Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 12, Issue 1, Article 6 (Jun., 2011)
S M Hafizur RAHMAN
Influence of Professional Learning Community (PLC) on secondary science teachers’ culture of professional practice: The case of Bangladesh

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Mayer's Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning

3.1 The Multimedia Learning Model

Based on the multimedia learning model in Figure 1, the arrows represent the steps of processing involved in the cognitive theory of multimedia learning: (a) selecting relevant words, (b) selecting relevant images, (c) organising selected words, (d) organising selected images, and (e) integrating verbal and visual representation as well as prior knowledge


Figure 1: Visual Representation of the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Source: Mayer 2001)

Mayer's (2001;2009) experiments were focused on the auditory/verbal channel and the visual channel. He defines multimedia as the presentation of material using both words and pictures. Thus, the definition of multimedia is narrowed down to two forms of information: verbal and pictorial or visual. This is because the research base in cognitive psychology is most relevant to this definition.

This model is based on three primary assumptions (Mayer 2009) as follows:
i. Visual and auditory experiences or information are processed through separate and distinct information processing 'channels'.
ii. Each information processing channel is limited in its ability to process experiences or information.
iii. Processing experiences or information in the channels form an active process designed to construct coherent mental representations.

Throughout the 1990s and beyond, Mayer and his colleagues have conducted research investigating the nature and effects of multimedia presentations on human learning. Mayer's (2001;2009) theory on multimedia learning involves seven principles that can be applied for the design of multimedia messages as indicated in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Seven Research-based Principles for the Design of Multimedia Messages (Adapted from Mayer 2001)

Mayer's theories were applied throughout, in the design and development of the prototypes for the topic of memory management in Operating Systems Concept (OSIMM).


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