Topic and Purpose
Multimedia materials incorporated in teaching English based on the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML)
Today, there are hundreds of multimedia resources out there for the teachers for English language learners to apply to their teaching practices in English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a foreign language (EFL) classrooms, many of which combine perfectly with English assignments that challenge and engage students. This mini-course can provide ways to improve their instruction by applying the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) to reduce cognitive load in ESL/EFL contexts. The purpose of this mini-course is to make an effort to bridge the gap between the teaching practices and educational theory. The course can be informative to ELLs' teachers to design effective instruction to minimize English learners' cognitive load for better learning by applying the principles of multimedia instruction.
At the completion of this course learners will be able to:
• Understand what the cognitive theory of multimedia learning is and identify the important principles of multimedia instruction.
• Explore ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning by applying the principles of multimedia instruction.
• Apply the principles of multimedia instruction to their instruction of teaching English.
With the rapid development of technology, multimedia and online resources allow interactive learning environments to fit the levels of English language learners (ELLs) to enhance their language proficiency. However, English language teachers need to know the what, the why, and the how of multimedia to incorporate into their curriculum if they are to help their learners benefit from multimedia technology (Chapelle, 2008). Numerous studies of multimedia learning have been conducted to examine the principles of the CTML with visual and verbal representations during language learning (Plass, Chun,& Mayer, 1998), including video and on-screen captions (Mayer, Lee, & Peebles, 2014) as well as audio material with and without corresponding video (Lee & Mayer, 2015). In order to assist ELLs in finding valuable multimedia resources, the participants need to learn about the Cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML) so that their lessons are effective in order to be "meaningful learning" (Mayer & Moreno, 2003, p.43) to ELLs. Based on the theoretical background, they will be informed an insightful information about multimedia resources for their own use to incorporate into their instruction in ESL/EFL.
What is to be Learned
English language teachers will become informed about the theoretical backgrounds of multimedia learning and resources utilized in research studies to help ELLs improve English skills. Participants will be able to implement multimedia resource in their lessons.
Participants will include current and pre-service English language teachers teaching in higher education environments. Participants are required to have teaching experience of EFL or are planning to build their career in teaching English. They are also required to have some degree of using technology and the Internet.
Context for Instruction
Participants will learn content within this mini-course online as well as multimedia resources are provided in this mini-course.
Exploring the Instructional Problem and Solution
Participants will explore units of the mini-course that will introduce them to the cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML) as well as ways to apply to their language teaching practices. Participants will engage in implementing multimedia resources to their lessons based on the CTML.
Goals of this Mini-Course
The first goal of this course is to inform English language educators in EFL about the connection between educational theory and teaching practice. The second goal is to help EFL educator to think critically about the validity of multimedia resources based on educational theory. Due to the dramatic changes in language learning brought about by multimedia and technology, EFL educators are required to acquire basic technology skills and capability to evaluate the options and their implications (Chapelle, 2008).
Analysis of the Learner and Context
The learners of this course are ELL teachers in either ESL or EFL setting. Participants should have access to the Internet and basic computer skills. Participants should have been trained to teach English language learners and familiar with second language theory and practice. They are also able to create a lesson plan that will be taught ELLs.
• Given the cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML), Participants will demonstrate an understanding of the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) by identifying the important principles of multimedia instruction.
• Participants will evaluate five overloaded scenarios and analyze ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning
• Participants will create or modify their own lessons by implementing multimedia resources considering the principles of multimedia instruction to minimize the cognitive load of English learners.
Part 1: Goals
a. Terminal Goal: Participants will implement multimedia resources into their lessons effectively by applying the principles of the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) to reduce the cognitive load of English learners.
b. Enabled Goal:
• Participants will understand the principles of the CTML and ways of reducing the cognitive load of ELLs.
• Participants will analyze five overloaded scenarios to find ways to reduce cognitive load in the multimedia learning environment.
• Participants will be able to create/modify a lesson or an activity integrating multimedia resources based on the principles of the CTML and ways to reduce cognitive load.
• Participants will be able to evaluate their lesson plans to determine their strengths and weakness in consideration of minimization of ELLs’ cognitive load and understand the constraints of application of the CTML.
Part 2: KASI
- Understanding the principles of the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML)
- Know ways to minimize the cognitive load of learners from the cases
- Knowledge of second language acquisition
- Believe that the principles of the CTML can benefit ELLs’ learning by reducing their cognitive load.
- Desire to apply the principles of the CTML to improve their instruction to benefit ELLs’ learning.
- Ability to identify the important principles of the CTML
- Ability to analyze cognitive overload scenarios
- Ability to construct lesson plans for ELLs
- Ability to navigate to access multimedia resources to incorporate into their lessons
- Ability to reflect on their lesson plans
- Interpersonal Skills
- Effectively evaluate other participants’ lesson plans
- Effectively reflect on the implementation of the CTML
Part 3: Pedagogical Approach
The instructivist approach needs to be taken for participants to obtain knowledge of the principles of the CTML and to analyze the scenarios of multimedia learning environments to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning environments.
Unit 2: The constructivist pedagogy should be applied for participants to implement the principles of the CTML by incorporating multimedia resource into their lessons.
Based on a constructivist viewpoint, participants reflect on their lesson plans and communicate their strengths and weaknesses of their lesson plans in consideration of theory and principles of the CTML.
My name is Hana Choi, a doctoral student at ETAP specializing in Curriculum and Instruction. I received my master from Arizona State University specializing in TESOL in 2015. I am taking this course to learn more about instructional design in order to design effective curricula for ELLs in the English as a Second language (ESL) or English as a Foreign language (EFL) context.
I have more learning experience as an English language learner than teaching in the field of second language acquisition (SLA). My strength would be understanding the processes of learning of language and culture of L2 and challenges of ELLs encountering in an academic learning environment. In addition, my working experience with the consultants from other countries at a multinational corporation can be contributed to the development of the instructional design from a practical perspective.
Link to Mini-course
Multimedia resources incorporated in teaching ELLs based on a CTML
Unit 1. Introduction to the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning
Unit 2. Design of lesson plans incorporating multimedia resources for ELLs
Unit 3. Evaluation of lesson plans
References and Resources
Chapelle, C. (2008). Computer-assisted language learning. In Spolsky B, and Hult F. (ed.) Handbook of Educational Linguistics. (pp. 585-595). Oxford: Blackwell.
Lee, H., & Mayer, R. E. (2015). Visual Aids to learning in a second language: Adding redundant video to an audio Lecture. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 29(3), 445-454. doi:10.1002/acp.3123
Mayer, R. E., Lee, H., & Peebles, A. (2014). Multimedia learning in a second language: A cognitive load perspective. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28(5), 653–660. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acp.3050
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38, 43–52.
Plass, J. L., Chun, D. M., Mayer, R. E., & Leutner, D. (1998). Supporting visual and verbal learning preferences in a second language multimedia learning environment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 25–36