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23 - The Embodiment Principle in Multimedia Learning

from Part VI - Principles Based on Social and Affective Features of Multimedia Learning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2021

Richard E. Mayer
University of California, Santa Barbara
Logan Fiorella
University of Georgia
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According to the embodiment principle, students learn better when they engage in task-relevant sensorimotor experiences during learning, such as gesturing or manipulating objects. Students may benefit from enacting movements themselves and/or observing them performed by others. Embodied instruction supports learning by offloading thinking to the physical world (i.e., reduced cognitive load) and by drawing analogies between abstract concepts and meaningful actions (i.e., increased generative processing). Prior research has identified a wide range of promising embodiment methods – using gestures to represent math concepts or to trace important elements of diagrams; manipulating concrete (or virtual) objects to understand stories, math concepts, molecular structures, or physics principles; and designing visualizations that present lessons from the learner’s perspective.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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