Applying the Multimedia, Contiguity, and Modality Principles

Posted: August 13th, 2013

Applying the Multimedia, Contiguity, and Modality Principles




Applying the Multimedia, Contiguity, and Modality Principles

Extraneous processing refers to the difficulty in grasping an aspect of learning due to the style in which the information is offered that affects the effectiveness of the learning and memory process (Mayer, 2009). a large amount of verification have documented that when material is taught in a mixed fashion having both auditory and visual aspects, it becomes more helpful than when delivered using one mode. A common example of the modality principle is the visual presentation of a diagram accompanied by commentaries as an effective case. The presentation of the diagram alongside the text creates a split-attention effect. Extraneous processing overload occurs when the tutorial possesses attention getting extraneous aspects or when the class is delivered in a puzzling manner. Extraneous processing is cognitive in nature and is brought about by the teaching material that lacks proper instructional objectives and does not entail any learning process. The major effects of excessive extraneous processing include fundamental attribution errors.

A just-in-time (JIT) model contributes toward a decrease in extraneous cognitive loads as the temporal split attention is averted. Limiting the temporal split of attention in teaching by JIT information presentation will also decrease the extraneous cognitive load. Similar to incorporating graphics and words, information separated is then integrated resulting in a lesser extraneous burden because the students need not to “search-and-match” and intellectually put together the information given. Mayer performed several experiments that illustrated the temporal split attention effect (Mayer, 2009). JIT learning solutions have the objective of solving issues within education when they happen. When JIT is applied, it lets loose the cognitive ability for grasping the unique aspects of a multifaceted cognitive skill and therefore, improves the transfer process.

Strategies to Reduce Extraneous Processing

            The removal of coherence aids is an efficient method of reducing and even eliminating extraneous processing. The instructor can remove any extraneous images, words or sounds that may distract or confuse the learner. Although the instructor may want to make the lesson interesting by using background music or other elements, students need all these extraneous material removed as it fills their retention and working memory with irrelevant items. A typical example would be to remove screeching sounds from a class on vehicle braking (Mayer, 2009). Signaling principles dictate that people learn easily when what is important is highlighted.

The instructor can also include signals that stress the important parts of the lesson. This can be done by highlighting significant images or sounds and leaving the others intact. The instructor can also insert cues that direct the learner toward crucial material (Plass et al, 2010). Lastly, the redundancy issue within extraneous processing can also be solved by removing any redundant items within the lesson. Redundancy has the same effect as inconsistency in that it gives the learner more material to process in their brains. These three strategies will ensure that extraneous processing is lowered (Koning et al, 2010).

There are certain areas that have presented instances of extraneous processing within this course. Most of the examples and illustrations that I have encountered in websites on this topic have a lot of redundant material. They all contained a specific set of information that was repeated in diagrams and side notes. Analyzing the content of one website was tiring and effective. The textbooks also issued several illustrations that were not necessary for my study.


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