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The Redundancy Principle in Multimedia Learning by Mind Map: The Redundancy Principle in
Multimedia Learning
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The Redundancy Principle in Multimedia Learning

Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning Mayer 2005.  CHAPTER 10 This principle suggests that redundant material interferes with rather than facilitates learning.  The theory suggests that coordinating redundant information with essential information increases working memory load, which interferes with the transfer of information to LTM.

Redundant Materials Interfere with Learning

Coordination of redundant info WITH essential info increases WM Load, which interferes with transfer of info to LTM.

New node

Occurs when same info is presented in multiple forms or is unnecessarily elaborated.

Although it may seem counterintuitive we now have theoretical explanations

Cognitive Load Theory

Working Memory is Limited in Capacity & Duration when dealing with NOVEL information.

When presenting novel material because it will be taxing the working memory, any redundancy in instruction will cause extraneous cognitive load.

If there are two sources of information WM will have to use its resources to coordinate them. Those resources will not be available for LEARNING.

ANY redundant info, whatever form, MUST BE coordinated with ESSENTIAL information.

2 Variations of the Effect

Identical info presented to learner in 2 or more media forms. If one form is redundant then the elimination of that form can result in enhanced learning. a.k.a. Redundancy Effect

Trying to elaborate info, additional info might be added. If the additions are redundant then the exclusion may enhance learning. Mayer (2001) calls it the Coherence Effect.

Negative Consequences of Redundancy

Miller (1937) studied children learning to read. If COW was presented with a picture of a cow instead of just presenting the word COW without the picture. Performance on reading test showed the non-redundant condition was better. Learning to read puts a HEAVY strain on working memory. Pictures detract attention. Processing the picture requires resources that could've been used to learn to read the word. The picture is redundant because it interferes with learning.

Reder & Anderson, (1982) Study showed that students learned more from summaries of chapters than from reading the whole chapter.

Cognitive Theory explains their results. If any portion of the whole chapter text provides all the points a learner requires then any elaboration of those points requires additional processing in WM. When the main points are intelligible on their own coordinating it with an elaborationis unnecessary and has a negative effect.

The Best Strategy when faced with redundant materials is to avoid it.

Studies of Split Attention Effect led to findings to support the Redundancy principle.

Kalyuga et.al (2000) replicated studies that replace written text associated w/diagram by auditory text resulted in superior learning, but the addition of auditory text eliminated any advantage.(modality effect). Finding was with novices. Expert learners did better with diagram alone. (expertise reversal effect)

Instructional Implications

ELIMINATE all redundant materials presented to learners, and all redundant activity that instruction may courage learners to engage in. p.165

Redundancy principle alone does not indicate precisely what material may or may not be redundant. There's no universally applicable rule.

Apply redundancy principle in relation to Cognitive Load Theory. ASK yourself: 1) Is the diagram intelligible in isolation? If yes, may be redundant. 2) Does text add essential information? If yes, it is not redundant keep it. 3) Is the text complex to understand one element you have to simultaneously consider many other elements (HIGH ELEMENT INTERACTIVITY)? If yes, do not present with a diagram unless unavoidable. 4) If diagram is High element and potentially intelligible in isolation, no additional text should be added, whether high or low interactivity. 5) Revision is not a redundant activity.

Information should be presented in a single form only. (unless learners need to recognise particular info in multiple forms)