Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 159
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: August 2014

3 - Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning

from Part I - Theoretical Foundations

Summary

Abstract

A fundamental hypothesis underlying research on multimedia learning is that multimedia instructional messages that are designed in light of how the human mind works are more likely to lead to meaningful learning than those that are not so designed. The cognitive theory of multimedia learning is based on three cognitive science principles of learning: the human information processing system includes dual channels for visual/pictorial and auditory/verbal processing (i.e., dual-channel assumption), each channel has a limited capacity for processing (i.e., limited-capacity assumption), and active learning entails carrying out a coordinated set of cognitive processes during learning (i.e., active processing assumption). The cognitive theory of multimedia learning specifies five cognitive processes in multimedia learning: selecting relevant words from the presented text or narration, selecting relevant images from the presented graphics, organizing the selected words into a coherent verbal representation, organizing selected images into a coherent pictorial representation, and integrating the pictorial and verbal representations and prior knowledge. Three demands on the learner’s cognitive capacity during learning are extraneous processing (which is not related to the instructional objective), essential processing (which is needed to mentally represent the essential material as presented), and generative processing (which is aimed at making sense of the material). Three instructional goals are to reduce extraneous processing (for extraneous overload situations), manage essential processing (for essential overload situations), and foster generative processing (for generative underuse situations). Multimedia instructional messages should be designed to guide appropriate cognitive processing during learning without overloading the learner’s cognitive system.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

References

Baddeley, A. D. (1992). Working memory. Science, 255, 556–559.
Baddeley, A. D. (1999). Human memory. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Baddeley, A. D., Eysenck, M. W., & Anderson, M. C. (2009). Memory. Hove: Psychology Press.
Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (1999). How people learn. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Chambliss, M. J., & Calfee, R. C. (1998). Textbooks for learning. Oxford: Blackwell.
Clark, J. M., & Paivio, A. (1991). Dual coding theory and education. Educational Psychology Review, 3, 149–210.
Cook, L. K., & Mayer, R. E. (1988). Teaching readers about the structure of scientific text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 448–456.
Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4–58.
Ginns, P. (2005). Meta-analysis of the modality effect. Learning and Instruction, 15, 313–332.
Ginns, P. (2006). Integrating information: A meta-analysis of spatial contiguity and temporal contiguity effects. Learning and Instruction, 16, 511–525.
Ginns, P., Martin, A. J., & Marsh, H. M. (2013). Designing instructional text in a conversational style: A meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 25, 445–472.
Hacker, D. J., Dunlosky, J., & Graesser, A. C. (Eds.) (2009). Handbook of metacognition in education. New York: Routledge.
Johnson, C., & Mayer, R. E. (2012). An eye movement analysis of the spatial contiguity effect in multimedia learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 18, 178–191.
Kintsch, W. (1998). Comprehension. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. E. (1989). Systematic thinking fostered by illustrations in scientific text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 240–246.
Mayer, R. E. (1992). Cognition and instruction: Their historic meeting within educational psychology. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 405–412.
Mayer, R. E. (1997). Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions? Educational Psychologist, 32, 1–19.
Mayer, R. E. (2001). Multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. E. (2002). Multimedia learning. In B. H. Ross (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation, vol. 41 (pp. 85–139). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Mayer, R. E. (2003). The promise of multimedia learning: Using the same instructional design methods across different media. Learning and Instruction, 12, 125–141.
Mayer, R. E. (2005). Cognitive theory of multimedia learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 31–48). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. E. (2008). Applying the science of learning: Evidence-based principles for the design of multimedia instruction. American Psychologist, 63(8), 760–769.
Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia learning (2d ed). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. E. (2011). Applying the science of learning. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Mayer, R. E. (2014). Incorporating motivation into multimedia learning. Learning and Instruction, 24, 171–173.
Mayer, R. E., & Anderson, R. B. (1991). Animations need narrations: An experimental test of the dual-coding hypothesis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 484–490.
Mayer, R. E., & Anderson, R. B. (1992). The instructive animation: Helping students build connections between words and pictures in multimedia learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 444–452.
Mayer, R. E., Bove, W., Bryman, A., Mars, R., & Tapangco, L. (1996). When less is more: Meaningful learning from visual and verbal summaries of science textbook lessons. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 64–73.
Mayer, R. E., & Gallini, J. K. (1990). When is an illustration worth ten thousand words? Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 715–726.
Mayer, R. E., Heiser, J., & Lonn, S. (2001). Cognitive constraints on multimedia learning: When presenting more material results in less understanding. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 187–198.
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (1998). A split-attention effect in multimedia learning: Evidence for dual processing systems in working memory. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 312–320.
Mayer, R. E. & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38, 43–52.
Mayer, R. E., Moreno, R., Boire, M., & Vagge, S. (1999). Maximizing constructivist learning from multimedia communications by minimizing cognitive load. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 638–643.
Mayer, R. E., & Sims, V. K., (1994). For whom is a picture worth a thousand words? Extensions of a dual-coding theory of multimedia learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86, 389–401.
Mayer, R. E., Steinhoff, K., Bower, G., & Mars, R. (1995). A generative theory of textbook design: Using annotated illustrations to foster meaningful learning of science text. Educational Technology Research & Development, 43, 31–43.
Miller, G. (1956). The magic number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 63, 81–97.
Moreno, R. (2007). Optimising learning from animations by minimizing cognitive load: Cognitive and affective consequences of signaling and segmentation methods. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21, 765–781.
Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2000). A coherence effect in multimedia learning: The case for minimizing irrelevant sounds in the design of multimedia instructional messages. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 117–125.
Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2007). Interactive multimodal learning environments. Educational Psychology Review, 19, 309–326.
Paivio, A. (1986). Mental representations: A dual-coding approach. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Paivio, A. (2006). Mind and its evolution: A dual coding approach. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Plass, J. L., Chun, D. M., Mayer, R. E., & Leutner, D. (1998). Supporting visual and verbal learning preferences in a second-language multimedia learning environment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 25–36.
Plass, J. L., Moreno, R., & Brunken, R. (Eds.) (2010). Cognitive load theory. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Scheiter, K., & van Gog, T. (2009). Using eye tracking in applied research to study and stimulate the processing of information from multi-representational sources. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 23, 1209–1214.
Schnotz, W., & Bannert, M. (2003). Construction and interference in learning from multiple representation. Learning and Instruction, 13, 141–156.
Sweller, J. (1999). Instructional design in technical areas. Camberwell: ACER Press.
Sweller, J., Ayres, P., & Kalyuga, S. (2011). Cognitive load theory. New York: Springer.
Um, E., Plass, J. L., Hayward, E. O., & Homer, B. D. (2011). Emotional design in multimedia learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 485–498.
Wittrock, M. C. (1989). Generative processes of comprehension. Educational Psychologist, 24, 345–376.