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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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3.2. Include Both Words and Graphics

Based on cognitive theory and research evidence, we recommend that e-learning courses include words and graphics, rather than words alone. By words, we mean printed text (that is, words printed on the screen that people read) or spoken text (that is, words presented as speech that people listen to through earphones or speakers). By graphics, we mean static illustrations such as drawings, charts, graphs, maps, or photos, and dynamic graphics such as animation or video. We use the term "multimedia presentation" to refer to any presentation that contains both words and graphics. For example, if you are given an instructional message that is presented in words alone, such as shown in Figure 3.1, we recommend ...

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