Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1388-8951
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9722
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Multimedia explanations are communications using words and pictures to explain how something works, including animation and narration in computer-based environments or text and illustrations in book-based environments. A cognitive theory of multimedia learning reveals a concurrence requirement for meaningful learning, in which corresponding verbal and pictorial representations must be held in working memory at the same time. Based on a theory-based research program, I propose five design principles: multimedia principle, to use words and pictures rather than words alone; contiguity principle, to place words close to corresponding pictures on a page or to present narration concurrently with corresponding animation; coherence principle, to minimize extraneous words, pictures, and sounds; modality principle, to present words as speech rather than as on-screen text; and individual differences principle, to use these design principles particularly for low-experience rather than high-experience learners and for high-spatial rather than low-spatial learners. Multimedia messages offer great potential for improving the effectiveness of communication, but only to the extent that their design is based on theory and research.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Cognition; Education; Instruction; Learning; Multimedia; Technology
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