E Learning

The 12 principles of learning with multimedia

If you are preparing your next virtual course or want to improve your current course, you will be interested in knowing the 12 principles of learning with multimedia that you can apply in the design and development of content.

What are the 12 principles of multimedia learning?

The 12 principles aim to understand how we can teach people to transfer what they have learned to completely new situations.

Based on research in cognitive theories, Dr. Mayer developed his own cognitive theory of multimedia learning, which has important relevance to the design of online instruction.

It is important that you know that his theory is based on almost 3 decades of research, product of which Dr. Mayer formulated the 12 principles to develop online learning environments and gamification .

The 12 principles of learning with multimedia

Coherence principle

People learn better when we exclude extraneous words, sounds, and images.

What this means is that when designing online courses and presentations we should not overload with material.

The key is to keep it simple, without overusing text, images or multimedia content.

Signaling principle

People learn better when important information is highlighted and the structure and organization of the information guides them to relevant material.

For example, a highlighted text box, an outline or organization chart, or a sentence in bold.

redundancy principle

People learn better from multimedia content where images and text are displayed than from content where images, narration and text are displayed on the screen.

What he is referring to here is that you have to avoid cognitive overload. With the exception of people with special needs.

Spatial contiguity principle

People learn best when the text and its images are close to each other and not far apart, so that there is a point to focus attention.

Principle of temporal contiguity

People learn better when the text and its images are continuous instead of successive.

Segmentation principle

People learn better when media content is broken into shorter segments.

For example, a one-hour video lesson is best broken into 10-minute segments.

Pre-training principle

People learn better in a multimedia lesson when they already know the names and characteristics of the main concepts.

This is where a review or revision of the contents of the previous unit or a previous course would be ideal to facilitate learning.

Modality Principle

People learn better in multimedia environments where there are graphics and narration than where there is animation and text on the screen.

It is possible that the animation is distracting or stimulating, you must evaluate very well how and when to use it.

media principle

Students will learn better in a multimedia environment if we present words and images at the same time than if we only show words.

Personalization Principle

People learn better in a multimedia environment when they are spoken to in conversational language rather than formal language.

When giving your course, address yourself with a vocabulary and a tone that is appropriate to your audience but friendly and relaxed.

voice principle

People learn better in multimedia environments when the narration is a friendly human voice than when it is a computer-generated robotic voice.

imaging principle

People do not necessarily learn better in multimedia environments when they can see the image of the speaker accompanying the narration.

If you are an online tutor you can show your face for other reasons such as closeness, familiarity and comfort of your students but, for learning, the fact that they can see your face is not a determining factor.

It is important that you take into account that these principles basically refer to instructional design and what research has contributed about how people better learn content in multimedia environments, so it is a guide on how to carry out a good design.

Do not forget that there are other factors that also influence the success of your virtual course.

Richard Meyer’s twelve principles of multimedia learning are an excellent starting point in the design of your courses and are a guide to organize and present the content, avoiding cognitive overload and maximizing the possibility of learning.

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