Information presented via multimedia may be more novel and stimulating than information presented via traditional classroom lecture. This explanation has some support from empirical studies. Analyses (Clark, 1983, 1985; Clark & Craig, 1992; Khalili.,& Shashaani 1994; Kulik, Bangert, & Williams, 1983) of nearly 40 multimedia studies found that, compared to traditional classroom lecture, learning improvements were higher for groups that used multimedia for four weeks or less, but the learning advantage tailed off fairly strongly after eight weeks. The initial, higher learning advantages for multimedia may have been due to the novelty of the multimedia instruction. As students became more familiar with the multimedia, however, the novelty wore off, and the learning advantages decreased. It appears that the novelty of multimedia information has a slight, temporary, positive effect on learning.
So, computer-based multimedia information presentation appears to offer general learning advantages over the traditional classroom lecture presentation of information. Computer-based multimedia information seems to improve the level and rate of learning. However, instructional method, interactivity, control of learning pace, and novelty are alternative explanations for these advantages.