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Aids to computer-based multimedia learning


Learning and Instruction Volume 12, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Computer-based multimedia learning environments — consisting of pictures (such as animation) and words (such as narration) — offer a potentially powerful venue for improving student understanding. How can we use words and pictures to help people understand how scientific systems work, such as how a lightning storm develops, how the human respiratory system operates, or how a bicycle tire pump works? This paper presents a cognitive theory of multimedia learning which draws on dual coding theory, cognitive load theory, and constructivist learning theory. Based on the theory, principles of instructional design for fostering multimedia learning are derived and tested. The multiple representation principle states that it is better to present an explanation in words and pictures than solely in words. The contiguity principle is that it is better to present corresponding words and pictures simultaneously rather than separately when giving a multimedia explanation. The coherence principle is that multimedia explanations are better understood when they include few rather than many extraneous words and sounds. The modality principle is that it is better to present words as auditory narration than as visual on-screen text. The redundancy principle is that it is better to present animation and narration than to present animation, narration, and on-screen text. By beginning with a cognitive theory of how learners process multimedia information, we have been able to conduct focused research that yields some preliminary principles of instructional design for multimedia messages.


Mayer, R.E. & Moreno, R. (2002). Aids to computer-based multimedia learning. Learning and Instruction, 12(1), 107-119. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved August 18, 2022 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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