Integrating Multimedia Instructional Design Principles With Complex Physiological Concepts in Reproductive Science
This dissertation examines the effect of digital multimedia presentations as a method to teach complex concepts in reproductive physiology. The digital presentations developed for this research consisted of two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) animations, script-messaging and narration. The topics were "Mammalian Ovarian Follicular Dynamics", "The Physiology of the Menstrual Cycle", and "The Physiology of Parturition". In all four experiments, participants were randomly assigned to treatment groups and learning was measured with multiple-choice tests. Experiment 1 determined if type of animation impacted learning about the physiology of the menstrual cycle. The treatments were: 3-D and 2-D animation (n = 110), 2-D animation only (n = 109) and no animation (n = 108). All three presentations were 14 minutes. No treatment effects were found (p > 0.05), indicating that student performance was not influenced by animation type. In experiment 2, the influence of added narrative explanations about the physiology of parturition was determined. The delivery time for the two treatments was 14 minutes (n = 164) and 24 minutes (n = 157), respectively. There were no differences between treatment groups (p > 0.05), indicating that concise explanations were as effective as elaborate explanations. Experiment 3 determined the influence of a digital presentation on knowledge retention of follicular dynamics over the course of a semester. Treatments were: a digital presentation (n = 23) or a classroom lecture captured on video (n = 23). Students completed three tests during the semester. Students in the multimedia group outperformed students in the video lecture group on all three tests (p < 0.05). A fourth experiment determined if the multimedia modules could be effective for teaching physiological concepts to patients with varied educational backgrounds attending an Ob-Gyn clinic. Patients either read a booklet (n = 57) or viewed a multimedia presentation (n = 65) about parturition. Content was identical in each group. Patients in the multimedia group outperformed patients in the booklet group (p < 0.05). This set of four experiments indicates that digital multimedia presentations are effective for teaching complex concepts in reproductive physiology.