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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2008
This is the single best collection of articles from today's leading researchers in multimedia learning available to date. The book provides an excellent sampling of research associated with how people learn through the combination of words (text and/or audio) and images (still illustrations or photos, animations, and/or video) available. Anyone working in multimedia learning will benefit from gaining a firm understanding of the principles presented throughout this book.

The book is divided into five parts:

Theoretical Foundations: Foundational learning theories, including cognitive load and how multi-modal message delivery (text/audio and graphics) support learning.

Basic Principles of Multimedia Learning: Research supporting key principles in the development of multimedia instruction and achieving multimedia learning, including split-attention principle, modality principle, redundancy, segmentation, coherence, signaling, spatial & temporal contiguity, and personalization.

Advanced Principles of Multimedia Learning: Research on the incorporation of multimedia products into a learning approach, including guided discovery, worked-out examples, collaboration, self-explanation, navigation, and prior knowledge.

Multimedia in Content Areas: Articles containing guidance for developing multimedia learning environments in various content areas, including reading, history, mathematics, chemistry, meteorology, physical systems, second language acquisition, and cognitive skills.

Multimedia Learning in Advanced Computer-Based Contexts: Focuses on multimedia in emerging technologies, including pedagogical agents; virtual reality; games, simulations, & microworlds; hypermedia; and e-courses.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2009
Every instructional designer who designs for any form of electronic delivery (and this should be just about every ID out there) needs to know this. It should be a standard theory text for any university multi-media ID course.
To not be familiar with this research would raise doubts on anyone who considers themself an ID. To teach Multimedia ID and not include this as a fundamental resource, brings into question just what the objectives of such a course could be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I purchased this book, because it is used in my course for instructional design. This is a great reference tool when an instructional designer is creating multimedia projects for user centered learning.
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on September 21, 2014
This is an excellent book - I bought it for a class in graduate school but have continued to use it as a reference ever since then. I like that it goes into detail about various theories, such as how learning is affected by the placement of text near an image, or why processing text and audio together can be ineffective. In particular, there is a good bit of discussion about the principles associated with multimedia learning. This is definitely a text-heavy book and is meant for serious, scholarly study, rather than casual reading. But it is so well written that I remember things I learned from it years later, and consider it worthy of keeping on my shelf.
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on June 30, 2014
Absolutely, This is a must-have book for people in cognitive science and multimedia learning related fields.
It is very clear explanation and well organized.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2010
A student studies a diagram in a geometry text book. A shape. Angles. Measurements. Relation of lines and points to x and y coordinates. The student reads the text and is provided information about the relationships between components in the diagram. A good student visualizes the relationships. They re-create the diagram in their imagination. It is the building of that internal map, that working, evolving, fluid picture in their own imagination - it is that that we call "learning." It is to that diagram inside their head (which they ponder in their sleep) to which the student refers when asked questions on a test, or when they apply the knowledge in life.

Learning is what happens naturally when information is presented to a human brain in an organized and respectful conveyance. The gifted teacher considers the student where they are and provides enough information for them to build a complete diagram within their mind. At the direction of such a competent teacher, the student returns again and again to their own diagram, embellishing and re-defining it to include and integrate new information. When the student can think through the most complex of tasks by creatively combining and drawing from their internal map, then that student will have "learned."

Can that process be measured? Does it matter whether the information is presented via multimedia or some other method?

One essay in the book - "The Modality Principle in Multimedia Learning" suggests that learning is a function of dendrites and h-channels forming new protein connections, and that this happens best when information is presented in dual auditory and visual streams.

If this internal map building business can be reduced to forming synoptic pathways, flexing fluid dendrites, forming new protein connections between brain cells, then maybe dual streams of sensory inputs will yield a greater mass of synoptic cytoplasm then mono streams, and is therefore a superior mode of conveyance. It bears consideration for the teacher who is story-boarding and architecting a video presentation. But is it really a superior form of learning? Does it build the best internal map? If two input streams are better than one, maybe vibrating a human brain with all five senses blazing at full volume would yield up the greatest quantity of new synoptic protein connections. But even if it does, so what? Is optimal learning a function of wiring up a human brain to the maximal mix of sensory inputs? That takes care of the quantity of learning. What about the quality? There is a massive intersection of highways just outside Atlanta that the locals call "Spaghetti Junction." It is a swirl of roads all intersecting in a mind-numbing conflagration of streaming cars. But is it a better route, or just a bigger mess?

There is a simple, profound experience to learning. The "I get it" experience. The moment when the material just gels. The instant of eureka! What was hard is suddenly easy. What was difficult a moment before now makes sense! That moment seems to have been entirely left out of the essays in this book. Never the less, if that experience can be brought more rapidly to groups of students through the use of multimedia content, then this book may usher in something significant.

As far as I can tell, it does not.

But time and trend will tell. There is a reason why chalk on slate has flourished since Aristotle. Is video merely a medium to enlarge the lecture hall? Is video's contribution to the learning process to merely aim a camera at a lecturer in front of a white board? Judging by the material available from this link (ocw.mit.edu/courses/) an institution no less than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seems to think so. Which is a point worthy of serious consideration.
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4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2006
If you want to learn about how we humans can learn better, this book will show you many ways ... using multimedia as a strategy for teaching and learning.
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