2018 James McKeen Cattell Fellow

Richard E. Mayer

University of California, Santa Barbara

Richard E. Mayer, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is an esteemed researcher focused on applying the science of learning to education. He has made major contributions to the study of multimedia learning, computer-supported learning, and computer games for learning. His research, which is at the intersection of cognition, instruction, and technology, focuses especially on how to help people learn in ways that allow them to transfer what they have learned to new situations.

Building on cognitive science theories of how people learn, he has developed a cognitive theory of multimedia learning relevant to the design of online instruction. During the past two decades, he and his colleagues have conducted more than 100 experimental tests leading to 12 research-based principles for how to design online learning environments and computer-based games. He is now extending this work to the design of computer games for learning and using social cues such as polite speech and gesture to increase learner motivation.

Mayer is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. He was ranked as the most productive educational psychologist in the world in Contemporary Educational Psychology and the most cited educational psychologist in Google Scholar. He has served as Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI on more than 30 grants, including grants from the Office of Naval Research to investigate how to improve the effectiveness of educational games, from the Institute of Education Sciences to investigate the effectiveness of features of an online tutoring system, and from the National Science Foundation to study students’ learning and problem-solving strategies. Mayer is a recipient of accolades including the Scribner Award for outstanding research in learning and instruction from the American Educational Research Association and the David H. Jonassen Excellence in Research Award from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.