In view of the fact that studying the course on Multimedia Design and Development as an Instructional Design and Technology student, I learned that Multimedia design can be an effective learning experience for new beginners. The word “multimedia” was a confusing terminology to me because I thought that multimedia only depicted graphical illustration on TVs, magazines and books. In this course, I realized that media is intermediate between tenues and the aspirates—a voiced stop, and the word multi encompasses many communication outlets (Merriam –Webster), which is a pleonasm. Therefore, when putting both words together, a whole new world of sound, video, animation, film, music, text, narration, graphic, etc., unlocks our imagination. Multimedia personifies the consolidation of information.

The interworking of multimedia and the Internet are two powerful tools that link communication together throughout the entire world. As a student of instructional design and technology, I learned that multimedia requires different ways to approach writing. The text and type of writing that is applicable for multimedia are abundantly devised and designed to be appreciated by all audiences.  For example, Dr. Amy Pointer (2011) Effective use of Text, proposed that text payoffs are legibility, readability, clear communication, audience attention and higher return. When creating multimedia for instructional purposes the most important scaffold to consider is text. According to Dr. Amy Pointer (2011), text should be creative, engaging, and visually stimulating because text and type matters.

Equally, Dr. Richard Mayer’s Ten Principles of Multimedia personifies multimedia learning and design. Many of Dr. Mayer’s principles are dependable with decreasing extraneous cognitive load, such as excluding extraneous and redundant material. Presenting words and pictures near each other and in close temporal contiguity also decreases extraneous load because it increases the opportunity to have both verbal and graphic together in working memory. The advantage of narration over written text, according to Dr. Mayer, is that narration and pictures occupy separate “channels”. Written text, like pictures, at the start resides in the visual channel and then is converted back to speech to create a verbal representation (Mayer 2011). These interpretations have much intensity. Dr. Mayer also presents functional applications of his model, as characterized by the ten principles of multimedia design. (See Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3)

 Table 1

Three Principles for managing Essential Processes


Segmenting Principle: People learn better when a narrated animation is presented in learner-paced segments rather than as a continuous presentation. Pre-training Principle: People learn better from a narrated animation when they already know the names and characteristics of essential components. Modality Principle: People learn better from graphics with spoken text rather than graphics with printed text.


Table 2

Two Principles for Fostering Generative Processing


Multimedia Principle: People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. This allows people to build connections between their verbal and pictorial models. Personalization Principle: People learn better from a multimedia lesson when words are in conversational style rather than formal style. If people feel as though they are engaged in a conversation, they will make more effort to understand what the other person is saying.


Table 3

Five Principles for reducing extraneous processes


Coherence Principle: (less is more).People learns better when extraneous material is excluded from multimedia learning. Dr. Meyer believes that less is more, which means that students learn better when extraneous words, pictures and sounds are excluded rather than included. Redundancy Principle: People learn better from animation with narration than from animation with narration and text except when the onscreen text is short, highlights the key action described in the narration, and is placed next to the portion of the graphic that it describes. Spatial Contiguity Principle: People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near rather than far from each other on the page or screen. Temporal Contiguity Principle: (best use of sequencing of words and pictures). People learn better when corresponding narration and animation are presented simultaneously rather than successively (i.e. the words are spoken at the same time they are illustrated in the animation—hear with your ears, see with your eyes). Modality Principle: (best use of visual and auditory channels). Dr. Mayer states that students learn better from animation and narration, than from animation and on-screen text. Using graphics with audio improves learning. Redundancy Principle: (best use of text and audio). Dr. Meyer states that graphics with audio and redundant text can hurt a creative project. As instructional designer, we must avoid reading on-screen text because student learn better from animation and narration, than animation, narration and on-screen text.


The impending learning of multimedia is far-reaching and will continue to advance, as it does, multimedia education will reach the crowning point of its perfection and expand the scope from where it is today to a more comprehendible level in the future. As an instructional design student, I plan continue my education in this field and absorb all that is possible to absorb about multimedia design and more.

Challenged assessment of Dr. Mayer’s principles

Some critique has been in contradiction of the Cognitive Theory Multimedia Learning (CTML) and the ten principles of Dr. Mayer. For example, Astleitner and Wiesner (2004) stated that the model does not take motivational elements into consideration. They believe that motivation can impact learning and consume memory resources and thereby affecting cognitive load. [[1]]

Likewise, Reed mentions a concern about the lack of explanation for the integration process in the Cognitive Theory Multimedia Learning. Reed asked, “How are the verbal and visual representations combined with prior knowledge in the working memory?” And, “Are the two representations merged to either verbal or visual, or does it take some other abstract form?” [[2]]

Conversely, Gall (2004) feels that Mayer’s research does not consider video and non-narrative audio. He believes that Mayer research is centered on learning about physical and mechanical systems. Gall further believes that a question regarding the applicability of Mayer’s results to other situations arises from these constraints. [[3]]      



Mayer, R. (2001). Multimedia Learning. . International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Retrieved from

Merriam. (1973). New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts. USA: G. and C. Merriam Company.

Pointer, A. (2011). Effective use of Text: Media Presentation.

[1]. Astleitner, H. & Wiesner, C. (2004). An Integrated Model of Multimedia Learning and Motivation found in Journal of educational Multimedia Hypermedia. Volume 13, pp. 3-21. Retrieved from

[2]. Gall, J. E. (2004). [Review of the book Multimedia Learning, by R. E. Mayer] found in Educational Technology research and Development. Retrieved from,Volume 52(3), pp.87-90.

[3]. Reed, S. (206). Cognitive Architectures for Multimedia Learning found in Educational Psychologist. Volume 41(2), pp. 87-98. Retrieved from