Comic book: The Multimedia Design Dilemma

“E-Learning and the Science of Instruction” by Clark and Mayer, this book is essential reading for anyone wishing to design and develop multimedia content for e-Learning.

At the beginning of each chapter, the authors challenge the readers with a “Design Dilemma”, a scenario to introduce one of the principles explained in the book. In these scenarios, an eLearning team is committed to create an online course on Excel for Small Business. Every character, the VP, the Instructional Designer, the Graphic Designer, the Programmer, etc, they all have different views on how to design the multimedia content for the course.

At the end of each chapter and after the Principles are analyzed with evidence-based examples, the reader is taken back to the scenario where the dilemma is resolved.

Click on the image to view my comic book

multimediaDilemmaThe Idea

After reading the book, I wanted to write a post about the Multimedia Principles, but there are tons of articles and presentations about this, so I decided to turn the “design dilemmas” into a graphic story.

The Result

I was looking for illustrated characters and backgrounds for the story, when I came across with this cool and free Comic image collection. Using the source files, I could create different scenes; changing character’s dialogues and expressions. The characters fit perfectly into the story. I changed their names and made a slight variation of their choices.

In the book, the team is designing a course on Excel, but I replaced this with a course on Applied Optics.

Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to finish the book: Multimedia, Modality and Redundancy Principles in this first printing. Wouldn’t be great to have the complete edition one day?

Check out more comic book examples in the Weekly Challenge #11


Types of Graphics used in e-learning

It is almost impossible today to imagine an e-learning course without any media file. Images, graphics, videos, animations, diagrams, etc., they’re all an essential part of the content, they complement the text; and support the learning experience.

Researchers have found that users closely attend to images that are relevant to their tasks, but they rarely pay attention to pictures which serve no purpose other than fill screen space within the interface.  For that reason, we should be aware of the type of graphics contained in our course design.

Reading the book “e-Learning and the Science of Instruction” I found the Multimedia Principle extremely useful to relate the type of media with the learning purpose, the chart below sums up the concepts explained by the authors.


It is extremely important we choose the appropriate media files for the courses we design, we should make sure the images, graphics, animations, or videos; contain information to help the learner to perform the task. Otherwise, they could be distracting and slow down the learning experience.


Clark and Mayer (2011) “e-Learning and the Science of Instruction” 

Mayer, R. Principles for Multimedia Learning

Read more:

Shift e-Learning “Graphics for e-Learning: Which one should I use?”