Cognitive Psychology Applied to Visual Content (e.g. Powerpoints)

Designing visual content to accompany verbal presentations and written text.

In his guest lecture at Harvard University (July 8, 2014), Psychology Professor Richard E. Mayer (UC, Santa Barbara), gave a talk on research-based “Principles for Multimedia Learning“. Mayer’s work focuses on practical questions such as “How can individuals effectively design visual content (e.g., PowerPoint presentations) to accompany their verbal presentations and written text.  The web page includes videos with chapter markers to drill deeply into this topic.

Mayer’s lecture was hosted by “HILT”,  the Harvard Initiative for Learning & Teaching.  You can visit HILT on your own. The lecture also has a link to his slide presentation (in PDF format).

Among the subtopics of Mayer’s lecture are these (with links to portions of the YouTube lecture):

The Science of Learning

How Does Multimedia Learning Work?

People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone…

Five Principles for Reducing Extraneous Processing (i.e., visual clutter, noise)

Three Principles for Managing Essential Processing (such as breaking down content into chunks, planning for pre-presentation information necessary for learner intake prior to the presentation).

Two Principles for Fostering Generative Processing (such as “personalization” and vocalization or voice)

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