e-Learning and the Science of Instruction

Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning
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Ruth C. Clark
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The essential e-learning design manual, updated with the latest research, design principles, and examples
e-Learning and the Science of Instruction is the ultimate handbook for evidence-based e-learning design. Since the first edition of this book, e-learning has grown to account for at least 40% of all training delivery media. However, digital courses often fail to reach their potential for learning effectiveness and efficiency. This guide provides research-based guidelines on how best to present content with text, graphics, and audio as well as the conditions under which those guidelines are most effective. This updated fourth edition describes the guidelines, psychology, and applications for ways to improve learning through personalization techniques, coherence, animations, and a new chapter on evidence-based game design. The chapter on the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning introduces three forms of cognitive load which are revisited throughout each chapter as the psychological basis for chapter principles. A new chapter on engagement in learning lays the groundwork for in-depth reviews of how to leverage worked examples, practice, online collaboration, and learner control to optimize learning. The updated instructor's materials include a syllabus, assignments, storyboard projects, and test items that you can adapt to your own course schedule and students.

Co-authored by the most productive instructional research scientist in the world, Dr. Richard E. Mayer, this book distills copious e-learning research into a practical manual for improving learning through optimal design and delivery.
* Get up to date on the latest e-learning research
* Adopt best practices for communicating information effectively
* Use evidence-based techniques to engage your learners
* Replace popular instructional ideas, such as learning styles with evidence-based guidelines
* Apply evidence-based design techniques to optimize learning games

e-Learning continues to grow as an alternative or adjunct to the classroom, and correspondingly, has become a focus among researchers in learning-related fields. New findings from research laboratories can inform the design and development of e-learning. However, much of this research published in technical journals is inaccessible to those who actually design e-learning material. By collecting the latest evidence into a single volume and translating the theoretical into the practical, e-Learning and the Science of Instruction has become an essential resource for consumers and designers of multimedia learning.



1. E-Learning: Promise and Pitfalls

Chapter Summary

What Is e-Learning?

Is e-Learning Better?

The Promise of e-Learning

The Pitfalls of e-Learning

e-Learning Architectures

What is Effective e-Coruseware?

Learning in e-Learning

What to Look for in e-Learning

2. How Do People Learning from E-Courses?

Chapter Summary

How Do People Learn?

Managing Limited Cognitive Resources During Learning

How e-Lessons Affect Human Learning?

What to Look for in e-Learning

3. Evidence-based Practice

Chapter Summary

What is Evidence-based Practice?

Three Approaches to Research on Instructional Effectiveness

What to Look for in Experimental Comparisons

How to Interpret Research Statistics

How Can You Identify Relevant Research?

Boundary Conditions in Experimental Comparisons

Practical Versus Theoretical Research

What to Look for in e-Learning

4. Applying the Multimedia Principle: Use Words and Graphics rather than Words Alone

Chapter Summary

Do Visuals Make a Difference?

Multimedia Principle: Include Both Words and Graphics

Some Ways to Use Graphics to Promote Learning

Psychological Reasons for the Multimedia Principle

Evidence for Using Words and Pictures

The Multimedia Principle Works Best for Novices

Should You Change Static Illustrations into Animations?

What to Look for in e-Learning

5. Applying the Contiguity Principle: Align Words to Corrresponding Graphics

Chapter Summary

Principle 1: Place Printed Words Near Corresponding Graphics

Psychological Reasons for Principle 1

Evidence for Principle 1

Principle 2: Synchronize Spoken Words with Corresponding Graphics

Psychological Reasons for Principle 2

Evidence for Principle 2

What to Look for in e-Learning

6. Applying the Modality Principle: Present Words as Audio Narration Rather than On-screen Text

Chapter Summary

Modality Principle: Present Words as Speech Rather than On-screen Text

Limitations to the Modality Principle

Psychological Reasons for the Modality Principle

Evidence for Using Spoken Rather than Printed Text

When the Modality Principle Applies

What to Look for in e-Learning

7. Applying the Redundancy Principle: Explain Visuals with Words in Audio OR Text but Not Both

Chapter Summary

Principle 1: Do Not Add On-screen Text to Narrated Graphics

Psychological Reasons for the Redundancy Principle

Evidence for Omitting Redundant On-screen Text

Principle 2: Consider Adding On-screen Text to Narration in Special Situations

Psychological Reasons for Exceptions to the Redundancy Principle

Evidence for Including Redundant On-screen Text

What to Look for in e-Learning

8. Applying the Coherence Principle: Adding Extra Material Can Hurt Learning

Chapter Summary

Principle 1: Avoid e-Lessons with Extraneous Words

Multimedia Principle: Include Both Words and Graphics

Psychological Reasons to Avoid Extraneous Words in e-Learning

Evidence for Omitting Extraneous Words Added for Interest

Evidence for Omitting Extraneous Words Added to Expand on Key Ideas

Evidence for Omitting Extraneous Words Added for Technical Depth

Principle 2: Avoid e-Lessons with Extraneous Graphics

Psychological Reasons to Avoid Extraneous Graphics in e-Learning

Evidence for Omitting Extraneous Graphics Added for Interest

Evidence for Using Simpler Visuals

Can Interesting Graphics Ever Be Helpful?

