The junior research group "Multimedia" is part of the research center CATALPA.

Fall back on proven sources and strategies or try out new ways? Which learning strategy leads to the goal or which learning strategy is used by learners is highly individual. In interactive, multimedia learning, this decision plays an important role. The Multimedia Junior Research Group has set itself the goal of better understanding and utilizing these processes.

Goals and research questions

In interactive multimedia learning with modern web-based technologies, learners need to balance their time between (a) processing information from known sources by available strategies and (b) investing time in seeking potential new sources of information and trying new ways to process it. It is the exploration-exploitation dilemma, which is as one of the most fundamental problem of human control of action and learning. For a long time, transferring from laboratory paradigms to real-world task was a hard step to take. While the controlling of this balance had been unobservable in the times of paper-based libraries and learning, online-based learning allows to (1) experimentally manipulate candidate factors influencing the balance between exploration and exploitation in natural settings that nevertheless allow for high levels of experimental control and to (2) track learning processes and outcomes. This research group aims to scrutinize how learners control the exploration-exploitation dilemma. It further aims to provide the bases for adaptive support of learners by predicting which events alter their processing strategies.

  • Dr. Fang Zhao

  • April 2021 through June 2024

    • (21) Leh, A., Langhanns, C., Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Müller, H. (2022). Muscle activity in explicit and implicit sequence learning: Exploring additional measures of learning and certainty via tensor decomposition. Acta Psychologica.
    • (20) Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Wagner, I., & Schnotz, W., (2022). Lower grade students tend to give up early in multimedia learning. European Journal of Psychology of Education.
    • (19) Zhao, F., & Gaschler, R. (2021). Best graph type to compare discrete groups: bar, dot, tally. Frontiers in Psychology. 12:775721.
    • (18) Zhao, F., Schäfter, L. O., van Rijn, L., & Wöhrle, J. (2021). Snails on the chase: How to cope with anxiety in academic career. Elephant in the lab.
    • (17) Aufschnaiter, S., Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Kiesel, A., Thomaschke, R. (2021). Investigating time-based expectancy beyond binary timing scenarios: Evidence from a paradigm employing three predictive pre-target intervals. Psychological Research. 1-14.
    • (16) Zhao, F. (2021). Interviewer presence can affect learning with interview videos. E-learning & Digital Media. 1-17.
    • (15) Röttger, E., Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., & Haider, H. (2021). Why does dual-tasking hamper implicit sequence learning? Journal of Cognition, 4(1), 1.
    • (14) Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Kneschke, A., Radler, S., Gausmann, M., Duttine, C., & Haider, H. (2020). Origami folding: Taxing resources necessary for the acquisition of sequential skills. PLoS ONE, 15 (10): e0240226.
    • (13) Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Schnotz, W., & Wagner, I. (2020). Regulating distance to the screen while engaging in difficult tasks. Frontline Learning Research, 8(6), 59-76.
    • (12) Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Nöhring, D. O., Röttger, E. & Haider, H. (2020). Sequential modulation of across-task congruency in the serial reaction time task. Acta Psychologica, 205(103043).
    • (11) Zhao, F., Schnotz,W., Wagner, I. & Gaschler, R. (2020). Eyes on text and pictures – construction and adaptation of mental models. Memory & Cognition, 48(1), 69-82.
    • (10) Gaschler, R., Zhao, F., Röttger, E., Panzer, S., & Haider, H. (2019). More than hitting the correct key quickly - Spatial variability in touch screen response location under multitasking in the Serial Reaction Time Task. Experimental Psychology, 2019(66), 207-220.
    • (9) Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Schneider, L., Thomaschke, R., Röttger, E., & Haider, H. (2019). Sequence knowledge on when and what supports dual-tasking. Journal of Cognition, 2(1), 18.
