Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Richard T. Walls.


The present research study investigated the interaction of graphic design students with different forms of software training materials. Four versions of the procedural task instructions were developed (A) Traditional Textbook with Still Images, (B) Modified Text with Integrated Still Images, (C) Onscreen Modified Text with Silent Onscreen Video and (D) Onscreen Narrated Video for four computer tasks. Two research questions guided the study: Research Question 1: Are there any significant differences in student learning of a computer-based procedural task due to the format of the training materials? Research Question 2: Do individual differences in prior knowledge and spatial abilities make a significant difference in student learning? This study included quantitative research methods. The population for the study consisted of sophomore and junior graphics students enrolled in the Computer Applications in Graphics (GRAPHICS 1150) course in the Department of Graphics Technology at a Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College during the 2009 spring semester. One section had 8 participants and the other 11 (N=19). The six instruments used to collect data for this study were a Prior Knowledge pre-test, the MRT (a Mental Rotations Test), and 4 counterbalanced graphics image-manipulation tasks. The findings indicate that high spatial ability and high prior knowledge positively affected student's scores on the graphics image-manipulation tasks and that Training Condition B (Modified Text with Integrated Still Images) was a positive contributor to test scores on the counterbalanced image manipulation tasks. The participants experienced shorter task completion times for any task trained with the Modified Text with Integrated Still Images materials.