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18 - The Generative Drawing Principle in Multimedia Learning

from Part III - Advanced Principles of Multimedia Learning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2014

Richard E. Mayer
Affiliation:
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Summary

Abstract

This chapter discusses the generative drawing principle in multimedia learning. It proposes that asking students to create drawings while reading text causes generative processing that leads to better learning outcomes. In drawing, students have to translate the verbal text information into a picture that represents spatial relationships among functional elements referred to in the text. Asking students to draw a picture of the text content as they read a text encourages them to actively engage in deep cognitive and metacognitive processing and thus fosters deep understanding of the material to be learned. The generative drawing principle has been supported by several studies, especially when students engage in hand drawing using paper and pencil. An important logistical issue for instructional designers when using the drawing strategy is to create a form of drawing activity that minimizes the creation of extraneous cognitive processing, by providing appropriate support for drawing. Otherwise the benefits of drawing can be diminished, as the intended generative cognitive processes can be impaired or even impeded by extraneous cognitive load caused by the mechanics of drawing, leading to insufficient cognitive recourses available for generative processing.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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