Let's start! About multimedia


Multimedia learning! What does multimedia means ?

Multimedia learning
Multimedia learning is the common name used to describe a the “Cognitive theory of Multimedia learning” (Mayer and Moreno, 1998; Moreno and Mayer, 1999; Mayer, 2001). This theory encompasses several principles of learning with multimedia.

The Modality principle
Educational research has shown that information should be encoded both visually and auditorily. When learning with multimedia the brain must simultaneously encode two different types of information, but in the case of multimedia we have an auditory stimulus and a visual stimulus. One might expect these competing sources of information to tend to overwhelm or overload the learner. This perhaps would be the case, if it were not for how working memory works. Baddeley and Hitch (1974) suggested working memory has two somewhat independent subcomponents that tend to work in parallel. This allows us to simultaneously process information coming from our eyes and ears. Thus a learner is not necessarily overwhelmed or overloaded by multimodal instruction.

Dual-coding theory was first proposed by Paivio and later applied to multimedia by [Richard Mayer] and his associates. Mayer has shown learners are better able to transfer there learning given multimodal instruction. Mayer explains the modality effect from an information processing/cognitive load perspective.

In a series of studies Mayer and his colleagues tested Paivio’s dual coding theory, with multimedia. They repeatedly found that students learning given multimedia with animation and narration, consistently did better on transfer questions than those who learn from animation and text-based materials. That is they were significantly better when it came to applying what they had learned after receiving multimedia rather than mono-media (visual only) instruction. These results were then later confirmed by other groups of researchers.

Initially the instructional content of these multimedia learning studies was limited to logical scientific processes that centered on cause-and-effect systems like automobile braking systems, how a bicycle pump works, or cloud formation. But eventually it was found that the modality effect could be extended to other domains, which were not necessarily cause-and-effect based systems.

Information then can and should be encoded as both as visually and auditory (narration). If verbal information is encoded auditorily it reduces the cognitive load of the learner and they are better able to handle that incoming information. Mayer has since called this the “Modality effect,” or the Modality Principle. This was one of the many principles of his “Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning” (Mayer, 2001).