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Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023

Modality effect


  • Influence: Modality effect
  • Domain: Student Learning Strategies
  • Sub-Domain: Learning strategies
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Potential to accelerate
  • Influence Definition: The modality effect is used to refer to how learner performance depends on the presentation mode of the studied item. For example, it suggests that learning will be improved when textual information is presented in an auditory format with accompanying visual materials, such as a graph, diagram, or animation.


  • Number of meta-analyses: 2
  • Number of studies: 78
  • Number of students: 3,222
  • Number of effects: 125
  • Weighted mean effect size: 0.55
  • Robustness index: 2


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Learning and Instruction Ginns Australia Meta-Analysis of the Modality Effect 2005 Modality effect: graphic visually, text auditory 39 0 39 0.72
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research Reinwein Canada Does the modality effect exist? And if so, which modality effect? 2012 Modality effect: graphic visually, text auditory 39 3,222 86 0.38
TOTAL/AVERAGE 78 3,222 125 0.55
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