Researchers in multimedia learning have compiled evidence-based principles to instruct designers and educators as to how multimedia can be more effectively engineered (Mayer 2005). At the other end of the spectrum are informed practitioners who engage directly with the learning community, whose intuition is modified by trial and error and who occasionally produce highly effective materials. How can these resources work together?

This website is intended as a resource for designers and educators: it mentions some of the research findings in the field of multimedia learning. A number or real-world examples (taken primarily from the Physclips project) are used as examples of how some of those findings are related to our work in multimedia learning materials.

A framework for designing educational animations to assist in the teaching of complex information

Evidence-based guidelines
According to cognitive load theory (Sweller, 1999), educators should ensure that the load on working memory does not exceed the capacity of the user. To this end, a number of research-based guidelines have been formulated to assist designers and educators. Mayer (2008) draws our attention to the following principles that are particularly relevant to the challenges of learning with animations and physclips.

1. Should I use a voiceover? (the modality, temporal contiguity, voice, personalisation and redundancy principles)

Presentation of the visual material (the segmentation, signaling and spatial contiguity principles)

    2. Segmentation

    3. Signaling

    4. Spatial contiguity

Some Science animations that exemplify various techniques

5. Discipline-Specific Techniques: film clips that use animations as overlays

6. Embedding Animations into Multiple Learning Environments

7. Multimedia-enhanced Hands-on activities for Primary School Level

Scaffolding animations for the teaching of complex information

8. Stills, animations and The scrollbar as complementary multimedia design tools


Mayer, R. 2005 Introduction to Multimedia Learning, In The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning, 1 Edition, eds Richard. E. Mayer, 429-446. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Mayer, R. 2008 Research-Based Principles for Learning with Animation, In R.K. Lowe & W. Schnotz (Eds.), Learning with animation. Research implications for design (pp. 30-48). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Sweller, J., (1999) Instructional design in technical areas. Melbourne: ACER Press.