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Mayer's 12 Multimedia Principles


Learning theory and principles are fundamental to instruction design. This knowledge serves as the backbone for creating efficient instructional materials. Learning theory enhances instructional designers' understanding of the learning process, information processing, and creating compelling and effective learning experiences. I created this training resource for new instructional designers. This course provides a foundation for understanding the underlying rationale behind including these principles in e-learning design and development. It illustrates both examples of how Mayer's Principles can be applied effectively and instances where they have been neglected or overlooked.

The Problem

Instructional designers and eLearning developers need to be aware of Mayer's 12 multimedia principles because these principles provide guidelines for designing effective multimedia learning materials. Mayer's principles aim to optimize learner engagement and information retention by applying cognitive theories of learning. Using these principles, instructional designers and eLearning developers can create multimedia content that is more engaging, easier to understand, and enhances learning outcomes. By ignoring these principles, multimedia materials may be poorly designed and less effective at facilitating learning.

The Solution

Mayer's Principles can be divided into three categories as they represent distinct aspects of cognitive load and processing in multimedia learning. It is logical to develop a course that focuses on each type of processing and demonstrates how applying the relevant principle can reduce, manage, or increase cognitive load. I designed this course to give users the flexibility to explore specific areas of cognitive load in greater depth. By selecting the particular aspect they are interested in, users can navigate through the course and gain a comprehensive understanding of how Mayer's principles are applicable to that specific area of cognitive load.

Tools Used

  • ​Articulate Storyline 360

  • Canva

  • AI Speech (Eleven Labs)





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Developing an elearning course on Richard Mayer's 12 Multimedia Principles was a rewarding project for me. While I had a basic understanding of these principles, diving deeper into each one and creating relevant examples and non-examples helped me gain a better understanding of their impact on learning. Additionally, researching the foundation for these principles revealed their connection to other important theories in instructional design, such as cognitivism and constructivism. Designing multimedia content for a course on multimedia principles was an interesting experience as it constantly made me question and revise the course design.

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