I am back to the blogosphere

May this New Year bring you an abundance of wisdom & success with joy & laughter. Have a Happy New year!!

After a year-long  break to attend our second son who is one-year-old  now, it’s nice to be back in the world of blogging.

In the entire 2011, I was occupied with my two sons and their mischievousness. In the academic arena, I completed all my core and elective subjects with a project left before graduating in May 2012. Yay! I can’t wait to get my Masters degree in Instructional Design & Technology.

With two kids and Masters to complete, I have surely learnt how to do multitasking. So, apart from multitasking what else I have been learning lately? Well…I am back to share my learning with you all.

Await, my first blog of 2012 on “Strategies to become a successful online facilitator/instructor”.

Happy learning.


User Experience in Education based Multimedia

Technology plays a prominent role in the delivery of education. An interactive multimedia-based educational module motivates children to embrace reading and writing habits. These modules assist children to gain knowledge of many complicated subjects in a fun and easy manner.

Always, the educational multimedia products facilitate to deliver an outstanding training module. However, a few of the training modules fail to meet their goal.

Let’s ponder 3 major reasons for the failure.

  1. Lack Challenge – I have come across many children based multimedia modules, and most of them are developed by teachers with little or no instructional design background. The content is mere reading from a textbook with a simple quiz thrown here and there. This does not encourage kids to proceed further as it does not challenge the kid. By creating the multimedia module more interactive might motivate the children to further explore the module. Children love hands on activity/exercise instead of just listening or reading.
  2. Information OverloadThe training modules fail to address higher thinking skills, the readings they require to integrate are scattered all over the web, which makes it hard for the audience to keep track from one reading to another. The multiple readings spread all over the web are not only very difficult to gather but also makes learning very distracting for the children.
  3. No Feedback – Feedback and more feedback constantly assist to create a better product that would enhance the learning of the children. Feedback from parents or teachers is highly recommended.

While designing high-quality interactive multimedia learning modules, the approach of the designer should be to motivate children and introduce them to a variety of learning styles that make the learning process more intriguing.

4 points for instructional designers to consider while designing education based multimedia module for children.

  1. The training module should display a strong base on which the children can build proficiency.
  2. It should demonstrate different learning styles.
  3. The training material should stimulate many parts of the kid’s brain.
  4. Above all make it fun for the children to learn.

Do you have any points to add to the above list?


© Priya Gopalakrishnan and eLearningbuzz.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.


Hurray.. My Blog is 1 year old

Courtesy – Hubpages.com

“The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean”
– Robert Louis Stevenson

Wow…A year ago when I initiated this blog, I seldom thought that I would be able to create a space for myself in the world of blogging about elearning and instructional design. In this past one year, I have learned enormously about this field, and I look forward to learning more in the future.

I am grateful to Mr. Satish Narayan of elearningplanet.com who encouraged my blog by selecting two of my posts as ‘Best blog of the Week’.

I would like to take this opportunity to convey my gratitude to each of you to make this blog a great success through your visits, feedback’s and encouragement.

I hope to reach many milestones in the future with your help.

Happy Learning!

Popular posts of this year –


© Priya Gopalakrishnan and eLearningbuzz.wordpress.com, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.


Personalization & Voice Principle


Richard E. Mayer is a professor of psychology who has experimented and written the 12 key principles of Multimedia Learning.

In this post, I would like to ponder about his 10th and 11th principle which is ‘Personalization Principle’ and ‘Voice Principle’ in Multimedia Learning.

Personalization Principle –

According to Personalization principle; people learn more deeply when words are presented in conversational style than formal style. Nevertheless, in the book “E-learning and the science of instruction: proven guidelines for consumers” Clark and Mayer gives guidance for conversational style, ‘The challenge for instructional professionals is to avoid over-using conversational style to the point that it becomes distracting to the learner.’

It makes sense to write informally as learners would feel that they are having interaction with their instructor or a friend but at the same time keeping in mind that not so informal that the learner gets distracted by too casual tone and script. When I say distracted it means that a casual conversational style might even divert the learners from the main message of the training material.

Voice Principle –

Speaking of casual tone, when we look at the voice principle, Mayer has a say that, ‘In voice principle, people learn more deeply when the words in a multimedia message are spoken by a friendly human voice than by a machine voice.’ According to the research of Reeves and Nass (1996), it shows that, under the right circumstances, people “treat computers like real people.” Part of treating computers like real people is to try harder to understand their communications.”

I certainly agree to it, as I have worked with machine voices in the software Adobe Captivate, the voice does not relate anything near to the script on the screen. The script given by me was meant for a casual tone but the way the machine reads without any personalization seems to be very formal. One more cons for machine voice is, while working with global audience, it may get hard for the machine voice to speak with accent. However, working with a local human voice narration might work better in this scenario. (Mayer) Voice cues may affect the degree to which a learner feels a social response to the instructional message.

Have you worked on delivering voice narrations before for your multimedia presentation? Which one did you choose between human voice, machine voice and talking avatars like Sitepal.com? Why?

Which style did you choose, formal or conversational? Why?

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

Clark, Ruth. C., Mayer, Richard. E. (2003). E-learning and the Science of instruction proven guidelines for consumers and designers for multimedia learning. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Photo Courtesy – Sitepal.com


© Priya Gopalakrishnan and eLearningbuzz.wordpress.com, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.


Extraneous Processing Overload in Instructional Design


Cognitive image

Cognitive strength is a construct that plays a vital role in instructional design and also a very interesting ongoing research topic in this field.

In the book Multimedia Learning (pg. 79), Mayer discusses about ‘Three kinds of cognitive load processing during learning; extraneous cognitive, essential cognitive and generative cognitive. Though all three of the cognitive processing are necessary for instructional design, but according to my opinion the bigger role is played by extraneous cognitive processing.

What is Extraneous Processing overload?

In an instructional lesson, when the cognitive processing of extraneous material is so demanding that there is little or no remaining cognitive capacity to engage learners in essential or productive processing. Extraneous processing overload is likely to happen when the lesson contains attention grasping extraneous material or when the lesson is presented in a confusing way. The extraneous processing is a cognitive processing in the instructional material that does not offer the instructional goal and it does not involve any learning process.

When we say extraneous material, it simply means, the extra material that is included in the lesson is not relevant to meet the instructional goal. E.g. if the instructional goal is to understand ‘how lighting works’, then extraneous material though interesting but irrelevant would be video of lightning strikes.

Five ways to reduce Extraneous Processing

To reduce the extraneous processing, Mayer ponders 5 principles, they are –

1. Coherence: Delete extraneous words, sounds or graphics.

2. Signaling: Highlight essential words or graphics.

3. Redundancy: Delete redundant captions from narrated animation.

4. Spatial contiguity: Place essential words next to corresponding graphics on the screen or page.

5. Temporal contiguity: Present corresponding words and pictures simultaneously.

These principles are considered to decrease extraneous processing so that learners can use their cognitive capacity for necessary and productive processing.

Ref – Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia Learning (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.


© Priya Gopalakrishnan and eLearningbuzz.wordpress.com, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.