The digital facet of content is more enhanced, rich, organized and tailor-made and its deliverance through smart and rich multimedia technology has brought an incredible improvement in the user experience and accomplishment of objectives at the learner's end.
This change in the patterns and dynamics of accessibility and acquisition of information has significantly transformed the definition, idea, and the very genre of educational content.
Here are some ways, deduced from Dr. Richard Mayer’s principle techniques of using multimedia in eLearning, to optimize the efficiency of instructional content, make it visually appealing and ensure it is efficiently perceived, learned, retained and creates the desired impact.
§ Use a Multitude of Elements and Tools
Break the monotony of your content by presenting it a variety of multimedia forms. According to Dr. Mayer's Modality Principle, the content is more likely to get absorbed and retained in the learner's mind when it is presented in a creative assortment of graphics, narrations, slideshows and illustrations rather than as a humdrum bulk of text.
§ Handpick the Graphics and Media
Everything that might seem relevant and appealing would not essentially add a value to your content. Be selective while choosing the images, illustrations, music and audios for your content. Also, ensure that the various elements of media are carefully aligned on the screen and the text and relevant images and media are presented simultaneously, as explained in the Temporal Contiguity Principle of using multimedia in eLearning.
§ Remove Clutter and Distractions
The purpose of using multimedia in eLearning is to make the learner’s experience more engaging and delightful. An exaggeration and redundancy of multimedia elements will create distractions for the learner and eventually fail to impart the desired acumen and create an impact.
§ Make an Appropriate Use of Voice
As explained in Dr. Mayer's Voice Principle, the audio and narration in a human voice is more likely to be learned and retained as compared to robotic voice and machine narrations. Converting your text in audio narration is a good way to add variety to your content and prevent selective retention and perception at the learner’s end.
§ Trim Down Your Videos
Long and continuous videos spanning multiple minutes will only put your audience to sleep. Videos make an effective and essential element of multimedia learning. However, make it a point to edit and trim your videos, to remove the dead spots and maintain its relevancy. Also, do not compromise on the quality and use only high definition videos in your digital content.
§ Manage the Cognitive Load
Too much of everything is bad and this stands true in the case of multimedia. Even if you have devised an excellent and on-point content using multimedia elements, if you tried to convey multiple ideas in tandem or rushed it in a single go, your content will lose its efficacy and will only create a cognitive load. Break down your content into gradual and procedural chunks and incorporate spacing techniques in the process of learning.
§ AR, VR, Simulations and Game-Based Techniques
The influx of Augmented Reality, 3D and 4D presentation, and Virtual reality has made the eLearning more interesting, engaging and interactive. Similarly, the use of game-based approaches, gamification, leaderboards and simulations through multimedia has transformed the idea of learning into an enthralling session where people learn while they play and play while they learn. Such techniques ensure a complete indulgence of learners in the learning process and ensure better retention and media consumption.
As you can see, using multimedia in eLearning can be hugely beneficial. It allows adding more features and increasing the value of instruction, while providing deep learner engagement and satisfaction.
What’s your experience with using multimedia in eLearning? Did you use the points from the list above while creating your online courses? Did we miss a point or should we remove something? Please share your thoughts on the matter!