CTML Annotated Bibliography - cognitive theory of multimedia

CTML Annotated Bibliography
Clark, R. E., & Feldon, D. F. (2005). Five common but questionable principles of multimedia
learning. The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning, 97–115.
This 2005 article by Clark addresses some issues with CTML. Clark begins by defining
“Multimedia’ usually refers to the capacity of computers to provide real-time representations of
nearly all existing media and sensory modes of instruction (p.3)."
This is an important definition since his earlier work simply referred to media and did not
specifically address multimedia. This definition covers all type of multimedia. Video recordings
as well as any remotely transmitted visual would fall under this definition.
"Clark (2001) has argued that all instructional methods that are necessary for any kind of
learning can be presented in a variety of media. He claims therefore, that the benefits of media
are economic or are to be found in the increased access to instruction by disadvantaged groups in
society, but that learning benefits due to multimedia alone have not been found and cannot be
claimed (p.4)."
Clark specifically addresses many of the elements of CTML.
"Multimedia, computer-based instruction is a very efficient vehicle for presenting integrated
visual and auditory information yet other media (including live instructors using silent motion
films or television) could provide the same instruction. Because a number of different media will
present visual and aural sensory mode information, this instructional method is not considered to
be a potential learning benefit that is exclusive to multimedia (p.5)."
"Because a number of different media will present visual and aural sensory mode information,
this instructional method is not considered to be a potential learning benefit that is exclusive to
multimedia (p.5)."
Clark continues and presents evidence from a metastudy on CTML.
"Their comprehensive analysis concluded that a very weak learning advantage for multimedia in
empirical studies was attributable to uncontrolled instructional methods (p.5)."
Clark addresses an advantage of multimedia that is not addresses by other theorist. Multimedia
is cost effective and contains a significant cost benefit (p.6).
Clark's basic argument is that you cannot separate learning from pedagogy. Since these cannot
be separated then it is not possible to study learning pedagogy's such as multimedia. This
argument should be studied and respected as a repudiation of CTML. This does not invalidate
CTML but gives an effective counter argument on the subject of learning.
Gegner, J. A., Mackay, D. H. J., & Mayer, R. E. (2009). Computer-supported aids to making
sense of scientific articles: cognitive, motivational, and attitudinal effects. Educational
Technology Research and Development, 57(1), 79–97. doi:10.1007/s11423-008-9088-3
This 2008 article is co-authored by Mayer. This study was conducted with high school students
who viewed text and graphic presentations that were designed to help them understand scientific
"The results are consistent with the cognitive theory of multimedia learning, which posits that
learners may need guidance in how to process text and graphical material. In particular, students
need guidance in how to avoid extraneous processing (that is, processing that does not support
the instructional goal), how to manage essential processing (that is, processing that is needed to
mentally organizing the material and relating it to other knowledge)....According to the signaling
principle, students learn better when cues are added that highlight the essential material (p.94)."
"Pretraining- training in the names and meanings of the key concepts was used to help the
student be able to engage in essential processing. "
"Personalization- such as making the author more visible and using conversational style helps
encourage the student to process more deeply, that is, engage in generative processing."
"The present study encourages the development of a system for creating annotations to scientific
research articles, consistent with research based principles of multimedia instructional design."
This is a useful article and it is more current than many other articles on CTML. It also does not
review the basics of CTML but simply presents the results of the study.
Mayer, R. E. (2002). Cognitive Theory and the Design of Multimedia Instruction: An Example
of the Two-Way Street Between Cognition and Instruction. New directions for teaching
and learning, 2002(89), 55–71.
This article is a complete review of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. This
article is actually a chapter from a text written by Mayer. This chapter does not contain any new
theoretical insights but contains all the information that Mayer used as the framework for the
Mayer, R. E. (2003). Elements of a science of e-learning. Journal of Educational Computing
Research, 29(3), 297–313.
This 2003 article by Mayer and relates CTML directly to e-learning. Mayer's contention
is that e-learning needs a scientific basis as a learning technique. His intent in this article is to
review prior research as a framework for defining the potential of e-learning. Towards this end,
Mayer reviews the past work on CTML. This section of the article is basically a rehashing of
prior work done by this author. Mayer proposes that CTML should provide the theoretical
framework for e-learning.
