Multimedia learning can be defined as learning with the help of various combinations of text, diagrams, static and animated images, sound, and other media (Mayer & Moreno, 2003). The rationale for studying multimedia learning is that people can learn more deeply from multiple media and modalities than from one medium (e.g., text) alone. A fundamental hypothesis underlying research on multimedia learning is that multimedia materials that are designed in light of how the human mind works are more likely to lead to meaningful learning than those that are not so designed.
A common approach has been to determine how different media combinations may enable learners to maximize performance via optimal use of the “verbal model” and “pictorial model” (Figure 1). Focusing on these two components, Mayer (2014) proposes that learners process information and learn by employing three essential processes:
a) selecting relevant material from multimedia presentation for transfer to working memory;
b) organizing selected material into a coherent mental representation in working memory; and
c) integrating selected material with existing knowledge activated from long-term memory.
Below is a video with Richard Mayer explaining multimedia learning, or what he refers to as the multimedia principle of learning: