Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Terence C. Ahern

Committee Co-Chair

Daniel Hursh


The goals of this research study were to gain a better understanding of the effects of color and animation on visual short-term memory (STM) in computer-environment learning tasks. The research methodology was based on an investigative design that attempted to address weaknesses of previous visual STM research (Klauer & Zhao, 2004) to provide information readily applicable to instructional design and technology. A 3 x 2 x 3 totally-within participants, repeated-measures Factorial Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) design was utilized to investigate limitations on visual short-term memory learning processes in computer-learning environments. Participant scores for accuracy of visual learning tasks and participant latency in responses to visual learning tasks were measured. Findings suggest achromatic color information interferes with visual STM learning tasks in specific contexts. Findings also suggest that the use of animations in visual STM learning tasks may interfere with complex visual STM learning. Numerous questions are raised for further research utilizing experimental designs that focus on visual STM learning tasks in contrast to designs that focus solely on identifying visual STM parameters.;Keywords. Computer aided instruction; Computer based instruction; Double dissociations; Dual coding; Multimedia learning theory; Information processing, Instructional design, Phonological loop, Short-term memory, Visual and spatial short-term memory, Visual stimuli, Visuospatial sketch pad, Working memory.