Mayer and Multimedia Learning
Richard Mayer is a rockstar of educational psychology who has spent decades researching connections between visual media on learning. On the way to receiving several career achievement awards, Mayer formulated a Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning that is based on three assumptions:
Mayer has extensive research to back up this theory. His principles for effective media design help learners focus on relevant material, move it to working memory, and then integrate it with prior knowledge. Here are four of the principles:
- The Signaling principle encourages us to highlight essential material using bold text, color, headings, arrows, etc.
- The Redundancy principle says we should NOT add on-screen text to a narrated animation.
- The Pre-training principle says we should give learners a head start on the names, locations, and characteristics of key components before getting to the details.
- The Personalization principle urges us to present words in a conversational(rather than formal) style.
You can put Mayer’s principles into practice when you develop your next presentation. In this video, Nathan Cashion uses the pre-training and coherence principles to remake a slide.
This video by Sarah Martin shows how the Signaling principle can be used
- The best way to learn about the theory is to read Mayer’s book, Multimedia Learning
- For a shorter into, watch Principles for Multimedia Learning (Mayer lecture at Harvard) and see the accompanying slides.
- For more on applying the principles, see Using Mayer’s Principles of Multimedia Learning (Prezi by Deandra Tart)
[Image credit: “brain” by Abhijit Bhaduri]