Mayer’s 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning

If you are designing a PowerPoint presentation, developing an online course or preparing to flip your classroom, you may need to reconsider how you will get learners to engage with the material without the traditional face-to-face interaction.  In the book Multimedia Learning (Cambridge Press, 2001), Richard E. Mayer discusses twelve principles that shape the design and organization of multimedia presentations

We’re going to cover the basics of his 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning in this Moodle book.

The Spatial Contiguity Principle - Group Related Information

The Spatial Contiguity Principle is about the actual space in between your text and visuals on the screen, stating that humans learn best when relevant text and visuals are physically close together.

People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near to each other rather than far from each other on the page or screen. Presenting graphics followed by explanatory text further down the screen forces the user to scroll up to see the graphic & scroll down to see the text. This physically separates the text and graphic. Related text and graphics should be presented together.

Spatial Contiguity

How to use the Spatial Contiguity Principle:

This one makes sense intuitively. You should keep all related text and graphics physically close together in your frame. This makes it much easier for learners to process the information, using less energy to decipher meaning. This principle is pretty straight forward. Make it easy for your audience to know where to look for information.

 Consider the following example:

Bones of the Skull 1

In the example above, the bones of the skull are labelled using a legend, with descriptions off to the side of the image. Numbers are used to link the areas identified with the names. This divides learners’ attention and should be avoided.

Bones of the Skull 2

In this example, labels are provided on top of the graphic, which makes it easier to focus on the content.

See HERE for further examples