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By now Multimedia isn’t a new concept. Between Instagram Live and Snapchat’s augmented reality, we’re pretty comfortable around multi-forms of media usage. However, sometimes we fail to see how we can apply media into our professional life when it comes to corporate digital learning. Multimedia learning can be defined as the combination of narrative, images, video, audio, and animation designed to engage users; it’s a great way to make learning more exciting.
Research shows that while people don’t interact much with a text-only website (only 1 minute), they do perk up when a video is in store for them to watch (they stay interacting for 4 minutes or more). Animation, in particular, is great for connecting with your learners because of the simplistic nature of the graphics through multimedia learning. They are easier for the brain to store for later recall making them easier to access in times of need. In this way, animation as a leg up on live-action video or even a college-style lecture.
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While this is all well and good, in order to create really effective multimedia learning for your users, you need to understand how the mind works. According to the research of Dr. Richard Mayer, a psychology professor at the University of Santa Barbara, visuals that enhance words aid learning. Most brains are processing inbound information in the following stages:
- Connecting with a clear topic
- Following a logical narrative
- Integrating the information into pre-existing knowledge
Spacing out your narrative is also important, as Dr. Mayer’s research indicated because learning is built on previous knowledge; multimedia learning allows you the freedom to shake things up thus making your learning content more effective. The use of multimedia is especially effective in leadership training as multimedia can be spaced out, incorporate repetitive video and images, and provides reinforcement, all of which aid in learning.
Further research from Dr. Richard Mayer has uncovered 12 principles that surround multimedia and learning that will help us to better understand multimedia and why it creates engagement.
- The Coherence Principle which shows that people are able to learn better when extraneous words, images, and audio are extracted from the learning material.
- The Signaling Principle shows that people learn better from cues that highlight the organization of the essential material.
- The Redundancy Principle says that people find graphics and text more effective than graphics, narration, and on-screen text
- The Spatial Contiguity Principle states that people learn better when a page’s graphics and text are closer together on the page or screen.
- The Temporal Contiguity Principle says that people will learn better when graphics and text are presented simultaneously rather than successively.
- The Segmenting Principle which says that people learn better from multimedia if it is presented in user-paced segments rather than as a continuous unit.
- The Pre-training Principle states that a multimedia lesson will be more effective when the users know the names and characteristics of the main concepts.
- The Modality Principle says that graphics and narrations will help people to learn better than animation and on-screen text.
- The Multimedia Principle says that words and pictures are more effective than words alone.
- The Personalization Principle says that when the text is presented in a more conversational style versus a formal style, people will learn better.
- The Voice Principle states that people respond better to learning material when it is spoken in a friendly human voice versus a machine voice.
- The Image Principle says when a speaker’s image is added to the screen, people do not necessarily respond better to the learning.
If you incorporate these twelve principles into your learning, you’re well on your way to having an effective multimedia learning program. Learning should be based on how people best learn using technology rather than what computers are capable of doing. You need to use technology to enhance learning for all your learners by making it engaging, relevant, available, and fun all the time. Multimedia is now more than just an eye-catching concept, it’s a way to bring learning that will have your team excited and ready to learn.