Cognitive Theory of
Theory of Multimedia Learning
Dual-channel: the structure of visual and auditory channels
Limited capacity: the processing capacity in memory
Three memory stores:
Sensory – allows us to perceive information
Working – consciously process information
Long-term – stores out knowledge base
Five cognitive processes of selecting, organizing and
Integrating new knowledge with prior knowledge
“People learn more deeply from words and pictures than from
words alone” ~Mayer
Multimedia supports the way the human brain learns.
Multimedia instructional design is used for cognitive research in
order to combine words and pictures to increase learning
The brain selects and organizes information in order to produce
mental constructs from words, pictures and audio.
Teaching according to C.T.M.L.
Designing multimedia lessons requires an instructor to provide
multimedia instructional methods that are NOT technologycentered.
The instructional method is suppose to drive the technology to
deliver the perspectives of the learner without creating limitations.
For instance, the usage of radios, televisions, computers and the
internet were introduced into schools to improve education
because they were perceived as better tools. However, the form of
instruction the students are receiving is what matters not the
technology being used.
Instructors shouldn’t create unnecessary activities with loads of
information in a lesson because it is only going to prevent the
student from acquiring the needed information that is suppose to
The students according to C.T.M.L.
From “no learning” to “rote learning” to what Mayer considers
“active learning,” a student is meant to construct knowledge from
Students learn and perform better with problem-solving exams that
include learning words with pictures.
Transfer learning: previous learning affects new learning
Problem solving transfer: previous learning affects the ability to solve
As new multimedia technology emerges faster than the developing
instructional methods, students begin to migrate towards
Instructional multimedia games and simulations
PDF textbooks and scholarly articles
For future teachers:
The cognitive theory of multimedia learning is a learnercentered theory with a cognitive constructivist orientation that
focuses on finding effective instructional methods.
“Learning is personal and cannot be directly observed because
it happened with the learner’s cognitive system…” not the
Learning is inferred through a change in behavior.
Performance in activities or on examinations.