The Effects of Lecture Diversity on Germane Load

Keywords: e-learning, cognitive load, germane load, lecture delivery, MOOCs, multimedia, video lectures


An important aspect of MOOCs is the way students interact with video lectures. Instruction provided through video lectures should focus on ways to increase germane cognitive load, which directly contributes to learning. One approach that may lead to an increase of germane load may be to use video lectures with diverse forms of media, including both auditory and visual aspects of multimedia. This study surveyed a group of students (n = 1602) who participated in MOOC-like courses in South Korea to investigate the relationship between delivery diversity and germane cognitive load. Additionally, the relationships between individual indicators of both audio and visual aspects of multimedia and germane load were examined. Results show a positive relationship between diverse media delivery (auditory, visual, and total media) and germane cognitive load. The implication of these results are important for instructors who wish to promote a better understanding of e-learning materials through the delivery of content by using diverse forms of media.

Author Biographies

Jamie Costley

Jamie Costley is a visiting professor in the Department of English Education at Kongju National University in South Korea, where he also earned his PhD in Instructional Design. Dr. Costley has been involved in teaching students in blended learning situations and researching effective online instructional strategies since 2010. His main area of research is the impact of task or learning environment design on student-to-student interaction. Dr. Costley is currently involved in research into improving instruction in online classes in South Korea, and welcomes contact on this topic. He can be reached at:

Christopher Henry Lange, Joongbu University
Christopher Lange is a visiting professor in the Liberal Arts department at Joongbu University in South Korea. He has collaboratively published papers on group work and e-learning environments. His current research interests are effects of interaction within online learning environments. Furthermore, he is interested in investigating ways of improving online instruction, design, and delivery to better address the needs of e-learning students. He has a Master’s of Education degree from Kongju National University in South Korea, and is currently enrolled in the PhD program there. He can be reached by email at  
How to Cite
Costley, J., & Lange, C. (2017). The Effects of Lecture Diversity on Germane Load. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(2).
Research Articles