    • (8) Röttger, E., Haider, H., Zhao, F., & Gaschler, R. (2019). Implicit sequence learning despite multitasking: the role of across-task predictability. Psychological Research, 83(3), 526–43.
    • (7) Gaschler, R., Kemper, M., Zhao, F., Pumpe, I., Ruderisch, C., Röttger, E., & Haider, H. (2018). Differential effects of cue-based and sequence knowledge-based predictability on multitasking performance. Acta Psychologica, 191(2018), 76-86.
    • (6) Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Travi, T., Imgrund, B., Kossack, V., Röttger, E. & Haider, H. (2018). Effects of overlap between consecutive words on speeded typing Inform about representation of serial order within words. Advances in Cognitive Psychology, 14(6), 124-136.
    • (5) Zhao, F., & Mahrt, N. (2018). Influences of comics expertise and comics types in comics reading. International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences, 5(2), 218-224. ISSN: 2349-5219
    • (4) Broeker, L., Kiesel, A., Aufschnaiter, S., Ewolds, H., Gaschler, R., Haider, H., Künzell, S., Raab, M., Röttger, E., Thomaschke, R., & Zhao, F. (2017). Why prediction matters in multitasking and how predictability can improve it. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:2021.
    • (3) Schnotz, W., Wagner, W., Zhao, F., Ullrich, M., Horz, H., McElvany, N., Ohle, A. & Baumert, J. (2017). Development of dynamic usage of strategies for integrating text and picture information in secondary school. In D. Leutner, J. Fleischer, J. Grünkorn & E. Klieme (Ed.), Competence Assessment in Education - Research, Models and Instruments (pp. 303-313). Dordrecht: Springer.\_18
    • (2) Zhao, F. (2015) Reading strategies in multimedia learning (Doctoral dissertation). OPUS, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany.
    • (1) Zhao, F., Schnotz, W., Wagner, I. & Gaschler, R. (2014). Eye tracking indicators of reading approaches in text-picture comprehension. Frontline Learning Research, 2(4), 46–66.
    • Scientific Talks
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Wagner, I., & Schnotz, W. (Mar 2021). Learning competence on text–picture integration: Learners with low prerequisites tend to give up early. 63rd Conference of Experimental Psychologists (Teap), Ulm, Mar 15-17, 2021.
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R. (Aug 2020). Showing the interviewer can affect the learning outcome in educational interview videos. EARLI Sig2 Text and Graphics, Prague, Aug 30- Sep 2, 2020.
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Veit, K. (Aug 2019). Workshop (1.5h): Teaching and testing with data graphs using R-Shiny. EARLI 2019. Aachen, Aug 12-16, 2019.
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Röttger, E., Haider, H. (April, 2019). Task integration shown in sequence knowledge-based prediction of across task congruency. 61st Conference of Experimental Psychologists (Teap), London, UK, April 15-17th, 2019.
    • Zhao, F. (Sep 2018) International Teaching Project, University of Jyväskylä Open, Jyväskylä, Finnland, 03-07 Sep, 2018.
    • Zhao, F., Schnotz, W., Wagner, I., & Gaschler, R. (Aug 2018). Students‘ strategic use of texts of pictures for the construction and adaptation of mental models. EARLI Sig 2 Text and Graphics, Freiburg, Aug 27-29th, 2018.
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Röttger, E., & Haider, H. (May 2018). Sequence knowledge influences across-task congruency. International Meeting of the Psychnomic Society, Amsterdam, Holland, May 10-12, 2018.
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Risser, L., Bozic, M., zur Kammer, K., Röttger, E. & Haider, H. (Mar 2018). Influence of segmentation of subsequence helps sequence learning in multitasking (pp. 303)? 60th Conference of Experimental Psychologists, Marburg, March 11-14th, 2018.
    • Zhao, F., Gaschler, R., Röttger, E., Haider, H., & Thomaschke, R. (Sep, 2017). Influences of timing in after-action effect. Escop Symposium: Timing in Cognitive Multitasking: Different Perspectives and Approaches: Organized by Fang Zhao & Stefanie Aufschnaiter (pp. 70), Postdam, Sep 3-6, 2017.
    • Zhao, F., Schnotz, W., Wagner, I., & Gaschler, R. (Aug, 2017). Situational Modulation of Multimedia Processing Strategies (pp. 27). 19th European Conference on Eye Movements, Wuppertal, August 20-24, 2017.