Engaging Students In Active Learning

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2000). Engaging students in active learning: The case for personalized multimedia messages. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 4, 724-733.

The authors tested the hypothesis that personalized messages in a multimedia science lesson can promote deep learning by actively engaging students in the elaboration of the materials and reducing processing load. Students received a multimedia explanation of lightning formation or played an agent-based computer game about environmental science. Instructional messages were presented in either a personalized style, where students received spoken or written explanations in the 1st- and 2nd-person points of view, or a neutral style, where students received spoken or written explanations in the 3rd-person point of view. Moreno and Mayer beleived that addressing students directly in the message and encouraging them to encode the leasson as a personal experience leads to activation of a self-structure. This structure provides internal cues in the form of experiences that facilitate the processing of the content by making available experiences in memory to which the lesson can be related.Personalized rather than neutral messages produced better problem-solving transfer performance across all experiments and better retention performance on the computer game.

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