Applying the Multimedia Principle

The multimedia principle stated that words and graphics used together are more effective for learning.  Several kinds of graphics that can be used depending on what the learning objective is, but avoid decorative graphics because they do not improve learning. When I think about the effective graphics, transformational ones come to my mind. These graphics show the procedure or how something is done. I often use video tutorials when I need to learn how to do a specific thing using a software. Great examples of these can be found on YouTube.  Alternatively these can be done through written direction that puts more emphasis on textual information with static images to support the text.  If you decide to present information using all text, using a numbered list can be an effective way to organize the information so that it is easier to digest.  Providing an outline beforehand or a summary at end can be other options for organizing texts. Based on the evidence presented, ideally it’s best to use graphics and text but in some cases text will be preferable.  Clark and Mayer stated that advanced learners learn well with or without visual cues. Textual information requires the least amount of resources and so this would be a good option for users with limited technology capacity. I use the multimedia principle regularly when helping students with reading comprehension. Big blocks of text are reorganized into manageable chunks using a numbered list or table. Visual aids will be helpful in reading comprehension because the students I work with learn English as a foreign language.  In addition the students read a variety of topics in the reading passages and may lack prior knowledge on some of these topics.  One way that students could using the multimedia principle is to look at sentences and underline words and phrases that they don’t understand and have them work in groups to find images to decode the meaning. Teachers could also prepare images and make comparisons and provide further explanations to students.

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