Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-mp689 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-16T15:18:06.912Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

7 - The Multimedia Principle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

J. D. Fletcher
Affiliation:
Institute for Defense Analysis
Sigmund Tobias
Affiliation:
Teachers College, Columbia University
Richard Mayer
Affiliation:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Get access

Summary

Abstract

The multimedia principle states that people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. It is supported by empirically derived theory suggesting that words and images evoke different conceptual processes and that perception and learning are active, constructive processes. It is further supported by research studies that have found superior retention and transfer of learning from words augmented by pictures compared to words presented alone and superior transfer when narration is accompanied by animation compared to narration or animation presented alone. Research has also found that the effectiveness of combining imagery with text varies with the content to be learned, the conditions under which performance is measured, and individual differences in spatial ability, prior knowledge, and general learning ability. Cognitive theory derived from these findings posits interactions between three stages of memory – sensory, working, and long term – that are connected by cooperative, additive channels used to process information arriving from different sensory modalities.

The Multimedia Principle

It is commonly assumed that adding pictures to words, rather than presenting text alone, makes it easier for people to understand and learn. The proverb that a picture is worth a thousand words attests to the popularity and acceptance of this assumption. The assumption leads to what may be called the multimedia principle. This principle, as stated by Mayer (2001), is that people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone, or, more specifically, that people learn more or more deeply when appropriate pictures are added to text (Mayer, in press).

