4. Applying the Multimedia Principle: Use Words and Graphics Rather Than Words Alone

  1. Ruth Colvin Clark and
  2. Richard E. Mayer

Published Online: 4 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118255971.ch4

e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, Third Edition

e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, Third Edition

How to Cite

Clark, R. C. and Mayer, R. E. (2011) Applying the Multimedia Principle: Use Words and Graphics Rather Than Words Alone, in e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, Third Edition, Pfeiffer, San Francisco, CA, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118255971.ch4

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: 1 AUG 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470874301

Online ISBN: 9781118255971

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Keywords:

  • dynamic graphics;
  • e-learning courses;
  • multimedia principle;
  • static graphics;
  • topic maps

Summary

This chapter provides updated evidence and support for the multimedia principle and explores its boundary conditions. In particular, it provides evidence concerning (1) whether the multimedia principle depends on the experience level of the learners and (2) whether the multimedia principle depends on whether the graphics are static or dynamic. Another addition to the chapter involves a look at whether people learn better when graphic organizers are added to text. The chapter explores whether there is any return on investment for supplementing words with pictures—either static graphics such as drawings or photos, or dynamic graphics such as animation or video. Based on cognitive theory and research evidence, the authors recommend that e-learning courses include words and graphics rather than words alone. In addition to illustrating specific content types, graphics such as topic maps can serve an organizational function by showing relationships among topics in a lesson.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

courseware; learning; multimedia