Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 22
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: August 2014

18 - The Generative Drawing Principle in Multimedia Learning

from Part III - Advanced Principles of Multimedia Learning


This chapter examines the research evidence concerning four principles of multimedia design that are based on social cues: the personalization, voice, image, and embodiment principles. The personalization principle is that people learn more deeply when the words in a multimedia presentation are in conversational style rather than formal style. The voice principle is that people learn more deeply when the words in a multimedia message are spoken in a human voice rather than in a machine voice. The image principle is that people do not necessarily learn more deeply from a multimedia presentation when the speaker's image is on the screen rather than not on the screen. The embodiment principle is that people learn more deeply when on-screen agents display human like gesturing, movement, eye contact, and facial expressions. The research reviewed in the chapter shows that instructional designers should be sensitive to social considerations as well as cognitive considerations.


Ainsworth, S. (2010). Improving learning by drawing. In S. R. Goldman, J. Pellegrino, K. Gomez, L. Lyons, & J. Radinsky (Eds.), Learning in the disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (vol. 2, pp. 167–168). Chicago: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Ainsworth, S., Prain, V., & Tytler, R. (2011). Drawing to learn in science. Science, 333, 1096–1097.
Alesandrini, K. L. (1981). Pictorial-verbal and analytic-holistic learning strategies in science learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73, 358–368.
Alesandrini, K. L. (1984). Pictures and adult learning. Instructional Science, 13, 63–77.
Friedrich, L. A., Schmeck, A., Opfermann, M., & Leutner, D. (2013, April). Computer-based visualizations as comprehension aids for science text learning. Paper presented at the AERA Conference, San Francisco.
Gobert, J. D., & Clement, J. J. (1999). Effects of student-generated diagrams versus student-generated summaries on conceptual understanding of causal and dynamic knowledge in plate tectonics. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36, 39–53.
Leopold, C. (2009). Lernstrategien und Textverstehen: Spontaner Einsatz und Förderung von Lernstrategien [Learning strategies and text comprehension: Spontaneous use and support of learning strategies]. Muenster: Waxmann.
Leopold, C., & Leutner, D. (2012). Science text comprehension: Drawing, main idea selection, and summarizing as learning strategies. Learning and Instruction, 22, 16–26.
Leopold, C., Sumfleth, E., & Leutner, D. (2013). Learning with summaries: Effects of representation mode and type of learning activity on comprehension and transfer. Learning and Instruction, 27, 40–49.
Leutner, D., Leopold, C., & Sumfleth, E. (2009). Cognitive load and science text comprehension: Effects of drawing and mentally imagining text content. Computers in Human Behavior, 25, 284–289.
Leutner, D., & Opfermann, M. (2013). Selbstreguliertes Lernen mit Texten und Bildern im naturwissenschaftlichen Unterricht [Self-regulated learning with texts and pictures in science instruction]. In H. E. Fischer & E. Sumfleth (Eds.), nwu-essen – 10 Jahre Essener Forschung zum naturwissenschaftlichen Unterricht (pp. 209–249). Berlin: Logos.
Mayer, R. E. (2004). Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning? The case for guided methods of instruction. American Psychologist, 59, 14–19.
Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia learning (2d ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Pashler, H., Bain, P., Bottage, B., Graesser, A. Koedinger, K., McDaniel, M., & Metcalfe, J. (2007). Organizing instruction and study to improve student learning. Washington, DC: National Center for Educational Research.
Rasco, R. W., Tennyson, R. D., & Boutwell, R. C. (1975). Imagery instructions and drawings in learning prose. Journal of Educational Psychology, 67, 188–192.
Schmeck, A. (nee Schwamborn) (2010). Visualisieren naturwissenschaftlicher Sachverhalte: Der Einsatz von vorgegebenen und selbst generierten Visualisierungen als Textverstehenshilfen beim Lernen aus naturwissenschaftlichen Sachtexten [Visualization of science text content: Using provided and learner-generated visualizations as aids for comprehension in learning from science texts]. Philosophical dissertation, Duisburg-Essen University. doi:
Schmeck, A., Mayer, R. E., Opfermann, M., Pfeiffer, V., Sandmann, A., & Leutner, D. (2012, April). Fostering generative learning activities during reading: An experimental test of the generative drawing principle and the prognostic drawing principle. Paper presented at the AERA Conference, Vancouver.
Schwamborn, A., Mayer, R. E., Thillmann, H., Leopold, C., & Leutner, D. (2010). Drawing as a generative activity and drawing as a prognostic activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 872–879.
Schwamborn, A., Thillmann, H., Leopold, C., Sumfleth, E., & Leutner, D. (2010). Der Einsatz von vorgegebenen und selbst generierten Bildern als Textverstehenshilfe beim Lernen aus einem naturwissenschaftlichen Sachtext [Using presented and self-generated pictures as learning aids for learning from science text]. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 24, 221–233.
Schwamborn, A., Thillmann, H., Opfermann, M., & Leutner, D. (2011). Cognitive load and instructionally supported learning with provided and learner-generated visualizations. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 89–93.
Sweller, J., Ayres, P., & Kalyuga, S. (2011). Cognitive load theory. New York: Springer.
Tirre, W. C., Manelis, L., & Leicht, K. (1979). The effects of imaginal and verbal strategies on prose comprehension by adults. Journal of Reading Behavior, 11, 99–106.
van Meter, P. (2001). Drawing construction as a strategy for learning from text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 69, 129–140.
van Meter, P., Aleksic, M., Schwartz, A., & Garner, J. (2006). Learner-generated drawing as a strategy for learning from content area text. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 31, 142–166.
van Meter, P., & Garner, J. (2005). The promise and practice of learner-generated drawings: Literature review and synthesis. Educational Psychology Review, 12, 261–312.
Weinstein, C. E., & Mayer, R. E. (1986). The teaching of learning strategies. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (pp. 315–327). New York: Macmillan.
Wittrock, M. C. (1990). Generative processes of comprehension. Educational Psychologist, 24, 345–376.