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Al-Seghayer, K. (2001). The effect of multimedia annotation modes on L2 vocabulary acquisition: A comparative study. Language Learning and Technology, 5, 202–232Google Scholar
Britton, B. K., Woodward, A., & Binkley, M. (Eds.). (1993). Learning from textbooks: Theory and practice. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
Brünken, R., Plass, J. L., & Leutner, D. (2003). Direct measurement of cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38, 53–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1992). The split-attention effect as a factor in the design of instruction. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 62, 233–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clark, R. E. (1983). Reconsidering research on learning from media. Review of Educational Research, 53, 445–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clark, R. E. (Ed.). (2001). Learning from media: Arguments, analysis, and evidence. Greenwich, CT: Information Age PublishingGoogle Scholar
Corno, L., & Snow, R. E. (1986). Adapting teaching to individual differences among learners. In Wittrock, M. C. (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (3rd ed., pp. 605–629). New York: MacmillanGoogle Scholar
Craik, E. I. M., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11, 671–684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cronbach, L. J., & Snow, R. E. (1977). Aptitudes and instructional methods. New York: IrvingtonGoogle Scholar
Dochy, F. J. R. C. (1992). Assessment of prior knowledge as a determinant for future learning. Utrecht/London: Lemma B. V./Jessica Kingsley PublishersGoogle Scholar
Fletcher, J. D. (1982) Training technology: An ecological point of view. In Kasschau, R. A., Lachman, R., & Laughery, K. R. (Eds.), Psychology and society: Information technology in the 1980s (pp. 166–191). New York: Holt, Reinhart, and WinstonGoogle Scholar
Fletcher, J. D. (1991). Effectiveness and cost of interactive videodisc instruction. Machine Mediated Learning, 3, 361–385Google Scholar
Fletcher, J. D. (2003) Evidence for learning from technology-assisted instruction. In O'Neil, H. F. Jr. & Perez, R. (Eds.), Technology applications in education: A learning view (pp. 79–99). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
Fletcher, J. D. (2004). Technology, the columbus effect, and the third revolution in learning. In Rabinowitz, M., Blumberg, F. C., & Everson, H. (Eds.), The design of instruction and evaluation: Affordances of using media and technology (pp. 139–157). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
Garris, R. D., Mulligan, C. P., Ricci, K. E., Dwyer, D. J., McCallum, G. A., Moskal, P. J. (1990). Effects of graphics detail on locator task performance for computer-based training. (NTSC Tech Rep 87-034). Orlando, FL: Naval Training Systems CenterGoogle Scholar
Gay, G. (1986). Interaction of learner control and prior understanding in computer-assisted video instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 78, 225–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gustafsson, J. E., & Undheim, J. O. 1996. Individual differences in cognitive functions. In Berliner, D. C. & Calfee, R. C. (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 186–242). New York: Simon & Schuster MacmillanGoogle Scholar
Hagman, J. D., & Rose, A. M. (1983). Retention of military tasks: A review. Human Factors, 25(2), 199–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hanley, J., Herron, C., & Cole, S. (1995). Using video as advance organizer to a written passage in the FLES classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 79, 57–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hannafin, M. J., Hannafin, K. M., Hooper, S. R., Rieber, L. P., & Kini, A. S. (1996). Research on and research with emerging technologies. In Jonassen, D. H. (Ed.), Handbook of research for education communications and technology (pp. 378–402). New York: Macmillan Reference USAGoogle Scholar
Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E. Jr. (1995). Learning and memory of knowledge and skills: Durability and specificity. Thousand Oaks, CA: SageCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Healy, A. F., Wohldmann, E., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (in press). The procedural reinstatement framework: Studies on training, retention, and transfer. In Healy, A. F. (Ed.), Experimental cognitive psychology and its applications: Festschrift in honor of Lyle Bourne, Walter Kintsch, and Thomas Landauer. Washington, DC: American Psychological AssociationCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hegarty, M., Carpenter, P. A., & Just, M. A. (1996). Diagrams in the comprehension of scientific texts. In Barr, R., Kamil, M. L., Mosenthal, P., & Pearson, P. D. (Eds.), Handbook of reading research. Volume II (pp. 641–668). Mahwah, NJ: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
Hesketh, B. (1997). Dilemmas for training transfer and retention. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 46, 317–386Google Scholar
James, W. (1890/1950). Principles of psychology: Volume I. New York: Dover PressGoogle Scholar
Kalyuga, S., Ayres, P., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2003). The expertise reversal effect. Educational Psychologist, 38, 23–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kalyuga, S., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1998). Levels of experise and instructional design. Human Factors, 40, 1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kalyuga, S., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1999). Managing split-attention and redundancy in multimedia instruction. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 13, 351–3713.0.CO;2-6>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kalyuga, S., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2000). Incorporating learner experience into the design of multimedia instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 126–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kyllonen, P. C. (1996). Is working-memory capacity Spearman's g? In Dennis, I. & Tapsfield, P. (Eds.), Human abilities: Their nature and measurement (pp. 49–76). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
Kyllonen, P. C. (in press). ‘g’: Knowledge, speed, strategies, or working-memory capacity? A systems perspective. In Sternberg, R. J. & Grigorenko, E. L. (Eds.), The general factor of intelligence: How general is it?Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
Maehr, M. L., & Meyer, H. A. (1997). Understanding motivation and schooling: Where we've been, where we are, and where we need to go. Educational Psychology Review, 9, 371–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayer, R. E. (1997). Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions? Educational Psychologist, 32, 1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayer, R. E. (2001). Multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University PressCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayer, R. E. (in press). Ten research-based principles of multimedia learning. In O'Neil, H. F. Jr. & Perez, R. S. (Eds.), Web-based learning: Theory, research and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
