In This Article Multimedia Learning

  • Introduction
  • Journals
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Graphics Design

Education Multimedia Learning
by
Richard E. Mayer
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 15 December 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0026

Introduction

Multimedia learning refers to learning from words and pictures. The words may be spoken or printed, and the pictures may be static (such as illustrations or photos) or dynamic (such as animation or video). Examples of multimedia learning environments include a computer-based narrated animation, a computer-based educational game, a face-to-face PowerPoint presentation, and a paper-based lesson with text and illustrations. For hundreds of years, educators have relied mainly on verbal modes of instruction, such as textbooks or face-to-face lectures and tutoring. Advances in computer and information technologies now allow for the inclusion of dazzling graphics in instructional presentations and materials. The promise of multimedia learning is that adding graphics to words can improve learners’ understanding of new material. Research on the instructional effects of multimedia reveals that people can learn better when material is presented with pictures rather than just with words—a finding that Mayer 2009 (see Core Books) calls the multimedia principle. A challenge for instructors and instructional designers is to determine how to create effective multimedia instructional messages—materials with words and pictures intended to promote learning. This bibliography examines evidence-based principles for how to design multimedia learning environments that promote student learning.

Foundational Texts

This section presents core books, classic books, and historical books in the field of multimedia learning. Core books include edited volumes on multimedia learning research and integrative research reviews that have been published since John Sweller’s Instructional Design in Technical Areas (Sweller 1999, cited under Core Books). Classic books include edited volumes on research in multimedia learning as well as theoretical books related to multimedia learning published before 1999. Historical books explore the use of graphics.

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