Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Instructional Technology

Major Professor

James A. White, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ann E. Barron, Ed.D.

Committee Member

John M. Ferron, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas A. Sanocki, Ph.D.


technology affordances, learning, pedagogy, interactive, images


Few studies address the question of the technology-based instructional methods of visual patterns, so the overarching purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of three treatments on pattern recognition. Specifically, with a pretest-posttest control group experimental study, the effectiveness of three instructional strategies, a flicker treatment, a no-flicker treatment, and a comparison treatment, (groups respectively analyzing sequential displays of two similar images with and without a blank screen in between and simultaneous displays of two images), was compared based on recognition (memory) and classification (transfer) test scores. The group differences in learning effectiveness and efficiency were also measured by study duration, the number of incorrect responses and the number of trials. Pretest scores were taken as a covariate to equate the groups' prior knowledge.

College students (n=228) recruited from the liberal arts, science, and engineering programs in a Southeast university of the United States were randomly assigned to one of the three treatments. Their immediate learning was assessed with validated tests of recognition and classification, and their study time and response accuracy was tracked. All of the three groups learned and gained approximately an 80% accuracy rate in both posttests. An overall statistically significant difference was identified among the groups. In the classification test, both the flicker and comparison groups performed significantly better than the no-flicker group with small effect sizes. However, there were no significant differences among the groups in the recognition test. Moreover, the three groups demonstrated statistically significant differences in duration, number of incorrect responses, and number of trials.

The study results are consistent with generative learning and related theories and evidence. Outcome measures inform practitioners of potential effective methods and a validated instructional system while effect sizes indicate relatively small advantages at relatively high cost.