On the Role of Visuals in Multimodal Answers to Medical Questions

Charlotte van Hooijdonk, Jurry de Vos, Emiel Krahmer, Alfons Maes, Mariet Theune, W.E. Bosma

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    94 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper describes two experiments carried out in order to investigate the role of visuals in multimodal answer presentations for a medical question answering system. First, a production experiment was carried out to determine which modalities people choose to answer different types of questions. In this experiment, participants had to create (multimodal) presentations of answers to general medical questions. The collected answer presentations were coded on the presence of visual media (i.e., photos, graphics, and animations) and their function. The results indicated that participants presented the information in a multimodal way. Moreover, significant differences were found in the presentation of different answer and question types. Next, an evaluation experiment was conducted to investigate how users evaluate different types of multimodal answer presentations. In this second experiment, participants had to assess the informativity and attractiveness of answer presentations for different types of medical questions. These answer presentations, originating from the production experiment, were manipulated in their answer length (brief vs. extended) and their type of picture (illustrative vs. informative). After the participants had assessed the answer presentations, they received a post- test in which they had to indicate how much they had recalled from the presented answer presentations. The results showed that answer presentations with an informative picture were evaluated as more informative and more attractive than answer presentations with an illustrative picture. The results for the post-test tentatively indicated that learning from answer presentations with an informative picture leads to a better learning performance than learning from purely textual answer presentations.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2007 Conference of the IEEE Professional Communication Society
    Place of PublicationUSA
    PublisherIEEE Computer Society
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-1243-3
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007
    EventIEEE International Professional Communication Conference, IPCC 2007 - Seattle, United States
    Duration: 1 Oct 20073 Oct 2007

    Publication series

    PublisherIEEE Computer Society Press


    ConferenceIEEE International Professional Communication Conference, IPCC 2007
    Abbreviated titleIPCC
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


    • EWI-11431
    • IR-64472
    • METIS-247791

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