of experiments leading to his theory of multimedia learning, Mayer (2009) has identified 12 principles of multimedia design that can enhance transfer (see Box 6-2).
Encouraging Elaboration, Questioning, and Self-Explanation
Chi and colleagues have shown that, in both book-based and computer-based learning environments, students learn more deeply from reading a science text if they are prompted to explain the material to themselves aloud as they read (Roy and Chi, 2005; Fonseca and Chi, 2011). Research has investigated how different types of questioning techniques promote deeper learning (Graesser and Person, 1984; Graesser, D’Mello, and Cade, 2011), indicating that some successful tutoring techniques include asking why, how, what if, what if not, and so what. As noted in the previous chapter, carefully designed questions posed by teachers and fellow students, such as asking students to justify their answers, have been shown to support deeper learning in mathematics (Griffin, 2005; Boaler and Staples, 2008) and science (Herrenkohl et al., 1999). Asking the learner to summarize the material in a text can also lead to deeper learning (Pressley and Woloshyn, 1995; Mayer and Wittrock, 1996). Finally, research on the testing effect shows that students learn better when they test themselves (without feedback) on material that they have just read than when they study it again; this is true both with paper-based materials (Roediger and Karpicke, 2006) and with online multimedia lessons (Johnson and Mayer, 2009).
There is evidence that this method also supports learning for transfer in designed informal science learning centers (e.g., zoos, museums, and aquariums). Exhibits can be designed to encourage learners to pose questions to themselves and others, helping them think abstractly about scientific phenomena (National Research Council, 2009a). When parents provide explanations of science exhibits to their children, they may help them link the new information to their previous knowledge. How exhibits are designed appears to influence the number and kinds of questions visitors ask.
Engaging Learners in Challenging Tasks, with Supportive Guidance and Feedback
For more than 40 years, research has repeatedly shown that asking students to solve challenging problems in science and other disciplines without appropriate guidance and support (i.e., pure discovery) is ineffective in promoting deep learning (Shulman and Keislar, 1966; Mayer, 2004; de Jong, 2005; Kirchner, Sweller, and Clark, 2006). In contrast, asking students to solve challenging problems while providing appropriate and specific cognitive guidance along the way (i.e., guided discovery) can be a useful