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Week 2: Explore Research on Multimedia

Exploring Research on Multimedia

The multimedia linked to this page will take a minute or two to load before working properly. I uploaded these files to a server rather than a video sharing site to retain user control over the pace of the presentations.

Implications of Limited Capacity

  • Capacity to take in information is limited
  • Extraneous, essential, and generative processing combine to create a cognitive load
  • Too much extraneous information unrelated to learning goals interferes with essential and generative processing.
  • Too much essential information (too much or too complex to easily process) can interfere with generative or deep processing
  • Learners sometimes do not process the information more deeply with generative processing
  • Learning can be improved by:
    • Reducing extraneous processing
    • Managing essential processing
    • Fostering generative processing


Limited Capapcity (Improved for Safari Mac or Windows)

Limited Capacity Presentation




Reducing Extraneous Processing

  • Coherence: Learners perform better when extranous material is excluded
    • Excluding interesting but irrelevant images and words
    • Excluding interesting but irrelevant sounds and music
    • Excluding unneeded symbols and words
  • Signaling: Learners perform better when cues show the structure of the lesson and highlight what is important
  • Redundancy: Learners perform better with graphics and narration than graphics, narration, and printed text
  • Spatial contiguity: Learners perform better when relevant text is near the corresponding image
  • Temporal contiguity: Learners perform better when words are presented with the image simultaneously


Reduce Extraneous Processing





Managing Essential Processing

  • Segmenting: Learners perform better when information is broken up into parts
    • Complex information is best broken up into parts
    • Learners perform better when they control the pace
  • Pretraining: People learn more deeply when they know key definitions and concepts before hand
  • Modality: Learners perform better when images are presented along with the spoken word rather than printed text


Managing Essential Processing Presentation





Fostering Generative Processing

  • Multimedia: Learners perform better when presented with words and pictures than when presented with words alone
  • Personalization: Learners perform better when when words are conversational rather than formal
  • Voice: Learners perform better when information is presented by a friendly human voice than a computer generated voice


Foster Generative Processing Presentation


Foster Generative Processing (P2PU Server)



Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning

For Whom is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words…

Five Ways to Reduce PowerPoint Overload


Those who are interested in more detailed information might be interested in research in multimedia learning may want to read Multimedia Learning by Richard E. Mayer.

A lot of information about improving multimedia to enhance learning has been discussed in this task. Some ideas may seem obvious and some may be counterintuitive. What ideas do you find most important? What surprised you? Is there anything that you disagree with? Is there anything that needs further clarificaion?

Task Discussion

  • karen   April 11, 2012, 11:35 a.m.

    I just heard a suggestion regarding personalization that really resonated with me. One way to include personalization is to take externally-produced videos and add a one or two minute personal intro to them.

    This adddresses the fact that not every teacher loves or is great at producing their own videos and the challenge that time is limited. This could also be a way to add connections to other classroom activities, to supplement information, and possibly to add interactivity.

  • Liz Renshaw   March 22, 2012, 2:40 a.m.

    Hi There

    Wanting to progress but still have some issues not getting any sound. I am however getting a message that says /network is too busy to ...  in the original quailty. I have tried accesssing at different times of day but still getting same message. Not sure what to do? any ideas?

    Thanks Liz