Mayer’s Biography <ul><li>Received his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1973 from the University of Michigan. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently researches in educational and cognitive psychology. </li></ul><ul><li>Has authored 18 books, and more than 250 articles and chapters. </li></ul><ul><li>Is past-President of the Division of Educational Psychology of the American Psychological Association. </li></ul><ul><li>Received the E. L. Thorndike Award for career achievement in educational psychology in 2000. </li></ul>
What is Multimedia? Mayer defines multimedia as the presentation of material using both words and pictures. By words, Mayer means that the material is presented in verbal form , printed or spoken text for example. By pictures, he means that the material is presented in pictorial form such as using static graphics , including illustrations, graphs, photos, or maps, or using dynamic graphics , including animation or video.
What is Multimedia? Mayer has narrowed his definition of multimedia to these two forms - verbal and pictorial - because the research based in cognitive psychology is most relevant to this distinction. Hence, what Mayer refers to as multimedia learning is also more accurately called dual-code or dual-channel learning . In the simplest of language, multimedia can be defined as the presentation of material using both words and pictures.
The Case for Multimedia Learning Learners can better understand an explanation when it is presented in words and pictures than when it is presented in words alone. The rationale for multimedia presentations is that it takes advantage of the full capacity of humans for processing information. When material is presented only in the verbal mode, we are ignoring the potential contribution of our capacity to also process material in the visual mode.
The Case for Multimedia Learning Two explanations exist as to why might two channels be better than one… The quantitative rationale is that more material can be presented on two channels than on one channel. The qualitative rationale is based on the idea that words and pictures, although qualitatively different, can complement one another and that human understanding occurs when learners are able to mentally integrate visual and verbal representations. By building connections between words and pictures, learners are able to create a deeper understanding than from words or pictures alone. This idea is as the heart of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning.
The Case for Multimedia Learning Mayer rejects the case for quantitative rationale because it is largely based on the assumption that verbal and visual channels are equivalent.
Three Views of Multimedia Messages The Delivery Media View: The presentation of material using two or more delivery devices. In this theory, the focus is on the physical system used to deliver the information – such as computer screens, amplified speakers, projectors, video recorders, blackboards, and human voice boxes. In strictest definition of the delivery media view a textbook does not constitute multimedia because the only presentation device is ink printed on paper.
Three Views of Multimedia Messages Mayer rejects this view because it focuses on the technology rather than on the learner. The Delivery Media View:
Three Views of Multimedia Messages The Presentation Modes View: The presentation of material using two or more presentation modes. The focus of this theory is on the way the material is presented. This view is more aligned with educational psychology, and is consistent with a cognitive theory of learning, which assumes that humans have separate information processing channels for verbal and pictorial knowledge. Because of these separate processing channels, a textbook would constitute multimedia because the material can be presented verbally as printed text and pictorially as static graphics This view is learner-centered.
Three Views of Multimedia Messages The Sensory Modalities View: According to this view, multimedia means that two or more sensory systems in the learner are involved, such as eyes or ears. This view is consistent with a cognitive theory of learning, which assumes humans have separate information processing channels for auditory and visual processing.
Three Views of Multimedia Messages The Sensory Modalities View: Both the presentation modes and sensory modalities views focus on the information processing system of the learner and assume that humans process information in more than one channel… – a proposal that Mayer refers to as the dual-channel assumption.
Three Views of Multimedia Messages Mayer’s definition of multimedia is based primarily on the presentation modes view, however he also relies on the sensory modalities view. The Sensory Modalities View: This view is also learner centered.
Two Views of Multimedia Design Technology-Centered Approaches: A review of the educational technologies of the twentieth century shows that the technology-centered approach generally fails to lean to lasting improvements in education. From motion pictures, to radio, television and more recently computers and the world-wide-web, we have in the past seen a common cycle. At first comes a grand promise of how they will revolutionize education, and then the rush to implement this new technology into schools, finally the unmet hopes and expectations.
