Affordances of External Representations in Instructional Design: The Effect of Narrative and Imagery in Learning. Metadata

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  • Main Title Affordances of External Representations in Instructional Design: The Effect of Narrative and Imagery in Learning.


  • Author: Wu, Yan
    Creator Type: Personal


  • Chair: Turner, Philip M., 1948-
    Contributor Type: Personal
    Contributor Info: Major Professor
  • Committee Member: O'Connor, Brian Clark
    Contributor Type: Personal
  • Committee Member: Warren, Scott J.
    Contributor Type: Personal


  • Name: University of North Texas
    Place of Publication: Denton, Texas


  • Creation: 2008-12
  • Digitized: 2009-08-31


  • English


  • Content Description: Consisting of both theoretical and empirical inquires, this study examines the primary functions of narrative and the relationship between narrative and mental imagery. The study proposes a new framework to interpret semiotic resources. Combining this with the linguistic functional theory of Halliday (1978), a functional method to empirically investigate semiotic representations was also developed. In the empirical inquiry, the study developed a latent construct method to empirically test the effects of narrative in a real learning situation. This study is the first to investigate the functional relationship between narrative and mental imagery, and among the first to suggest a theory and empirically investigate representations of a multimodal nature. The study is also among the first to use latent constructs to investigate the learning experience in a real educational setting. Data were collected from 190 library professionals who enrolled in three sections (two in narrative and one in plain text) of an online course administered through Vista 4.0 and who completed the course and responded to several instruments. Essay data (n = 82 x 2) were analyzed using content analysis based on the narrative analysis framework developed. Quantitative data analysis methods include univariate data analysis, factor analysis, and structural equation modeling that tests the proposed model and verifies the relationships between the latent variables. Overall, the findings support the hypotheses about the functional effects of narrative identified, and narrative is found to provide a favorable and positive learning context which is tested by the proposed model of learning experience measured by several latent constructs (X2 = 31.67, df = 47, p = .9577, RMSEA = .00, SRMR = .047, NNFI = 1.05, CFI = 1.00, and GFI = .94). The results indicate that participants who enrolled in the narrative sections of the course gained higher creative scores and showed better results in performance-based and attribution-based experiences. The model testing results indicate that even though more time spent during learning led to better outcome and performance in both groups, more time spent means more satisfaction for the individuals in the narrative group, but led to less satisfaction for the individuals in the non-narrative group.


  • Keyword: learning experience
  • Keyword: Semiotic resources (analysis)
  • Keyword: semiosis
  • Keyword: narrative and imagery
  • Keyword: multimodal representation
  • Keyword: latent constructs
  • Keyword: creativity evaluation
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings: Instructional systems -- Design.
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings: Narration (Rhetoric)
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings: Imagery (Psychology)
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings: Learning, Psychology of.


  • Name: UNT Theses and Dissertations
    Code: UNTETD


  • Name: UNT Libraries
    Code: UNT


  • Rights Access: public
  • Rights License: copyright
  • Rights Holder: Wu, Yan
  • Rights Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

Resource Type

  • Thesis or Dissertation


  • Text


  • OCLC: 438036151
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc9718


  • Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
  • Degree Level: Doctoral
  • Degree Discipline: Information Science
  • Academic Department: College of Information, Library Science, and Technologies
  • Degree Grantor: University of North Texas