For hundreds of years, verbal messages - such as lectures and printed lessons - have been the primary means of explaining ideas to learners. In Multimedia Learning, Richard Mayer explores ways of going beyond the purely verbal by combining words and pictures for effective teaching. Multimedia encyclopedias have become the latest addition to students' reference tools, and the World Wide Web is full of messages that combine words and pictures. Do these forms of presentation help learners? If so, what is the best way to design multimedia messages for optimal learning?
Drawing on ten years of research, the author provides a cognitive theory of multimedia learning and seven principles for the design of multimedia messages. In short, this book summarizes research aimed at realizing the promise of multimedia learning -that is, the potential of using words and pictures together to promote human understanding.
Richard E. Mayer is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2000, he was recipient of the E. L. Thorndike Award for career achievement in educational psychology. Dr. Mayer is author of 12 books, including The Promise of Educational Psychology.