April 2023 Invited Speaker Rounds

Evidence-Based Principles for Designing Multimedia Instruction

Richard E. Mayer

Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences,
University of California, Santa Barbara

Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Hybrid: Life Sciences Centre 1312 CMR & Zoom* (please note that the presentation will be delivered virtually)

Zoom Details: For connection details, please email ches.communications@ubc.ca.


This presentation examines 12 research-based principles for how to design effective multimedia learning environments that are applicable to medical education. The presentation shows how the principles for effective multimedia learning are grounded in the science of learning (i.e., how people learn), the science of instruction (i.e., how to help people learn), and the science assessment (i.e., how to determine what people have learned). The multimedia learning principles apply to a broad variety of venues including online learning, face-to-face learning in classrooms, learning with books, and learning in virtual reality, and cover an array of media formats including paper-based lessons, slideshow presentations, narrated animations, tutoring systems, instructional video, animated pedagogical agents, and computer games and simulations.


Richard E. Mayer is Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received a PhD in Psychology from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) and a BA in Psychology from Miami University (Oxford, OH). His research interests are in applying the science of learning to education, with a focus on how to help people learn in ways so they can transfer what they have learned to new situations. His research is at the intersection of cognition, instruction, and technology, with current projects on multimedia learning, computer-supported learning, computer games for learning, learning in immersive virtual reality, learning with animated pedagogical agents, and instructional video. He served as President of Division 15 (Educational Psychology) of the American Psychological Association and Vice President of the American Educational Research Association for Division C (Learning and Instruction). He is the winner of the E. L. Thorndike Award for career achievement in educational psychology, the Scribner Award for outstanding research in learning and instruction, the Jonassen Award for excellence in research in the field of instructional design and technology, the James McKeen Cattell Award for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to applied psychological research, the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contribution of Applications of Psychology to Education and Training Award, and the Citizen Psychologist Citation from the American Psychological Association for four decades of service as a local school board member. He was selected by the UCSB Academic Senate as the Faculty Researcher Lecturer for 2021, which is the highest honor the UCSB faculty can bestow on one of its members. He was ranked #1 as the most productive educational psychologist in the world by Contemporary Educational Psychology, ranked #1 as the most cited educational psychologist by Google Scholar, and ranked in the upper 0.01% of scientists in the world based on total citations by PLoS Biology. He has served as Principal Investigator or co-PI on more than 40 grants, including recent grants from the Office of Naval Research, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the National Science Foundation. He is former editor of the Educational Psychologist and former co-editor of Instructional Science, and he serves on the editorial boards of 12 journals mainly in educational psychology. He is the author of more than 600 publications including 40 books, such as Multimedia Learning: Third Edition, The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning: Third Edition (co-editor with L. Fiorella), e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Fourth Edition (with R. Clark), Learning as a Generative Activity (with L. Fiorella), How to Be a Successful Student, Computer Games for Learning, Applying the Science of Learning, Learning and Instruction: Second Edition, Handbook of Research on Learning and Instruction: Second Edition (co-editor with P. Alexander), and Handbook of Game-Based Learning (co-Editor with J. Plass & B. Homer).