How to optimize student's learning? Consider the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning by professor Richard Mayer. This video was made with Videoscribe. Free trial: http://www.sparkol.com?aid=76483
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How to optimize student's learning?
Consider the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning by professor Richard Mayer.
How do you optimize learning? The answer gives the Multimedia Learning Theory by Richard Mayer, a professor at the University of California. This theory is evidence based.
To learn you need a brain. You can store an unlimited amount of information. New information arrives in a part of the brain: your working memory . For example what I say and what you see , what you already know to learn optimally, to your best teacher, and your worst teacher, you may observe the hand that this star draws, how you teach yourself and Facebook, you still just have to check. 7 items and your working memory is full. What does this mean for a normal student ? Most of what you learn comes in through two senses: the eyes and, important, the ears. Through the ears words come in, the eyes register images. if done well, this information counts not as 2 items, but just 1 item for the working memory.
This is interesting for a teacher. Who usually uses three types of media. On a screen or board you can use images. You can also use accompanying text. And you can also explain the material orally in your own words. Professor Mayer gives specific advice how a student can learn better from you. His first tip is the redundancy principle: The use of images and verbal explanation and text on the board is too much. It's best to delete the text on the board. The multimedia principle, so use multiple media simultaneously, has the same conclusion: images while oral explanation make learning easier than explanation alone. If you have the opportunity, use supportive picture. The modality principle, media that fit well together, also says: if you can choose between using images and verbal explanations and images with accompanying text, choose images and words. If you still want to use images and text, think of the spatial contiguity principle, the time between, or more precisely the spatial proximity of image and text. Obviously you can choose between text directly to the image or separate into two screens of images and text. For example, first a diagram or an animation and then the explanation. But this splitting means you put extra load to the working memory. Choose for image plus text on one screen to support learning.
You don't have to avoid text. Text on board or screen can be useful: the signaling principle. With written text, you can very effectively highlight the keywords that support spoken words and image.
Other teacher, but I continue with the research.
Using oral explanation a student can learn easier if you use personal examples or you go into the world of a student. Also words like 'I' and 'you' are doing well. This also applies to text on the board. That is the personalization principle. Formal language and text are extra load for working memory. If you explain verbally a subject while on the board are exactly the same words, you really have to delete that text. That does not help, it is unnecessary load for the working memory. This is another example of the redundancy principle. And also if you want to illustrate your own words with a funny image or some playful text, remember that you put the working memory to work. That is the coherence principle. Use only relevant image or text.
Those were the general principles. The effects do differ by individual, the individual difference effect. The principles work best when learners have high spatial ability, meaningful to measure an IQ, but of course in a classroom this is difficult to determine. But it also works well for learners who have little knowledge of the subject.
So, research shows a student can learn better using oral explanation with directly showing relevant images, videos or animation.
There are three theories behind these principles. 1. The dual channel, 2. the limited capacity and 3. the active processing assumption. Dual channel means that words and images are sensed apart but are connected at the end of the working memory. At that point they also connect to existing, prior, knowledge. This existing knowledge also is brought in the working memory. And that affects the limited capacity, the limited working memory capacity of up to 7 items for about 20 seconds.
Active processing is the assumption that learners construct their own knowledge. And that's an important basis of cognitivism, one of the schools in education.
Finally, do you want to help students to learn better?
1. Oral explanations with simultaneously direct support of image is superior.
2. Always be careful with text.