Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


In recent years, the number of online courses offered to students has increased. This increase brings the question of what format of online learning is the best for students. The purpose for this study was to investigate the effects of three asynchronous presentation formats on participant performance and engagement: slides with video-audio, slides with audio, and slides alone. We hypothesized significant differences among the formats in participant performance and engagement (best in video-audio format, worst in slides alone format). Participants (N=27) were randomly assigned to one of the three formats. Each format presented information about a fake island created by the research team. Participants completed a pre and post-exam on lesson content (performance measure) and an exit survey on engagement (engagement measure). ANOVA revealed significant differences in responses to two exit survey questions among formats, F(2,24)=4.0, p.<.05. LSD test showed that this difference was between the audio and videoaudio formats. This result indicates that participants in the audio format were more engaged in lesson content than those in the video-audio format. ANOVA found a significant difference between pre and postexam scores (F(1,24)=258.5, p.<.01), showing that the information presented effectively facilitated learning. No main effects for presentation formats or interaction with presentation formats were found, suggesting that the presentation formats were equally effective at facilitating learning. Overall, the results suggest that narration should either be included alone or not at all with textual presentations for maximized student performance and engagement. Additional results, implications, and limitations are discussed.