Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning

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The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning model depicts all that dual-channel processing going in the learner's mind when using multimedia instruction. This model was created by Richard E. Mayer and Roxana Moreno and presented in their paper "Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning" in 2003. Keep in mind the three assumptions of Dual Channel, Limited Capacity and Active Processing, as we explore the cognitive theory of multimedia learning.

CognativeTheoryMML.jpg
(Mayer & Moreno based their model, in part, on the The Dual-coding Theory by Allan Paivio).

The two rows of the model represent the two information-processing channels: the auditory/verbal channel and the visual/pictorial channel (dual-channel assumption). The five columns each represent the modes of knowledge representations or physical representations, such as words or pictures. Sensory representations are those that take place in the ears or eyes of the learner, while shallow working memory representations are the sounds or images a learner notices or attends to during the instruction. Deep working memory representations are verbal and pictorial models constructed by the learner, and lastly, long-term memory representations are what the learner already knows about this particular instruction.

Multimedia Learning requires a lot of cognitive processing in both channels. Working memory has to make representations of sounds and images. Deep working memory is busy making verbal and pictorial models, and long-term memory is searching for and retrieving relevant prior knowledge.

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Instructional Design Reducing Cognitive Load Objectives Coming to Terms What’s Going On in There? < Back Next >