Two Views of Multimedia Design Technology-Centered Approaches: Mayer attributes this disappointing cycle to the technology-centered approach taken by promotes. He contends that instead of adapting technology to fit the needs of human learners, humans were forced to adapt to the demands of cutting-edge technologies. Furthermore, Mayer warns that we will continue to repeat the same cycle if we continue taking a technology-centered approach.
Two Views of Multimedia Design Learning-Centered Approaches: This approach begins with the question, “How can we adapt multimedia to enhance human learning?” The focus is on using multimedia technology as an aid to human cognition. Multimedia designs that are consistent with the way the human mind works are more effective in fostering learning than those that are not.
Two Metaphors for Multimedia Learning Multimedia Learning as Information Acquisition: (Information Delivery) Learning involves adding information to one’s memory and is based on the following four assumptions. First, information – an objective item can be moved from place to place (such as from the computer screen to the human mind). Second, the learners job is to receive information; thus, the learner is a passive being who takes information form the outside an stores it in the memory.
Two Metaphors for Multimedia Learning Multimedia Learning as Information Acquisition: (Information Delivery) Third, the teacher’s job – or, in this case the multimedia designer’s job – is to present information. Fourth, the goal of multimedia presentations is to deliver information as efficiently as possible. Essentially multimedia is a vehicle for efficiently delivering information to the learner. The information acquisition model is sometimes called the empty vessel view because the learner’s mind is seen as an empty container that needs to be filled by the teacher. Sometimes also called the transmission view , or the commodity view .
Two Metaphors for Multimedia Learning Multimedia Learning as Knowledge Construction: Learning involves the learner’s construction of knowledge and is based on the four following assumptions. First, knowledge is personally constructed by the learner and cannot be delivered in exact form, from one mind to another. This is why two learners can be presented with the same multimedia message and come away different learning outcomes. Second, the learner’s job is to make sense of the presented the material (Cognitive Aid)
Two Metaphors for Multimedia Learning Multimedia Learning as Knowledge Construction: (Cognitive Aid) Third, The role of the teacher is to assist the learner in this sense-making process; thus the teacher is a cognitive guide who provides needed guidance to support the learner’s cognitive processing. The responsibility for learning belongs to the learner, with the teacher acting as a facilitator. Fourth, the goal of multimedia is to not only present information but also to provide guidance for how to process the presented information. Mayer favors the knowledge construction view because it is more consistent with the research base on how people learn.
Three Kinds of Multimedia Learning Outcomes Before looking at the three kinds of Multimedia Learning Outcomes, let us first identify two major goals of learning – remembering and learning . Remembering is the ability to reproduce or recognize the presented material and is assessed by retention test. The most common type of retention test are recall tests, where learners are asked to write down all they can remember or select what was presented, two examples include multiple choice or true or false questions.
Three Kinds of Multimedia Learning Outcomes Understanding on the other hand occurs when learners construct a coherent mental representation form the presented material. This is measured by what is called transfer tests, where learners must apply the material they learned in a new situation. Understanding is the ability to used the presented material in novel situations. When tested, the learner will be able to take what they have learned and apply that knowledge in a new context.
Three Kinds of Multimedia Learning Outcomes No learning – the learner performs poorly on tests of retention and transfer. Rote learning – the learner demonstrates good retention and poor transfer, this can also be referred to as fragmented knowledge or inert knowledge . Meaningful learning – is distinguished by good transfer performance as well as good retention performance.
Two Kinds of Active Learning The best way to promote meaningful learning outcomes is thought active learning. The question that arises here is does active learning refer to what is going with the learner’s physical activity or what is going on in the learner’s mind? This leads us to an even bigger question, and that is: Should multimedia presentations be designed mainly to prime behavioral activity or to prime cognitive activity? Research on learning has shown that meaningful learning depends on the learner’s cognitive activity during learning rather than on the learner’s behavioral activity during learning. In short a multimedia presentation should promote active cognitive processing. Well-designed multimedia instructional messages can promote active cognitive processing in learners, even when the learners seem to be behaviorally inactive.
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