School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Richard Bragg


retention, production, vocabulary, adult ESL learners, multimedia learning, course design, technology


Curriculum and Instruction | Education


The purpose of this qualitative embedded case study is to examine how applying multimedia theories in online courses can enhance vocabulary acquisition, retention, and production among adult English as a Second Language (ESL) learners at a non-profit organization in Ontario, Canada. Guided by Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML), the study probes how ESL learners effectively transfer, retain, and produce new vocabulary. Data collection involves criterion sampling and analysis through MaxQDA, encompassing physical artifacts, personal interviews, and online questionnaires. The findings underscore the efficacy of integrating multimedia elements to facilitate new vocabulary retention and production, emphasizing the importance of the application of productive skills across diverse learning styles. The study underscores the pivotal link between vocabulary acquisition, communication skills, and the integration of multimedia principles in online education. It highlights the significance of adopting multimedia principles to create dynamic learning experiences that cater to diverse learner preferences, ultimately enhancing engagement and effectiveness. Moreover, the research emphasizes the need to consider the interplay between technology, pedagogy, and learner characteristics in designing online educational interventions for adult ESL learners. Overall, the findings contribute valuable insights to language education, advocating for the integration of evidence-based multimedia principles to empower adult ESL learners in achieving their language learning goals and effective communication in diverse contexts.