Post # 5: Cognitivism and Instructional Videos

Applying Mayer´´ s 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning to make effective Instructional Videos

While researching on the Bloom´´ s Taxonomy of Learning Objectives, I came across this short instructional video that clarifies the reason, the purpose and the structure of the taxonomy.

I found it very effective for the following reasons:

• the narration is engaging, it is quite informal, and it uses a colloquial style.
• the visual elements on screen accompany the narration simultaneously and involve two senses at the same time (sight and hearing), two skills (listening and reading) and overall engange the user quite effectively.
• the main animation portrays a human hand, writing or drawing information on a blank sheet as the narrator provides information. This, to some extent, recalls another sense (touch) and consequently another skill, that of writing and drawing. It somehow adds another layer of effectiveness because it speaks for all those viewers who do the same while listening to a narrator/instructor: draw, doodle or take notes.

What I liked less?

 My opinion is that the final slides are too crowded with a mixture of text and graphics. There are a few more earlier instances in the video where I had the feeling that there is too much text on screen but the amount of graphic content on the final slides makes definitely too much noise. I would have delegated the final summary of the video to separate slides.

What do these remarks have to do with Cognitivism?

This instructional video touches on some key points made by Mayer´´ s 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning to create effective learning experiences using multimedia. Here are my personal remarks:

  1. Coherence Principle: the sound, graphic and text which appear on screen is coherent to what is being narrated, hence, design enhances the learning experience. It represents information on screen and does not take away from it.
  2. Signaling Principle: this is applied in the first slides which repond to some questions on “why”, “purpose” and “how to use”.
  3. Redundancy Principle: Mayer suggests that people learn better from graphics and narration than from graphics, narration and on-screen text. This video does very well with graphics and narration but unfortunately indulges a bit too much on text on some key slides making a lot of visual noise for the viewer.
  4. Spatial Contiguity Principle: this video does well at matching corresponding words and pictures or graphics.
  5. Temporal Contiguity Principle: narration and visual representation moves simultaneously on screen, which enhances the learning experience and the acquisition of information.
  6. Modality Principle: the narration in this video makes the learning experience quite lively and entertaining. The information narrated is visually displayed with graphics enhancing the learning as Mayer suggested with the principle of modality.
  7. Multimedia Principle: Mayer believes that people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. This video is a great example for this!
  8. Personalization Principle:  the conversational style of the narration make the learning experience more approchable and enjoyable-
  9. Voice Principle: the learner´s engagement, is also enhanced by the tone and friendliness of the narrator´ s voice which should be preferred over a machine voice.

For more details on how to apply Mayer´ s 12 Principles to your instructional multimedia content visit:

For more information on cognitivism and learning:

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