EDCI 337 Interactive Multimedia Learning | Summer 2018 Coursework

By May 15, 2018Academic Papers

EDCI 337, Interactive Multimedia Learning | Summer 2018

Module description:


Module 1 Multimedia Learning

This module, multimedia learning, is the first module in the theoretical portion of the course. It is important that you have a sound understanding of theoretical foundations of multimedia learning so that you understand the rationale behind the guiding principles. Thus, you can design multimedia lessons that are conducive to learning. Remember that using technology in learning is one thing, and using technology to create effective learning solutions is another thing. You are here to learn how to use technology as an effective learning tool.

In this module you will learn theories, concepts, and guidelines underlying multimedia learning. After this module, you should be able to:

  •   Describe theoretical foundations of multimedia learning through studying the cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML) and the cognitive load theory as examples

  •   Appreciate the importance of theories and research in designing and implementing multimedia learning solutions

  •   Identify principles for creating effective multimedia learning solutions

  •   Acknowledge the multiplicity of viewpoints regarding multimedia learning

    The module in a nutshell:

    Multimedia learning refers to the use of words (spoken or written) and graphics (still or moving) to present learning contents in a way that facilitates learning. Examples include textbooks with graphics, printed materials accompanied with audio recordings, computer-mediated learning, simulations, educational games, online learning, and virtual reality. In this course, however, we are interested in multimedia learning delivered on digital technology platforms such as computers, smartphones, tablets, virtual realities, or online.

    The quality of studentslearning does not depend on the medium (i.e. learning delivery method), but it depends on a combination of factors including instructional design, learning content, student’s motivation, and instructional strategies. The best delivery method depends on the learning context. Therefore, the main concern of multimedia learning theories and principles is not to promote the idea that multimedia


EDCI 337, Interactive Multimedia Learning | Summer 2018

learning is better than (for example) face-to-face learning, but it is to find ways to make multimedia learning effective and more conducive to learning.

The main advantages of multimedia learning over face-to-face instructor-lead learning include the delivery of instruction at distance, at a more convenient time, and sometimes at a lower cost. Moreover, multimedia learning can help create learning experiences that cannot be easily obtained in face-to-face learning (for example simulation software that can let engineering students experience technical problems that do not regularly happen in the real world).

Psychologists have developed many theories to explain multimedia learning. Examples of theories include the integrated model of text and picture comprehension (ITPC), the four-component instructional design model (4C/ID), the cognitive load theory (CLT), and the cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML). These last two theories are pretty similar, and they are part of your required learning materials.

The cognitive theory of multimedia learning asserts that in order to make multimedia lessons more conducive to learning, they should be designed in a way that helps the cognitive processing of learners. Cognitive processing refers to how people’s cognitive system (i.e. brain) processes new information and makes sense of it, so learning occurs (i.e. acquisition of new knowledge). Thus the theory assumes three things about the human cognitive system:

  1. First, dual-channel: the brain processes visual and auditory information through two separate channels

  2. Second, limited capacity: the brain can handle only a limited amount of information at once

  3. And third, active processing: when learning, people pay attention to relevant details, those details are organized into coherent mental representations, and mental representations are integrated into existing knowledge

Based on the above three assumptions about the cognitive system, the theory suggests that people learn more effectively from multimedia, the combination of words (auditory) and graphics (visual), rather than from a single medium, words or graphics. Additionally, when designing multimedia lessons, the designer should strive for three things: to reduce extraneous processing, to manage essential processing, and to foster generative processing.


EDCI 337, Interactive Multimedia Learning | Summer 2018

Reducing extraneous processing means reducing the amount of work that learners brain has to do by getting rid of any information that is not necessary for achieving the learning goal. This is achieved through the application of five principles:

  1. Coherence principle: get rid of all the unnecessary and distracting details

  2. Redundancy principle: use graphics/voice rather than graphics/voice/text

  3. Signaling principle: point out important information

  4. Spatial contiguity principle: put the text next to the graphic it describes

  5. Temporal contiguity principle: the audio must accompany the graphic it


Managing essential processing means presenting the learning content in a way that makes it easier for learners brain to process it. This is achieved through the application of three principles:

  1. Segmenting principle: break learning content into small chunks

  2. Pre-training principle: present important concepts before the lesson

  3. Modality principle: use voice rather than text

Fostering generative processing means presenting learning contents so that learners strive to learn. This is achieved through the application of the following principles:

  1. Personalization principle: present information in an informal and conversational style

  2. Voice principle: use accent-free human voice

  3. Embodiment principle: make on screen character acts like human

In short, when designing multimedia lesson, keep it concise, simple, and engaging.

It is important to note that the application of multimedia learning principles depends on many factors including learners’ prior knowledge, learners’ cultural background, learning goal, the level of control learners have over the content, and the learning context.

Finally, when thinking about multimedia learning principles, it is important to keep in mind boundary condition which means conditions under which a given principle may or may not be applicable.


EDCI 337, Interactive Multimedia Learning | Summer 2018

You are required to explore the following learning materials:

Note: links to required learning materials are also on the module main page

Mayer, R. E. (2017). Using multimedia for e-learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. doi: 10.1111/jcal.12197

Paas, F., & Sweller, J. (2014). Implications of Cognitive Load Theory for Multimedia Learning. In R. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology, pp. 27-42). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139547369.004

How to optimize students’ learning? Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning:


13 Classic Principles of Multimedia Learning Introduction:


Presentation Cognitive Load Theory:


Cognitive Load Theory and Multimedia Learning:


The following materials are not mandatory readings, they are important if you want to have deeper understanding of multimedia learning:

Mayer, R. E. (Ed.). (2014). The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (2nd ed., Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/10.1017/CBO9781139547369

The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning is the most comprehensive reference in the field of multimedia learning. It contains the most up-to-date researches, theories, and principles. This edition details all the theories I mentioned above. It also describes and with practical examples all the twelve basic principles of multimedia learning. Additionally, it contains advanced multimedia learning principles which we did not cover.

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2012). E-Learning and the science of instruction: proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. doi:10.1002/9781118255971

This book is a great source if you want to learn multimedia learning principles with scenarios and real examples. The book also provides practical guidelines for


designing e-learning solutions. Moreover, it talks about limitations of multimedia learning principles.