Psychological Research in Multimedia Learning


This course introduces multimedia learning and how to conduct empirical research in multimedia learning (including illustrated textbooks, animations and educational videos and games). The course will cover research perspectives (how to carry out a multimedia learning research project), empirical perspectives (what is already known) and practical perspectives (how to use multimedia learning materials at schools). The course will be taught in the English language during the 2023/24 school year.

When in 2023/24?

The first online seminar is Mon 16-Oct 17:15, online. See moodle for details.

How in 2023/24?

The course will utilize a “flipped classroom” format. You will look at narrated videoslides (in Czech or English: both versions will be available) at home one week and prepare for the discussion-based seminar the subsequent week. Videoslides and seminars will be alternated till the end of the semester. I.e., there will be approx. 6-7 seminars till the end of the semester.

As a demonstration, the first brief videoslides (20 min) introducing the course are already on the moodle along with a short homework (10 min). Students should see these slides and complete the homework before the first discussion-based seminar, which will be organized online 16-Oct. This first seminar will take approx. 60 min. 

In this course, the slides and all literature will be in English; the voice in the videos is in Czech and English (alternatives) and all discussions will be in English this year.

So if you are interested in this course, you now have to:

  • enroll in moodle and via SIS
  • look at the first narrated slides about the course (available on moodle) and complete the first homework before the first discussion-based seminar
  • attend the first discussion-based seminar, where you will hear all other details (note that you could still cancel your course registration thereafter)

Lecture Syllabus

  • types of multimedia learning materials
  • brief history of educational innovations in the last century
  • theoretical frameworks – cognitive load theory, cognitive theory of multimedia learning, self-determination theory
  • types of multimedia learning experiments; learning outcome variables, affective-motivational variables, process data
  • interpretation of quantitative findings (effect sizes, meta-analyses)
  • principles of design for multimedia learning
  • this year, we will also look at ChatGPT as a new multimedia technology that can be used for learning

Final evaluation 2023/24

  • 40% points – writing a grant proposal concerning a multimedia learning topic
  • 20% points – quality of peer-reviews of colleagues’ grant proposals
  • 40% active participation during discussion-based seminars

Links on Student information system

Faculty of Math-Phys

Faculty of Education

Slides 2019/20

Suggested reading


Mares, M. L., & Pan, Z. (2013). Effects of Sesame Street: A meta-analysis of children’s learning in 15 countries. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 34(3), 140-151.

Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia Learning (2nd ed.): Cambridge University Press.

Wouters, P., van Nimwegen, C., van Oostendorp, H., & van der Spek, E. D. (2013). A meta-analysis of the cognitive and motivational effects of serious games. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), 249-265.



Adams, D. M., Mayer, R. E., MacNamara, A., Koenig, A., & Wainess, R. (2012). Narrative games for learning: Testing the discovery and narrative hypotheses. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(1), 235-249.

Belenky, D. M., & Schalk, L. (2014). The effects of idealized and grounded materials on learning, transfer, and interest: An organizing framework for categorizing external knowledge representations. Educational Psychology Review, 26(1), 27-50.

Brom, C., Stárková, T., & D’Mello, S. K. (2018). How effective is emotional design? A meta-analysis on facial anthropomorphisms and pleasant colors during multimedia learning. Educational Research Review 25, 100-119.

Clark, R. E. (Ed.) (2012). Learning from Media: Arguments, Analysis, and Evidence, Second Edition (2nd. ed.): Information Age Publishing.

Clark, D. B., Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Killingsworth, S. S. (2016). Digital games, design, and learning a systematic review and meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 86(1), 79-122.

Cuban, L. (1986). Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920: Teachers College Press.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination in Human Behavior. New York: Plenum.

De Jong, T. (2010). Cognitive load theory, educational research, and instructional design: some food for thought. Instructional Science, 38(2), 105-134.

DeSmet, A., Van Ryckeghem, D., Compernolle, S., Baranowski, T., Thompson, D., Crombez, G., … & Vandebosch, H. (2014). A meta-analysis of serious digital games for healthy lifestyle promotion. Preventive Medicine, 69, 95-107.

Heidig, S., & Clarebout, G. (2011). Do pedagogical agents make a difference to student motivation and learning? Educational Research Review, 6(1), 27-54.

Kalyuga, S. (2011). Cognitive load theory: How many types of load does it really need? Educational Psychology Review, 23(1), 1-19.

Kirschner, P. A. (2017). Stop propagating the learning styles myth. Computers & Education, 106, 166-171.

Lazowski, R. A., & Hulleman, C. S. (2016). Motivation interventions in education: A meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 86(2), 602-640.

Ma, W., Adesope, O. O., Nesbit, J. C., & Liu, Q. (2014). Intelligent tutoring systems and learning outcomes: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(4), 901-918

Mayer, R. E. (2014). Computer Games for Learning: An Evidence-Based Approach.: The MIT Press.

Mayer, R. E. (Ed.) (2014). The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. Cambridge Universitz Press.

Moreno, R. (2005). Instructional technology: Promise and pitfalls. Technology-based Education: Bringing Researchers and Practitioners Together (pp. 1-19): Information Age Publishing.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The effects of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes: a meta-analysis of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 270.

Plass, J. L., & Kaplan, U. (2015). Emotional design in digital media for learning. In: Emotions, Technology, Design, and Learning (pp. 131-162): Academic Press.

Rey, G. D. (2012). A review of research and a meta-analysis of the seductive detail effect. Educational Research Review, 7(3), 216-237.

Tamim, R. M., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2011). What forty years of research says about the impact of technology on learning: A second-order meta-analysis and validation study. Review of Educational Research, 81(1), 4-28.

Vansteenkiste, M., Sierens, E., Soenens, B., Luyckx, K., & Lens, W. (2009). Motivational profiles from a self-determination perspective: The quality of motivation matters. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(3), 671.

Young, J. (2017). Technology-enhanced mathematics instruction: A second-order meta-analysis of 30 years of research. Educational Research Review, 22, 19-33.