, K., & Moyer, P. S. (2005). Third-graders learn about fractions using virtual manipulatives: A classroom study. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 24(1), 5-25.
Research Center, Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd). K-8 screen-based technology to support mathematics. Retrieved February 3, 2009 from http://www.cited.org/index.aspx?page_id=86.
Research Center, Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd). Multimedia technologies. Retrieved February 3, 2009 from http://www.cited.org/index.aspx?page_id=141.
Research Center, Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd). Supporting students in mathematics through the use of manipulatives. Retrieved February 3, 2009 from http://www.cited.org/index.aspx?page_id=13.
Rice, M. L. (1990). Words from "Sesame Street": Learning vocabulary while viewing. Developmental Psychology, 26(3), 421-428.
Rieber, L. P., Tzeng, S. C., & Tribble, K. (2004). Discovery learning, representation, and explanation within a computer-based simulation: Finding the right mix. Learning & Instruction, 14, 307-323.
Schnotz, W., & Rasch, T. (2005). Enabling, facilitating, and inhibiting effects of animations in multimedia learning:Why reduction of cognitive load can have negative results on learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(3), 47-58.
Schnotz, W., & Bannert, M. (2003). Construction and interference in learning from multiple representation.Learning & Instruction, 13(2), 141-156.
Schwan, S., & Riempp, R. (2004). The cognitive benefits of interactive videos: Learning to tie nautical knots.Learning & Instruction, 14(3), 293-305.
Shephard, K. (2003). Questioning, promoting and evaluating the use of streaming video to support student learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 34(3), 295-308.
Trushell, J., Maitland, A., & Burrell, C. (2003). Pupils' recall of an interactive storybook on CD-ROM: Inconsiderate interactive features and forgetting. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 19(1), 80-89.
Twyman, T., & Tindal, G. (2006). Using a computer-adapted, conceptually based history text to increase comprehension and problem-solving skills of students with disabilities. TAM Board Members, 21(2), 5-16.
Walma Van Der Molen, J.H., & Van Der Voort, T. H. A. (2000). The impact of television, print, and audio on children's recall of the news. Human Communication Research, 26(1), 3-36.
Weiss, I., Kramarski, B., & Talis, S. (2006). Effects of multimedia environments on kindergarten children's mathematical achievements and style of learning. Educational Media International, 43(1), 3-17.
Winn, W., Berninger, V., Richards, T., Aylward, E., Stock, P., Lee, Y. L., et al. (2006). Effects of nonverbal problem solving treatment on skills for externalizing visual representation in upper elementary grade students with and without dyslexia. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 34(4), 381-404.
Xin, J. F., & Rieth, H. (2001). Video-assisted vocabulary instruction for elementary school students with learning disabilities. Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual, 1, 87-103.
Scholarly reviews and expert opinions
Ainsworth, S., & VanLabeke, N. (2004). Multiple forms of dynamic representation. Learning & Instruction, 14(3), 241-255.
Alvermann, D. E., & Hagood, M. C. (2000). Critical media literacy: Research, theory, and practice in "New Times." Journal of Educational Research, 93(3), 193-205.
Astleitner, H., & Wiesner, C. (2004). An integrated model of multimedia learning and motivation. Journal of Educational Multimedia & Hypermedia, 13(1), 3-21.
Bean, T. W. (2000). ReWrite: A music strategy for exploring content area concepts. Reading Online. Retrieved February 3, 2009 from http://www.readingonline.org/articles/art_index.asp?HREF=bats/index.html.
Bousted, M., & Ozturk, A. (2004). "It came alive outside my head." Developing literacies through comparison: The reading of classic text and moving image. Literacy, 38(1), 52-57.
Carnahan, C. R. (2006). Photovoice: Engaging children with autism and their teachers. Teaching Exceptional Children, 39(2), 44-54.
Carney, R. N., & Levin, J. R. (2002). Pictorial illustrations still improve students' learning from text. Educational Psychology Review, 14(1), 5-26.
Caspi, A., Gorsky, P., & Privman, M. (2005). Viewing comprehension: Students' learning preferences and strategies when studying from video. Instructional Science, 33(1), 31-47.
