Instructional Design Based on Cognitive Theory

Andy Stanfield, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at Florida Institute of Technology, is a proponent of using Mayer's Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning to improve instructional design.

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Andy Stanfield, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence at Florida Institute of Technology, is a proponent of using Mayer's Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning to improve instructional design.

This theory posits the following: 

This theory has some very practical implications for online course design, Stanfield says. For example, according to this theory, auditory input goes directly into the auditory channel for processing. With written language, the visual symbols must go through the visual channel and be converted to the auditory channel, which creates an extra level of processing that could inhibit learning.

“So then, a lot of instructional design comes down to how you are going to use images, text, and narration so that you're getting the maximum efficiency from your auditory and visual channels,” Stanfield says.

The following are Stanfield's recommendations for achieving this efficiency: