BOX 6-2
Principles of Multimedia Design for Deeper Learning

Principles for Reducing Extraneous Processing (thinking unrelated to the learning goal)

  • Coherence principle: Exclude extraneous words, pictures, and sounds.
  • Signaling principle: Add cues to highlight the organization of essential material.
  • Redundancy principle: Graphics with narration are more effective than graphics with narration and on-screen text.
  • Spatial contiguity principle: Place corresponding words and pictures close together on the page or screen.
  • Temporal contiguity principle: Present corresponding words and pictures simultaneously rather than successively.

Principles for Managing Essential Processing (thinking related to the learning goal)

  • Segmenting principle: Present lesson in user-paced segments.
  • Pretraining principle: Present names and characteristics of key concepts in advance of the main lesson.
  • Modality principle: Use graphics and narration, rather than animation and on-screen text.

Principles for Managing Generative Processing (thinking that enables deeper learning)

  • Multimedia principle: Use words and pictures, rather than words alone.
  • Personalization principle: Use words in a conversational style.
  • Voice principle: Narration should be spoken with a friendly human voice rather than a voice produced by a machine.
  • Image principle: Adding a speaker’s image does not necessarily enhance learning.

Boundary Conditions

The series of experiments also indicated that the effectiveness of these design principles for supporting deeper learning are limited by two boundary conditions. First, some design effects are stronger for low-experience learners than for high-experience learners, which Mayer (2009) refers to as the individual-differences condition. Second, the effects of applying the principles are stronger for multimedia lessons with highly complex content than for those with less complex content and are also stronger for fast-paced presentations than for slow-paced presentations.

SOURCE: Adapted from Mayer (2009).

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