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Multimedia Resources

We have identified some helpful information to guide you as you consider what type(s) of multimedia elements you are considering for your needs.

Review the items below for more in-depth information and the additional menu items on the left.

Multimedia Design Principles Heading link

The instructional scientist Richard Mayer established 12 science-backed and evidence-based principles for multimedia design and learning. These are some concepts to consider as you put together slides, handouts, etc.

  1. Coherence:  Humans learn better when extraneous words, images, and sounds are excluded rather than included.
  2. Signaling: Humans learn better when cues that highlight the organization of the essential material are added.
  3. Redundancy: Humans learn better from graphics and narration than from graphics, narration and on-screen text. And when words are presented as narration rather narration and on-screen text.
  4. Spatial Contiguity: Humans learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near rather than far from each other on the page or screen.
  5. Temporal Contiguity: Humans learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively.
  6. Segmenting: Humans learn better from a multimedia lesson is presented in learner- controlled segments rather than as continuous unit.
  7. Pre-training: Humans learn better from a multimedia lesson when students know names and behaviors of system components.
  8. Modality: Humans learn better when words are presented as narration rather than as on-screen text.
  9. Multimedia:Humans learn better from words and pictures than from words alone.
  10. Personalization: Humans learn better from multimedia lessons when words are in conversational style rather than formal style.
  11. Voice: Humans learn better when the narration in multimedia lessons is spoken in a friendly human voice rather than a machine voice.
  12. Image: Humans do not necessarily learn better from a multimedia lesson when the speaker’s image is added to the screen.

Clark. R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-learning and the science of instruction. Wiley.

Mayer, R. E. (2001). Multimedia learning. Cambridge Press.

Summary of Multimedia Types Heading link

The term multimedia includes text, images, audio, video, and animation. These resource pages attempt to provide you with helpful information to understand the process of locating, creating, and using different types of multimedia for your purpose.

Video is a type of multimedia that usually includes moving graphics, talking head, images, and narrated words (example: PowerPoint slide deck you narrate), and sometimes other sounds like background music. At UICOM, many faculty have created instructional videos that are used as prep work for an active learning session.

Creating interactive elements within a video can aid in retention of information (Moore, 1989). Interactive elements like poll questions prompt participants to mentally engage with course content by reading, watching, listening, and doing. For example, we have many instructional videos created by faculty where it is possible to insert or embed a poll (multiple choice, short answer, true / false, etc.) at a reasonable time stamp.

There are many ways instructional videos can be created:

  • Using a program like Camtasia or Captivate to do a screen recording with audio
    • Note: Programs like Camtasia and Captivate are screencasting software and not free, though you can usually get a trial to use it.
  • Recording a narrated PowerPoint in Zoom
  • Other programs like QuickTime, Windows Media, etc. are sometimes used to record the screen

Here are some benefits of video for instruction:

  • Increased complexity (to better visualize reality), such as showing a process
  • Real-world examples of abstract principles
  • Emotional appeal of real stories (storytelling)
  • Ability to stop, start, and review.
  • The steps of practical skills and insights about how to perform them.

Here are some weaknesses of video for instruction:

  • Ability to passively watch video without processing it
  • The time, cost, and effort to create both valuable video and activities to process them, as many people do not want to put in the effort
  • Designing and implementing participant activities to process instructional video, and getting participants to do them

Here is a short series of articles about learning with video where some of this information in this section is from:

A question to ask yourself: Is video the right medium for what I am trying to accomplish?


Mayer, R. E. 2005. “Cognitive theory of multimedia learning.” In The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning, edited by R.E. Mayer. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Mayer, R. E., L. Fiorella, and A. Stull. 2020. “Five ways to increase the effectiveness of instructional video.” Educational Technology Research and Development 68: 837–852.

Moore, M. 1989. “Editorial: Three types of interaction.” American Journal of Distance Education 3 (2): 1–7.

You will likely include some aspect of text (words) in whatever you are creating – this includes any scripts you might write to help you as you record video and audio.

Some considerations:

  • Try to not include too much text on slides or screens as you are presenting or recording content
  • Avoid unique fonts – keep to Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial
  • The font size should be large enough to be read easily – the standard is 20 for text for slides or on screen

Information coming soon.

Information coming soon

Information coming soon.