Digital Spaces: The 12 Best Practices for Multimedia Learning

Google looks for “class design” or “classroom design science” performance and useful results on how to set up your classroom for student success. However, with the increasing use of educational technology, student learning is not limited to the physical classroom. According to a 2012 study by the Evergreen Education Group, approximately 275,000 students are enrolled full time in online education.

The growing popularity of online education may be due, in large part, to innovations in multimedia learning and instruction, which is defined as “words presenting images that aim to encourage learning” (Mayer and Moreno, 2003). Richard Mayer, professor of psychology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, identifies the essential pieces of multimedia learning in his 2001 study, 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning, which we will consider next.

According to Mayer and Moreno (2003), these principles are the best practices for reducing students’ cognitive load when their processing demands exceed their processing capacities. In other words, these strategies can be used when using words, pictures and media in an online course are more to stimulate and inhibit learning.

It is important to keep in mind 12 Mayer principles when working in digital learning environments with your students.

Digital Spaces
Image Source: Google Image

Here are ways to use these principles in your classroom …

1) Principle of Consistency

Students learn best when foreign words, images and media are eliminated. By creating online courses or presentations, be sure to limit your screen put only essential information.

2) Principle of Signaling

Keep students on task, highlighting essential information. Add visual cues such as bolding important words or surrounding important images in an example

3) Principle of redundancy

This principle refers to having aside the subtitles and voice narration of a text. Mayer’s best practices to keep in mind is that there should be no text or voice narration to avoid students’ cognitive overload. However, when working with students who have special needs (such as dyslexia or sensory processing disorders), it can be useful for providing text and voice narration.

4) Principle of spatial contiguity

Mayer points out that students learn best when they are words and images corresponding to the subject being treated. This allows students to direct their attention to a central focal point.

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5) Principle of temporal contiguity

This principle is directly related to the principle of spatial contiguity, but points out that by displaying text and corresponding images, they must be presented at the same time instead of successively.

6) Segmentation principle

Students learn better at their own pace. This principle focuses on the idea that multimedia lessons should be presented in user rhythm sections instead of a continuous lesson. Khan Academy and BrainPop do an excellent job on this principle, creating multimedia content allows students (and teachers) to move through the lesson at their own pace.

7) Principle of Pre-Training

Pre-training is important both in your class and online lessons, providing students either with a quick review of previously learned content, or equipping them with the basic conditions of a next lesson. Teachers may be more familiar with this term when referring to scaffolding as instruction.

8) Principle of Modality

As mentioned earlier, in order to limit cognitive overload, students learn best when presented with charts and narrative vs. Animation and text on the screen. Linking with animation on the text screen can visually stimulate your students and inhibit their retention. Again, the BrainPop curriculum does a great job in organizing your multimedia in a way that limits visual stimulation for students.

9) Principle of Multimedia

This is a general principle and multimedia learning approach in general, emphasizing that students learn best when presented with words and pictures at the same time. The presentation of students with visuals and text content allows you to reach all learning styles.

10) Personalization Principle

As with all lessons, information should be presented to students in a timely manner appropriate for age and language. Programs like the Hemingway app are a great tool to make sure your writing is understandable to your students. Copying and pasting text into this tool gives you your reading level as well as constructive feedback to make your text bold and clear.

11) Voice principle

The principle of Mayer’s voice is also related to the tone of the narration and emphasizes the importance of its narrator, to be a human voice rather than an automated robot. Record your own voice whenever possible.

12) Image Principle

As long as your students learn more comfortably with a human voice, this does not mean that you should include your own or another person’s face on the screen while doing the narration. This does not apply to online courses that have synchronous instruction with the teacher.

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