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e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning by Richard E. Mayer, Ruth C. Clark

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2.2. How Do e-Lessons Affect Human Learning?

If you are involved in designing or selecting instructional materials, your decisions should be guided by an accurate understanding of how learning works. Throughout the book, you will see many references to cognitive learning theory, as described in the previous section. Cognitive learning theory explains how mental processes transform information received by the eyes and ears into knowledge and skills in human memory.

Instructional methods in e-lessons must guide the learner's transformation of words and pictures in the lesson through working memory so that they are incorporated into the existing knowledge in long-term memory. These events rely on the following processes:

  1. Selection of the important ...

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