Principle 3: Avoid e-Lessons with Extraneous Audio

Psychological Reasons to Avoid Extraneous Audio in e-Learning

Evidence for Omitting Extraneous Audio

What to Look for in e-Learning

9. Applying the Personalization and Embodiment Principles: Use Conversational Style, Polite Wording, Human Voice, and Virtual Coaches

Chapter Summary

Personalization Principle: Use Conversational Rather than Formal Style, Polite Wording Rather than Direct Wording and Human Voice Rather than Machine Voice

Psychological Reasons for the Personalization Principle

Promote Personalization through Conversational Style

Promote Personalization through Polite Speech

Promote Personalization through Voice Quality

Embodiment Principle: Use Effect On-screen Coaches to Promote Learning

Implications for e-Learning

What to Look for in e-Learning

10. Applying the Segmenting and Pretraining Principles: Managing Complexity by Breaking a Lesson into Parts

Chapter Summary

Segmenting Principle: Break a Continuous Lesson into Bite-size Segments

Psychological Reasons for the Segmenting Principle

Evidence for Breaking a Continuous Lesson into Bite-Size Segments

Pretraining Principle: Ensure that Learners Know the Names and Characteristics of Key Concepts

Psychological Reasons for the Pretraining Principle

Evidence for Providing Pretraining in Key Concepts

What to Look for in E-Learning

11. Engagement in E-Learning

Chapter Summary

What Is Engagement?

When Behavioral Engagement Impedes Learning

Engagement that Leads to Generative Processing

A New View of Engagement

What to Look for in E-Learning

12. Leveraging Examples in E-Learning

Chapter Summary

What Are Worked Examples?

The Psychology of Worked Examples

Evidence for Benefits of Worked Examples

Principles to Optimize Benefits of Worked Examples

Principle 1: Provide Worked Examples in Lieu of Problem Assignments when the Essential Load of the Lesson is High

Principle 2: Fade from Worked Examples to Problems

Principle 3: Promote Self-Explanations

Principle 4: Include Instructional Explanations of Worked Examples in Some Situations

Principle 5: Apply Multimedia Principles to Examples

Principle 6: Support Learning Transfer

Design Guidelines for Far Transfer Worked Examples

What to Look for in E-Learning

13. Does Practice Make Perfect?

Chapter Summary

What is Practice in E-Learning?

Is Practice a Good Investment?

Principle 1: Add Sufficient Practice Interaction to E-Learning to Achieve the Objective

Principle 2: Mirror the Job

Principle 3: Provide Effective Feedback

Principle 4: Distribute and Mix Practice among Learning Events

Principle 5: Apply Multimedia Principles

What to Look for in e-Learning

14. Learning Together Virtually

Chapter Summary

What is Collaborative Learning?

What is Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL)?

Principle 1: Consider Collaborative Assignments for Challenging Tasks

Principle 2: Optimize Group Size, Composition, and Interdependence

Principle 3: Match Synchronous and Asynchronous Assignments to the Collaborative Goal

Principle 4: Use Collaborative Tool Features that Optimize Team Processes and Products

Principle 5: Maximize Social Presence in Online Collaborative Environments

Principle 6: Use Structured Collaboration Processes to Optimize Team Outcomes

What to Look for in e-Learning

15. Whos In Control? Guidelines for E-Learning Navigation

Chapter Summary

Learner Control Versus Program Control

Do Learners Make Good Instructional Decisions?

Principle 1: Give Experienced Learners Control

Principle 2: Make Important Instructional Events the Default

Principle 3: Consider Alternative Forms of Learner Control

Principle 4: Give Pacing Control to All Learners

Principle 5: Offer Navigational Support in Hypermedia Environments

The Bottom Line

What to Look for in E-Learning

16. E-Learning to Build Thinking Skills

Chapter Summary

What are Thinking Skills?

Can Thinking Skills be Trained?

Principle 1: Focus on Explicit Teaching of Job-Relevant Thinking Skills

Principle 2: Design Lessons around Authentic Work Tasks or Problems

Evidence for Problem-Focused Instruction

Principle 3: Define Job-Specific Thinking Processes

What to Look for in E-Learning

17. Learning with Computer Games

Chapter Summary

Do Games Have a Place in the Serious Business of Training?

Which Features Improve a Games Effectiveness?

Does Game Playing Improve Cognitive Skills?

Are Games More Effective than Conventional Media?

What to Look for in E-Learning

18. Applying the Guidelines

Chapter Summary

Applying Evidence-based Guidelines to E-Courses

E-Learning Guidelines Checklist

Review of Sample 1: Excel for Small Business

Review of Sample 2: Synchronous Excel Lesson

Review of Sample 3: Automotive Troubleshooting Simulation

Reflections on Past Predictions

Beyond 2016 in Multimedia Research

In Conclusion



List of Tables and Figures

Name Index

Subject Index

About the Authors

Wiley Publication Guide

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