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Mayer's Theory of Multimedia Learning unpacked - and illustrated

It is old news to most educators that “The young person who watches digital TV, downloads MP3 music onto a personal player, checks e-mail on a personal organiser and sends symbolised messages to a mobile phone of a friend will not be satisfied with a 500-word revision guide for [HSC] physics” (Abbot, 2003). But there is still work to do in seeing the value of multimedia something that can enhance learning.

Embedding multimedia resources into meaningful tasks can scaffold learners' understanding of concepts, demonstrate practical skills, and, where learners are creating the multimedia, enable cultural appropriacy and foster creativity. Additional benefits include catering to learning preferences, and enhancing accessibility. All of these factors are key in enabling open learning (i.e. learning that is self-determined, independent and interest-guided), especially in flexible, blended or distance programmes.

In the resources below I have shared some examples of how Mayer's Theory of Multimedia Learning might be applied in practice, as well as resources that are useful examples of 'walking the talk'.

This video, 14 Principles of Multimedia Learning, provides clear explanations, illustrated by examples, of Mayer's principles of multimedia learning.


Mayer's Theory of Multimedia Learning unpacked

Resource Links

  • VIDEO - This is a video that was developed especially for the School of Natural Sciences at Unitec New Zealand. It is part of the institution's initiative to help students improve their academic literacy skills, starting from a basic step-by-step, 'finding your way around a book' stance:

Reusable learning object


Image: 'Madonna Galore / Million Visions on

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