Module 1

Introduction to The Science of Learning and Multimedia Learning

Research-based principles for multimedia learning

Harvard University’s Promotional Poster for Mayer’s Presentation on May 5th, 2014

Do you wonder why people don’t understand the idea you’re trying to get across in a meeting? Are you mentoring another new teacher and struggling to understand why he/she still doesn’t get it? Do you run training courses and wonder why the students only learn 10% of the material? You won’t get a great answer without checking into the science of learning. Greater understanding of how learning happens allows us to constantly improve our teaching skills. In this module, we will explore studies and principles for learning from multimedia by viewing a 1.5-hour presentation by Dr. Richard Mayer (YouTube video). Dr. Mayer is professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has served since 1975. His research interests are in applying the science of learning to education, with current projects on multimedia learning, computer-supported learning, and computer games for learning. His presentation serves as an overview of what we will be discussing in the course. Throughout this semester, we will further examine theories and principles mentioned in his video. Sit back and watch the video.

Note: This video is the recording of Dr. Mayer’s presentation at Harvard University on May 5th, 2014. The corresponding presentation slides and background reading can be found at Research-based principles for multimedia learning (Harvard University Website).

Goals and Outcomes

Goals

During this module, students will:

  • understand the concept of learning
  • understand how people learn
  • understand three principles of learning science
  • understand multimedia learning
  • understand three principles of multimedia learning
  • understand Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning.

Outcomes

After completing this module, students will be able to:

  • define learning
  • describe how people learn
  • describe the three principles of learning science
  • define multimedia learning
  • describe three principles of multimedia learning
  • describe Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning

Selected Readings

Required

Recommended:

“To Do” List

Discussions

1. Self-Introduction

The discussion topic is to introduce yourself to the class. Please include the following basic information in your biography:

  • Preferred first name?
  • Educational background and experience?
  • Pursuing a degree at what level, and in what field?
  • Current employment, if employed? Years of professional experience?
  • Future career goals?
  • Learner status (full-time/part-time student)?
  • Goals for this course?
  • Preferred learning-styles? In what ways do you learn most effectively? Please describe.
  • Other relevant interesting information? (What would you like to share about yourself to help the teacher and other class members get to know you better?)
  • Attach your photo or provide a link to your blog/website/Facebook (The last item is optional)

Compose your biography in a narrative format (2 or 3 paragraphs, no bulleted items) and post it on Discussions area of Moodle.

Make your initial posts before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on Day 5 of this module. After making your initial postings, review at least two of your classmates’ postings and reply to their threads. Complete your replies before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on the next Monday.

2. My First Impression about Multimedia Learning

After viewing Dr. Mayer’s presentation, please reflect on the following two questions:

  1. In Dr. Mayer’s video, what is the most intriguing knowledge/fact/principle to you, why? Please relate to your discipline area, prior knowledge, or previous experience.
  2. If you are to design and develop a multimedia presentation, what are the three learning principles you would take into consideration?

Make your initial posts before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on Day 5 of this module. After making your initial postings, review at least two of your classmates’ postings and reply to their threads.Complete your replies before 11:59 p.m. U.S. EST/EDT on the next Monday.

Discussion postings should always be thoughtful and courteous and include some references or direct evidence from the module’s content, readings, or assignments to support your statements. In order to ensure that postings are appropriate in length and substance, please limit your initial postings to 100 – 200 words and each of your responses to 25 – 50 words.