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Ever wonder about the academic scholarship behind the tip sheets included in many software programmes.  I have. You see in my profession what makes you a teacher is a posting message. Headquarters in Ottawa acts with the randomness of a lottery draw machine and out you pop in the training school environment.  You need to demonstrate no real affinity for the craft, have no academic training – save experience. Worse still, once selected there is very little formal instruction.  So it is left to the individual to figure it out.  One can take the path of least resistance and subscribe to the ‘death by PowerPoint’ syndrome.  Alternatively, one can choose to hone the art and accept the mantle of performing-teaching to inspire.  Enter my selection for this post.

Richard Mayer is an American educational psychologist and a leading scholar behind Multimedia Learning Theory.  Over the last four decades he has penned more than 390 publications and 23 books on the science of learning in education and how one can use multimedia in learning to advantage.

Multimedia Learning Theory states that knowledge is personally constructed by the learner.  This is why two learners can be presented with the same multimedia message and come away with different learning outcomes.  Multimedia Learning Theory provides insight for developers on how to focus their effort to maximize the opportunity to engage each participant.  Guidance for determining what to pay attention to, how to mentally organize it, and how to relate it to prior knowledge aids each person in attaining the intended knowledge (Mayer, 2001 p. 15).  In 2014, Harvard University hosted Mayer for a presentation and discussion about research principles for multimedia instruction.

Ultimately the responsibility for learning rests with the learner BUT the teacher must act as a facilitator of that knowledge.

Reading Sources:

RRU Richard Mayer Sources (you may need to sign into the library)

Two other video sources worth checking out are below:

Mayer’s Theory of Multimedia Learning

Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning



Mayer, R. E. (2001) Multi-media Learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.