Mayer, R. E., & Anderson, R. B. (1991). Animations need narrations: An experimental test of a dual-coding hypothesis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 484–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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, 444–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mayer, R. E., & Gallini, J. (1990). When is an illustration worth ten thousand words? Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 715–726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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, 187–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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, 84, 389–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. (2000). A coherence effect in multimedia learning: The case for minimizing irrelevant sounds in the design of multimedia instruction. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 117–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Neisser, U. (1967). Cognitive psychology. New York: Appleton, Century, CroftsGoogle Scholar
Paas, F., Renkl, A., & Sweller, J. (2003). Cognitive load theory and instructional design: Recent developments. Educational Psychologist, 38, 1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paas, F., Tuovinen, J. E., Tabbers, H., & Gerven, P. W. M. (2003). Cognitive load measurement as a means to advance cognitive load theory. Educational Psychologist, 38, 63–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paivio, A. (1986). Mental representations: A dual-coding approach. New York: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
Paivio, A. (1991). Images in mind: The evolultion of a theory. Hempstead, Herfordshire, UK: Harvester WheatshaftGoogle Scholar
Renkl, A., & Atkinson, R. K. (2003). Structuring the transition from example study to problem solving in cognitive skill acquisition: A cognitive load perspective. Educational Psychologist, 38, 15–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Renninger, K. A., Hidi, S., & Krapp, A. (1992). The role of interest in learning and development. Hillsdale, NJ: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
Ricci, K. E., Garris, R. D., Mulligan, C. F., & McCallum, G. A. (1990). Effects of graphics detail parameters on procedural task performance for computer-based training. (NTSC Tech Rep 89-023). Orlando, FL: Naval Training Systems Center. (DTIC AD-B154 814)Google Scholar
Rieber, L. P. (1994). Computers, graphics, and learning. Dubuque, IA: Brown & BenchmarkGoogle Scholar
Russell, T. L. (1999). The no significant differences phenomenon. Chapel Hill, NC: Office of Instructional Telecommunications, North Carolina State UniversityGoogle Scholar
Schmidt, R. A., & Bjork, R. A. (1992). New conceptualizations of practice: Common principles in three paradigms suggest new concepts for training. Psychological Science, 3, 207–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schneider, V. I., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (1998). Contextual interference effects in foreign language vocabulary acquisition and retention. In Healy, A. F. & Bourne, L. E. Jr. (Eds.), Foreign language learning: Psycholinguistic studies on training and retention (pp. 77–90). Mahwah, NJ: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
Seignon, N., & Tobias, S. (1996, April). Metacognitive knowledge monitoring and need for feedback. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York
Sugrue, B., & Clark, R. (2000). Media selection for training. In Tobias, S. & Fletcher, J. D. (Eds.), Training and retraining: A handbook for business, industry, government, and the military (pp. 208–234). New York: Macmillan Reference USAGoogle Scholar
Süß, H-M., Oberauer, K., Wittman, W. W., Wilhelm, O., & Schultze, R. (1996). Working memory capacity and intelligence: An integrative report based on Brunswik symmetry (Research Report No. 8). Mannheim, Germany: University of MannheimGoogle Scholar
Sweller, J. (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design. Learning and Instruction, 4, 295–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sweller, J. (in press). Why understanding instructional design principles requires an understanding of the evolution of human cognitive architecture. In O'Neil, H. F. Jr. & Perez, R. S. (Eds.), Web-based learning: Theory, research, and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
Tobias, S. (1976). Achievement treatment interactions. Review of Educational Research, 46, 61–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tobias, S. (1982). When do instructional methods make a difference?Educational Researcher, 11(4), 4–9Google Scholar
Tobias, S. (1987). Mandatory text review and interaction with student characteristics. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 154–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tobias, S. (1989). Another look at research on the adaptation of instruction to student characteristics. Educational Psychologist, 24, 213–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tobias, S. (in press). The importance of motivation, metacognition, and help seeking in web based learning. In O'Neil, H. F. Jr. & Perez, R. S. (Eds.), Web-based learning: Theory, research and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
Tobias, S., & Everson, H. T. (2000). Assessing metacognitive knowledge monitoring. In Schraw, G. & Impara, J. C. (Eds.), Issues in the measurement of metacognition (pp. 147–222). Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental MeasurementsGoogle Scholar
Merriënboer, J. J. G., Kirschner, P. A., & Kester, L. (2003). Taking the load of a learner's mind: Instructional design for complex learning. Educational Psychologist, 38, 5–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wetzel, C. D., Radtke, P. H., & Stern, H. W. (1994). Instructional effectiveness of video media. Hillsdale, NJ: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
Wickens, C. D., & Flach, J. M. (1988). Information processing. In Wiener, E. L. & Nagel, D. C. (Eds.), Human factors in aviation (pp. 111–155). San Diego, CA: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
Wisher, R. A., Sabol, M. A., & Ellis, J. A. (1999). Staying sharp: Retention of militaryknowledge and skills (ARI Special Report 39). Alexandria, VA: U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Retrieved June 30, 2004, from http://www.ari.army.milGoogle Scholar
Wittman, W. W, & Süß, H-M. (1999). Investigating the paths between working memory, intelligence, knowledge, and complex problem-solving performances via Brunswik Symmetry. In Ackerman, P. L., Kyllonen, P. C., & Roberts, R. D. (Eds.), Learning and individual differences: Process, trait, and content determinants. Washington, DC: American Psychological AssociationCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Youngblut, C. (2003). Experience of presence in virtual environments (IDA Document D-2960). Alexandria, VA: Institute for Defense AnalysisCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • The Multimedia Principle
  • Edited by Richard Mayer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Book: The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511816819.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • The Multimedia Principle
  • Edited by Richard Mayer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Book: The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511816819.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Multimedia Principle
  • Edited by Richard Mayer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Book: The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511816819.008
Available formats
×