Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Gary J. Anglin


Given that students who are deaf face learning challenges as a result of delays in language acquisition and reading comprehension skills, educators presume that the use of multimedia will aid in comprehension of novel information as it does with hearing students. This study examined the impact of multimedia on comprehension and cognitive load for students who are deaf. More specifically, this study aimed to determine whether there is a significant difference in the learning comprehension and cognitive load of deaf students exposed to two multimedia formats, compared to students exposed to a single format. Research participants were 64 students recruited from the student population at an institution of higher learning for students who are deaf in eastern United States. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three instructional treatments: text-only, picture-plus-text, or picture-plus-sign language. Instructional treatments were developed into online instructional modules and delivered through a web-based learning management system. Statistical analysis of comprehension test scores found significant difference between picture-plus-text treatment and text-only treatment on learning comprehension; no statistical significance between text only and picture-plus-sign language and no statistical significance between picture-plus-text and picture-plus-sign language on learning comprehension. Statistical analysis of NASA-TLX scores found a significant difference between the text-only treatment and the picture-plus-text and between text-only treatment and picture-plus-sign language treatment on cognitive load; and no significant difference between picture-plus-text and picture-plus-sign language treatment on cognitive load.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)