I have been doing my homework on using images for learning and found this great 1997 paper by Harp and Mayer: How Seductive Details Do Their Damage. It describes the effects of adding seductive dramatic and emotional images and text to your explanations.
The answer is, better if you don’t.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Many textbooks love adding seductive details. My O-Level textbooks don’t.
P.P.S. Does this have an impact on how we use ‘hinterland’ in our lessons? (see Adam Boxer’s excellent post here). I think hinterland is really important, but be aware that unless we’re careful, learners may remember the hinterland and forget the core.
Completely agree with this, Ben. There is a massive danger in hinterland and stories etc. Whenever I use them I make it explicit to students that I don’t need them to remember it, but it’s important and part of the story of science. When I get onto the Core, teaching methods completely change and any additional/extraneous/distracting information (even jokes/banter) are utterly excised. In subsequent lessons, I will invariably return to Core as retrieval, but rarely to hinterland. That’s how I try to balance it!