This article addresses the learning aspects of e-learning but so does the work of
Clark. Even Kolb suggests that humans are constantly learning. The question for educators is
efficacy. Mayer does not address this question. He also fails to address the many reasons for the
rapid rise of e-learning.
This is still a useful article although it has the feeling of being another platform for
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (1998). A cognitive theory of multimedia learning: Implications for
design principles. In Annual Meeting of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors
in Computing Systems, Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved from
This article is a complete review of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. This
article is actually a chapter from a text written by Mayer. This chapter does not contain any new
theoretical insights but contains all the information that Mayer used as the framework for the
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Aids to computer-based multimedia learning. Learning and
instruction, 12(1), 107–119.
This 2002 article is an older research work by Mayer and Moreno. The work was
designed to test the use of computer-based multimedia as a learning tool. This article begins by
reviewing multimedia-learning theory. This is an excellent review for those who are unfamiliar
with the theory but later works by Mayer also review this theory and may contain more up to
date information. This article does contain some useful graphics.
"In eight out of eight separate tests, students learned more deeply from simultaneous than from
successive presentation as measured by superior problem-solving transfer scores (p.110)."
"The extraneous material may fill working memory with material that prevents the learner from
building connections among steps in the causal chain (p.112)."
"Spoken text serves to reduce the load on the visual channel and to increase the chances for
deeper cognitive processing (p.114)."
"The rationale for presenting only animation and narration is that the addition of
on-screen text could overload visual working memory. Adding on-screen text can
create a split-attention effect in which students must look both at the animation and
the text, thereby missing out on some of the presented material. When visual working
memory is overloaded, there is less cognitive energy to build connections between
visual and verbal representations (p.115)."
Mayer, Richard E., & Moreno, R. (1998). A split-attention effect in multimedia learning:
Evidence for dual processing systems in working memory. Journal of Educational
Psychology, 90(2), 312–320. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.90.2.312
Multimedia learners (n=146 college students) were able to integrate words and computerpresented pictures more easily when the words were presented aurally rather than visually. This
split-attention effect is consistent with a dual-processing model of working memory.
" According to the dual-processing hypothesis, students should remember more of the verbal
material when it is presented as narration than when it is presented as text ( p.315)."
" A major result of these studies is a split-attention effect in which students learner better when
pictorial information was accompanied by verbal information presented in an auditory rather
than a visual modality (p.318)."
"The most important new practical implication of this study is that animations should be
accompanied by auditory narration rather than be on-screen text (p.319)."
Mayer, Richard E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Animation as an Aid to Multimedia Learning.
Educational Psychology Review, 14(1), 87–99. doi:10.1023/A:1013184611077
This 2002 article by Mayer and Moreno studies the effect of animation on
learning. According to CTML the use of animation should have no effect upon learning. The
article reviews the assumptions of CTML. A nice graphic is contained in this article but this
graphic is contained in several of Mayer's articles.
"This review shows that animation has great potential to improve human learning—especially
when the goal is to promote deep understanding (p.97)."
"Animation (and other visual forms of presentation) is not a magical panacea that automatically
creates understanding (p.98)." This quote mirrors the contention of Clark who argues that
effective pedagogy is the key to learning and media is simply a transmission vehicle.
Prof. Richard E. Mayer - On the role and design of video for learning. (2011). Retrieved
From http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3fYg6OuTIA&feature=youtube_gdata_player
This is a very interesting video interview conducted at the University of Southern
California. This interview covers a wide range of topics other than CTML. The interview is a
good resource but most of the information is also contained in other written sources.
Selected Publications: Richard E. Mayer. (n.d.). Retrieved February 5, 2013, from
This website contains a listing of publications by Mayer. It is an excellent resource for
anyone who desires to investigate this theory. The site lists the publications but does not contain
open access to the articles or URL's to electronic copies of the articles. This somewhat limits the
usefulness of the article but the page is still a useful primary resource on information about the
cognitive theory of multimedia learning.