Instruction Based on Visualizations

Authored by: Richard E. Mayer

Handbook of Research on Learning and Instruction

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  February  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415804608
eBook ISBN: 9780203839089
Adobe ISBN: 9781136882159


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People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. This proposal, which can be called the multimedia instruction hypothesis, is examined in this chapter. For thousands of years, the main medium of instruction has involved the use of words— including oral scripts, discussions, lectures, and more recently, textbooks. Recently, advances in computer-based visualization technology have enabled the incorporation of sophisticated graphics in instruction—including animation, video, illustrations, and photos. In this chapter, I explore the question of whether adding visualizations to words in instructional messages can improve student learning.

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