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This study investigated the cognitive load theory prediction that the inconsistent findings concerning the effectiveness of instructional animations are exacerbated by their transitory nature. Three groups were compared who received different but equivalent forms of instruction in learning a topic in economics. One group received an animation presentation with integrated text and diagrams, a second group received a static diagram presentation with integrated text and diagrams, and the third group received a static diagram presentation with non-integrated text and diagrams in a classical split-attention design. Results indicated that the animated design was superior to the static integrated design only on test questions that closely resembled the presented information. No other significant group differences were identified. Furthermore a battery of self-rating measures of cognitive load and motivational items indicated that test performance was predicted by motivation and concentration levels.