How Multimedia Learning Principles
Make Your Interactive Video
The Best

When you’re setting out to create an interactive video, you will probably wonder how you can motivate your students or viewers and how to truly engage them without the face-to-face interaction.

Of course, interactive video often hands you most of the tools you’ll need to do so, but where would you even start?

Richard Mayer’s twelve principles of multimedia learning gives useful insights as to what you can do to help your videos reach interactive video’s full potential.

Mayer based these twelve principles on research on how you can use multimedia design for effective learning. We’ll take a handful of these principles to show you what to keep in mind when starting your interactive video.

The Multimedia Principles

The first and also overarching principle states that words and images will be much more effective than just words.

Imagine having to teach a group of employees how to explain certain products or policies to customers; rather than explaining it to them, why not show them an instructional video in which you show a real-life example.

This is so much more effective than just explaining it to them in a text or an interview format.

The Modality Principle

The second principle we’ll discuss is that spoken text will work better than just subtitles or on-screen text.

A student will benefit from using both the auditory and visual elements of a video to process new information. By tapping into both the auditory and visual skills, your students’ working memory will be able to handle more information at once.

If you would only use on-screen text and visual material, the information will only be processed as a visual event, which in turn will often result in an information overload.

The modality effect or the sense of an overload is even stronger when dealing with complex theories or materials, therefore it would be wise to spread the acquisition of new information across the two senses accordingly.

The Signaling Principle

The third principle deals with the fact that cues or highlighting information matters.

This principle basically lays out a different way to help someone’s memory processes a little by using certain signals.

The viewer’s attention can be redirected by textual signals, such as an outline or a heading, or by visual signals, such as arrows or highlighted certain sections of the video.

With the help of these signals, the viewer learns to watch, rather than view, like an expert, and their brain will automatically spend less attention to additional or unnecessary information.

The Segmenting Principle

When someone is trying to take in new information, it’s important they aren’t deluged with it.

That’s why the segmenting principle supports the notion that new information shouldn’t be presented as a continuous stream, but rather as user-paced segments.

You can already achieve this by pausing the video once in a while and give the viewer the time they need to briefly process the new information from the previous segment before continuing and learning more.

Questions, pause screens, and more of these interactions brilliantly play into this without giving viewers the feeling that they have stopped watching the video altogether.

By using these interactions, you won’t allow your viewers to go into the default couch potato mode. They will have to actively watch these instructions and they have to, for example, click on “continue video” or “next”, which already engages them more than just a continuous video.

This principle also indicates it’s better to split a video up into several shorter videos rather than just watching a lengthy video all at once.

Enter Interactive Video

All these principles, as already hinted at several times, are perfectly integrable by using interactive video tools, such as HiHaHo.

Like I mentioned before, using a pause screen will help you apply the segmenting principle. Or if you’d like to implement the signaling principle, then it’s easy to add things such as menus, headings, or highlights.

What is sure is that you can use interactive video perfectly to get more out of your videos and your classes. How would you use interactive video?

Get to know more about the other nine design principles for multimedia learning.

Marin Groothengel
Video Learning Consultant



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