Clark, R. C., & Lyons, C. (2004). Graphics for learning: Proven guidelines for planning, designing, and evaluating visuals in training materials. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Considine, D. M. (1986). Visual literacy & children's books: An integrated approach. School Library Journal, 33(1), 38-42.
Dethier, B. (1991). Using music as a second language. English Journal, 80(8), 72-76.
Edwards, C. P., & Willis, L. M. (2000). Integrating visual and verbal literacies in the early childhood classroom.Early Childhood Education Journal, 27(4), 259-265.
Flannery, M. C. (2006). Thinking in pictures. American Biology Teacher, 68(5), 299-303.
Goldman, S. R. (2003). Learning in complex domains: When and why do multiple representations help? Learning & Instruction, 13(2), 239-244.
Gyselinck, V., & Tardieu, H. (1999). The role of illustrations in text comprehension: What, when, for whom, and why? The Construction of Mental Representations during Reading. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Heba, G. (1997). HyperRhetoric: Multimedia, literacy, and the future of composition. Computers and Composition, 14(1), 19-44.
Hegarty, M. (2004). Dynamic visualizations and learning: Getting to the difficult questions. Learning & Instruction, 14, 343-351.
Hibbing, A. N., & Rankin-Erickson, J. L. (2003). A picture is worth a thousand words: Using visual images to improve comprehension for middle school struggling readers. Reading Teacher, 56(8), 758-770.
Kinzer, C. K., Gabella, M. S., & Rieth, H. J. (1994). An argument for using multimedia and anchored instruction to facilitate mildly disabled students' learning of literacy and social studies. Technology and Disability, 3(2), 117-128.
Labbo, L. D., Eakle, A. J., & Montero, M. K. (2002). Digital language experience approach: Using digital photographs and software as a language experience approach innovation. Reading Online. Retrieved February 3, 2009 from http://www.readingonline.org/electronic/elec_index.asp?HREF=labbo2/index....
Lapp, D., Flood, J., & Fisher, D. (1999). Intermediality: How the use of multiple media enhances learning. Reading Teacher, 52(7), 776-780.
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Animation as an aid to multimedia learning. Educational Psychology Review, 14(1), 87-99.
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Aids to computer-based multimedia learning. Learning & Instruction, 12(1), 107-119.
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 43-52.
Moore, D., & Taylor, J. (2000). Interactive multimedia systems for students with autism. Journal of Educational Media, 25(3), 169-177.
Nathan, M., & Robinson, C. (2001). Considerations of learning and learning research: Revisiting the "media effects" debate. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 12(1), 69-88.
Newkirk, T. (2006). Media and literacy: What's good? Educational Leadership, 64(1), 62-66.
Pailliotet, A. W., Semali, L., Rodenberg, R. K., Giles, J. K., & Macaul, S. L. (2000). Intermediality: Bridge to critical media literacy. Reading Teacher, 54(2), 208-219.
Park, I., & Hannafin, M. J. (1993). Empirically-based guidelines for the design of interactive multimedia.Educational Technology, Research and Development, 41(3), 63-85.
Parsons, J., & Cole, L. (2005). What do the pictures mean? Guidelines for experimental evaluation of representation fidelity in diagrammatical conceptual modeling techniques. Data & Knowledge Engineering, 55(3), 327-342.
Smith, J. L., & Herring, J. D. (1996). Literature alive: Connecting to story through the arts. Reading Horizons, 37(2), 102-115.
Stevens, R., & Palacio-Cayetano, J. (2003). Design and performance frameworks for constructing problem-solving simulations. Cell Biology Education, 2(3), 162-179.
Strangman, N., Hall, T. E., & Meyer, A. (2003). Virtual Reality/Simulations with UDL. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum.
Styles, M., & Arizpe, E. (2001). A gorilla with "grandpa's eyes": How children interpret visual texts--A case study of Anthony Browne's "Zoo". Children's Literature in Education, 32(4), 261-281.
Williams, T. R. (1993). Text or graphic: An information processing perspective on choosing the more effective medium. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 23(1), 33-52.
Wissick, C. A. (1996). Multimedia: Enhancing instruction for students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29(5), 494-503.