According to Richard Mayer, people learn better when multimedia messages are designed in ways that are consistent with how the human mind works and with research-based principles. Whether instruction being developed is for adult or child learners it has been shown that learners understand better when instruction is presented in the form of text and images as compared to text alone.
Take the graphic on the right as an example. Typically learners will view the image and find it easier to understand how precipitation takes place and will retain that information for a longer period of time even more so than a two-page write-up with no graphic images on the same topic (hydrologic cycle).
The main principle of conveying a concept, principle or procedure through visual representation is that the learner may not experience cognitive load which could defeat the goal of instruction. In this respect, the use of graphics may be not enough and perhaps a visual and or animation may be needed to be effective and fulfill the objectives. The choice of multimedia will largely depend on the learner group characteristics, the complexity of content, and the goal of instruction.
Below are a few research-based principles offered by Mayer to be used in the design of multimedia.
- People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. (Multimedia principle)
- People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near rather than far from each other on the page or screen. (Spatial contiguity principle)
- People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively. (Temporal contiguity principle)
- People learn better when extraneous words, pictures, and sounds are excluded rather than included. (Coherence principle)
- People learn better from animation and narration than from animation and on-screen text. (Modality principle)
- People learn better from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and on on-screen text. (Redundancy principle)
Until next week…..Happy Learning!