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MANUSCRIPT: A Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning: Implications for Design Principles

In multimedia learning the learner engages in three important cognitive processes. The first cognitive progress, selecting, is applied to incoming verbal information to yield a text base and is applied to incoming visual information to yield an image base. The second cognitive process, organizing, is applied to the word base to create a verbally-based model of the to-be explained system and is applied to the image base to create a visually-based model of the to be- explained system. Finally, the third process, integrating, occurs when the learner builds connections between corresponding events (or states or parts) in the verbally-based model and the visually-based model. The model is explained more fully in Mayer (1997), and has generated a series of experiments yielding five major principles of how to use multimedia to help students understand a scientific explanation. Each principle of multimedia design is subject to further research.

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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