Multimedia Design for Learning


Check out my last blog post in which I explained what multimedia learning is and briefly touched on how to incorporate it into the classroom. Today, I will delve a little deeper into how to effectively use multimedia design as an educator!

Effective Use of Multimedia Learning & Where to Start

There are many principles of multimedia learning that when used correctly, can produce an effective learning method. In Dr. Ray Pastore’s video “What is Multimedia Learning? What is Multimedia?”, he outlines 6 different multimedia learning principles to watch out for when designing a learning activity for your students. They are…

  1. Split Attention
  2. Redundancy
  3. Coherence
  4. Spatial & Temporal Contiguity
  5. Signalling
  6. Interactivity Effect

The Principles in Detail

The Split Attention Principle states that it is more effective for learning if educators use words and pictures that are “physically and temporally integrated” (Mayer, 2014, p.8). This way your students don’t have to split their attention between multiple things.

The Redundancy Principle states that presenting information twice (as it is named) is REDUNDANT! Educators don’t need to use text on the screen that repeats what they are saying out loud.

The Coherence Principle states that irrelevant information can actually hurt learning, so educators should strive to keep their content to the point.

The Spatial and Temporal Contiguity Principle states that when corresponding texts and icons are closer together, people learn better,

The Signalling Principle states that if educators “signal” what’s important for learners to understand, they are more likely to remember that piece of information.

Finally, the Interactivity Principle states that students learn best when they are able to go at their own pace. An example would be incorporating “next” and “back” buttons into an online presentation for students to use.

If these principles aren’t incorporated into your lesson plan, you can drastically increase the cognitive load of what you are trying to teach!

Cognitive load is what you can store in your brain before you start forgetting things.

Image retrieved from

Examples of Principles of Multimedia Learning

When educators “signal” what’s important for learners to understand by putting a star beside the information or by underlining it, they are more likely to remember that piece of information.

Image retrieved from

Still lost on how to incorporate the Principles of Multimedia Learning into your classroom? Watch the video below for more information! Pay attention and see if the creator is following the Principles of Multimedia Learning or not…


Mayer, R. E. (2014). The cambridge handbook of multimedia learning: 2nd edition. Santa Barbara, CA: Cambridge University Press.

Ray Pastore, Ph.D.. (2018, August 16). What is multimedia learning? What is multimedia? [Video file]. Retrieved from

UNMC E-Learning. (2015, August 10). 2 minute teacher multimedia principle. [Video file]. Retrieved from


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