Mayer and Moreno, “Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning”

Mayer, Richard E., and Roxana Moreno. “Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning.”  Educational Psychologist, 38 (no. 1), 43-52.

Abstract: “First, we propose a theory of multimedia learning based on the assumptions that humans possess separate systems for processing pictorial and verbal material (dual-channel assumption), each channel is limited in the amount of material that can be processed at one time (limited-capacity assumption), and meaningful learning involves cognitive processing including building connections between pictorial and verbal representations (active-processing assumption). Second, based on the cognitive theory of multimedia learning, we examine the concept of cognitive overload in which the learner’s intended cognitive processing exceeds the learner’s available cognitive capacity. Third, we examine five overload scenarios. For each overload scenario, we offer one or two theory-based suggestions for reducing cognitive load, and we summarize our research results aimed at testing the effectiveness of each suggestion. Overall, our analysis shows that cognitive load is a central consideration in the design of multimedia instruction.”

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