- multiple representation principle – it is better to present an explanation in words and pictures than solely in words
When only words are presented, the learner is likely to build a verbal mental representation but is less likely to build a visual mental representation and mentally connect it with a verbal one.When words and pictures are presented, the learner is more likely to build verbal and visual representations and to make connections between them.
- contiguity principle – it is better to present corresponding words and pictures simultaneously rather than separately when giving a multimedia explanation.
Successive versus simultaneous presentation of the same material.
Learners are more likely to be able to hold corresponding
visual and verbal representations in working memory at the same time when the animation and narration are coordinated in time.
In contrast, with successive presentation, the limitations on working memory capacity make it less likely that corresponding visual representation and verbal representations will be in working memory at the same time.
- coherence principle – multimedia explanations are better understood when they include few rather than many extraneous words and sounds
Adding interesting but irrelevant sentences to an otherwise boring text does not improve students’ memory for the text (Garner, Gillingham, & White, 1989; Harp & Mayer 1997, 1998; Renninger, Hidi, & Krapp, 1992)The extraneous material may fill working memory with material that prevents the learner from building connections among steps in the causal chain. (Cognitive Load Theory)
- modality principle – it is better to present words as auditory
narration than as visual on-screen text
When words are presented as on-screen text they must be processed — at least initially — through the visual system along with the animation. In this way, the text competes for visual attention with the animation creating what Mousavi, Low, and Sweller (1995) call a split-attention effect.
- redundancy principle – it is better to present animation and narration than to present animation, narration, and on-screen text.
Adding on-screen text can create a split-attention effect in which students must look both at the animation and the text, thereby missing out on some of the presented material. When visual working memory is overloaded, there is less cognitive energy to build connections between visual and verbal representations.Conclusions: In particular, constructivist learning is most likely to occur when learners’ needs have corresponding visual and verbal representations in working memory at the same time.
When the instructional designer takes an information delivery view, the goal of the multimedia message is to deliver information.
When the instructional designer takes a cognitive view, the goal of the multimedia message is to promote knowledge construction in the learner.
This is accomplished not only by presenting relevant material in words and pictures, but also by helping the learner to process the presented material in meaningful ways.
Notes and definitions from “Aids to computer-based multimedia learning” Mayer & Moreno 2000