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Enhance eLearning Comprehension with Contiguity

elearning training Sep 07, 2023
Employee attending an eLearning course remotely

The Contiguity Principle, yet another aspect of Mayer's Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, emphasizes the importance of aligning on-screen text with corresponding graphics. This alignment aids learners in making connections and understanding the material better.

How Does the Contiguity Principle Enhance Employee Performance?

By aiding comprehension and retention, the Contiguity Principle empowers employees to effectively utilize their acquired knowledge in the workplace, leading to improved performance.

Here are examples of how you may see this principle applied to improve eLearning.

  • PoorA module on workplace safety places descriptive text and images separately.
  • Better: The module places descriptive text closer to the corresponding images.
  • Best: The module integrates text and images, placing labels directly on the relevant parts of the images.

  • PoorA software tutorial has instructions at one end and screenshots at the other.
  • Better: The tutorial places instructions adjacent to the corresponding screenshots.
  • Best: The tutorial embeds brief instructions within the screenshots, promoting an easy correlation between text and visuals.

  • PoorA financial literacy course provides graphs and explanations on different slides.
  • Better: The course places explanations next to the corresponding graphs.
  • Best: The course integrates the explanations within the graphs, enhancing understanding and retention of information.

Your next steps. Revisit your current eLearning materials, identifying opportunities to better align text with corresponding visuals. Revise these modules to adhere to the Contiguity Principle, thereby facilitating more effective learning.

Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia learning. Cambridge University Press.
Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning. John Wiley & Sons.