Multimedia instruction consists of instructional messages that contain words (such as printed or spoken text) and pictures (such as illustrations, diagrams, photos, animation, or video). The rationale for multimedia instruction is that people can learn more deeply from words and pictures than from words alone. Multimedia instruction began with the publication of Comenius' Orbis Pictus (The World in Pictures) in the 1600s, and has progressed to a wide array of computer-based multimedia learning experiences that are available anytime and anywhere. The science of learning—that is, a research-based account of how people learn—is necessary for designing effective multimedia instruction. Meaningful multimedia learning occurs when the learner engages in appropriate cognitive processing during learning, including attending to relevant words and pictures, organizing words and pictures into coherent representations, and integrating the representations with each other and with knowledge activated from long-term memory. Successful instructional methods for improving learning with multimedia include research-based principles for reducing extraneous processing during learning, managing essential processing during learning, and fostering generative processing during learning.
Mayer, R. E. (2014)., Multimedia instruction, in J. Elen (ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 385-399.
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