While authors like Mayer (2009) suggest that designers should avoid using visuals for the purpose of attracting learners’ interests, some scholars suggest that visuals could influence learners’ emotions. This study investigates whether the perception of the visual appeal of instructional handouts affects learners’ self-reported motivation to learn from the handouts. Two handouts were prepared for this study: a minimalist handout following Mayer’s (2009) Coherence Principle and an appealing handout complying with everyday visual trends. Participants were instructed to look at the handouts, in different orders according to groups, and asked about their impressions of the handouts. The appealing handout was perceived as motivating when it was seen before the minimalist handout. However, the group that saw the minimalist handout first did not perceive the appealing handout as motivating. The result implies that not only the design but also the learning context influences learners’ self-reported motivation to engage with the handout.
Tomita, K. (2018). Author correction: does the visual appeal of instructional media affect learners’ motivation toward learning?. Techtrends, 62(1), 113-113.