The main reason we should not include printed on-screen text with a narrated graphic is that the learner will not be able to pay attention to the graphic if they are busy reading the words. It’s as simple as that. This idea connected well with Chapter 6. In chapter 6, C & M discussed how your visual channels would have to process both the graphic and the written words at the same time. Thus, diminishing the attainment of learning outcomes. In Chapter 7, they add on to this thought by discussing how a learner has greater cognitive processing when connecting pictorial and verbal models.
One example of an exception to the redundancy principle would be in a slide that only contains text (no graphics or animations), you can include audio. This would have the same information presented verbally and visually at the same time, but since that is the only information that has to be processed on the slide, it is fine. One example of this would be an learning objective slide.
Another example of an exception can be seen below. When the graphic needs a few keywords to help learners make connections, you can include both written and spoken words. This is not really redundant because the written text is not identical to the spoken text, but merely a supporting piece of information.
C & M discussed using a technique called signaling to assist the learner in processing the information presented in a visual representation. I believe the graphic below is a good example of when you could use this idea. If the learner was presented with this graphic without the labels, it would be difficult for the learner to follow. This graphic also presents the technical vocabulary associated with cloud types. I could see adding audio to have students follow along through the different levels of cloud. Before moving on students could reflect on when they have encountered the different cloud types. Students would need the written words to discuss their experiences, because it would be highly unlikely they would remember from audio alone.
This example is from a SlideShare I found on tornado formation. Based on tonight’s weather, I thought this was appropriate to look up. It did not include audio, but I think the graphic can be used to explain how audio would not be appropriate for this slide. This slide has written words to explain the three steps in the graphics. If I included audio with this slide, the view would be too busy reading along to focus on the graphics. This would limit the attainments of learning outcomes. A lot of the pre-made elementary education PowerPoint presentations out there on the internet do just this and break the redundancy principle.
Note: The two images are from a presentations that do not contain audio commentary, but I think it could be used to increase learning outcomes. Both images are linked to the original location.
Looking forward, I would be sure to consider when I include written text. I know that I would like my objectives at the beginning of the e-learning session to contain both written and spoken word, because there would be no graphics. I think when I use animations, I will be sure to include audio. I’m pretty sure I would do that anyway. I would change how I use still frames. I think previously, I would’ve used written descriptions, but now, I would highly consider using spoken words instead.