5. Applying the Contiguity Principle: Align Words to Corresponding Graphics

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

Published Online: 4 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118255971.ch5

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 Contiguity Principle: Align Words to Corresponding Graphics, 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.ch5

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:

  • contiguity principle;
  • eye-tracking;
  • graphics;
  • learning;
  • printed words

Summary

This chapter summarizes the empirical evidence for learning gains resulting from presenting text and graphics in an integrated fashion, rather than presenting the same information separately. The psychological advantage of integrating text and graphics results from a reduced need to search for which parts of a graphic correspond to which words, thereby allowing the user to devote limited cognitive resources to understanding the materials. The chapter presents new evidence concerning the contiguity principle. The new evidence includes research on eye-tracking and pop-up windows. The chapter also clarifies some of the boundary conditions under which the contiguity principle applies most strongly. The principle of contiguity involves the need to coordinate printed words and graphics. The chapter focuses on the idea that on-screen words should be placed near the parts of the on-screen graphics to which they refer.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

graphic design; learning; word processing