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12 - Multimedia Principle

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

Multimedia Principle: People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone.

Example: A multimedia lesson consists of an animation depicting the steps in lightning formation along with concurrent narration describing the steps in lightning formation, whereas a singe-medium lesson consists of narration alone. A multimedia lesson consists of illustrations depicting the steps in lightning formation along with printed text describing the steps, whereas a single-medium lesson consists of text alone.

Theoretical Rationale: When words and pictures are both presented, learners have an opportunity to construct verbal and visual mental models and to build connections between them. When words alone are presented, learners have an opportunity to build a verbal mental model but are less likely to build a visual mental model and make connections between the verbal and visual mental models.

Empirical Rationale: In eleven out of eleven tests, learners who received text and illustrations or narration and animation (multiple-representation group) performed better on transfer tests than did learners who received text alone or narration alone (single-representation group). The median effect size is d = 1.39.

Boundary Conditions: The multimedia principle may apply more strongly to low-knowledge learners than to high-knowledge learners, presumably because low-knowledge learners need guidance in building connections between pictorial and verbal representations.

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Chapter
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Multimedia Learning , pp. 223 - 241
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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References

*Mayer, R. E. (1989). Systematic thinking fostered by illustrations in scientific text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81, 240–246.Google Scholar
*Mayer, R. E., & Anderson, R. B. (1991). Animations need narrations: An experimental test of a dual-coding hypothesis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 484–490.Google 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, 444–452.Google Scholar
*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.Google Scholar
*Mayer, R. E., & Gallini, J. K. (1990). When is an illustration worth ten thousand words?Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 715–726.Google Scholar
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  • Multimedia Principle
  • Richard E. Mayer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Book: Multimedia Learning
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511811678.017
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  • Multimedia Principle
  • Richard E. Mayer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Book: Multimedia Learning
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511811678.017
Available formats
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Send book to Google Drive

To send 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 sending content to Google Drive.

  • Multimedia Principle
  • Richard E. Mayer, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Book: Multimedia Learning
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511811678.017
Available formats
×