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13 - Principles for Managing Essential Processing in Multimedia Learning: Segmenting, Pre-training, and Modality Principles

from Part II - Basic 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

When a concise multimedia lesson containing complicated material is presented at a fast rate, the result can be a form of cognitive overload called essential overload. Essential overload occurs when the amount of essential cognitive processing (similar to intrinsic cognitive load) required to understand the multimedia instructional message exceeds the learner’s cognitive capacity. Three multimedia design methods intended to minimize essential overload are the segmenting, pre-training, and modality principles. The segmenting principle is that people learn more deeply when a multimedia message is presented in learner-paced segments rather than as a continuous unit. This principle was supported in 10 out of 10 experimental tests, yielding a median effect size of 0.79. The pre-training principle is that people learn more deeply from a multimedia message when they know the names and characteristics of the main concepts. This principle was supported in 13 out of 16 experimental tests, yielding a median effect size of 0.75. The modality principle is that people learn more deeply from a multimedia message when the words are spoken rather than printed. This principle was supported in 53 out of 61 experimental tests, yielding a median effect size of 0.76.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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