Monthly Archives: November 2014

Designing with multimedia

Prompt: What have you learned thus far about designing instruction? What is different? What is the same as other forms of instruction?

I made it! I am at Project 7, which is the culmination of all the hard work that I have done up to this point. I had to combine all of my instruction sets to create a single webpage to teach someone how to checkout a book from an academic library. My webpage could not simply contain instructional silos from previous weeks. It had to include my images, text, video, and audio instructions mashed up to form a single, coherent instructional track. That might sound easy because I imagine you are thinking, “You have already done the work just put them together.” True, but how I put them together was what was difficult.

Designing with multimedia is different in that it uses a variety of media to display instructional content. No longer is the instructional designer limited to one or two types of media. Any type of media or combination of media is possible. With the freedom to use multiple types of media, comes the responsibility to ensure that learners can actually learn. In my mind, it is very easy to create cluttered instructional content because the designer may feel the need to include everything so that all types of media are present throughout the instructional set. She wants her content to appeal to all types of learners (Sankey & Nooriafshar, 2005). Including too much instructional content runs the risk of alienating learners as it can be confusing and unclear.

Designing instruction with multimedia is much the same as other instructional sets in that the designer must always think about the design and layout of the instruction. They must always consider how the learners will interact with the instructional content. They must always remember that the possibility for too much content lurks in the shadows among the instructional possibilities. Throughout this course, we have had weekly readings and one theme that has emerged to me is the theme of cognitive overload. As an instructional designer it is imperative to not overload your learners with too much information at one time (Lang, 1995). I feel with webpages that is really easy to do. Some webpages have so many hyperlinks it is hard to distinguish where to start or end. Learners can easily become lost and overwhelmed in the maze of hyperlinks (Shapiro & Niederhauser, 2004).

With my webpage, I did not want to present learners with this conundrum. When it came time for me to contemplate the design for my webpage, I wanted to ensure that I minimized distractions, that my layout and navigation were clear, and learners were not immediately confronted with an overwhelming amount of information. To accomplish this, I used a simple vertical navigation menu. Learners can choose which step they want to start with but the steps presented on the page in order with no extra hyperlinks or outside content added in that section. In addition, after reading Koumi (2003), the idea of learner control has really resonated with me. I wanted to give my learners choices in how they access and engage with the content. I hid the instructional content until each step in the vertical navigation was clicked on, which also helps mitigate cognitive overload, and within the steps with audio and visual instructions, I added the option to show or hide the text for the audio captions.

I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far and am pleased with my webpage. I think it is clear, easy to use and follow. I also think that the combination of media that I decided upon best represents each step so that the learner receives the most from the instruction. Using multimedia in instruction is by far the best option when designing instruction as most learners want and expect variety and choices when it comes to instruction.

References

Koumi, J. (2003). Synergy between audio commentary and visuals in multimedia packages.
Journal of Educational Media, 28, 19-34. doi:10.1080/1358165032000156419

Lang, A. (1995). Defining audio/video redundancy from a limited-capacity information
processing perspective. Communication Research, 22, 86-115.

Sankey, M., & Nooriafshar, M. (2005). Multiple representations in multimedia and e-learning materials: An issue of literacy. In Enhancing learning and teaching: pedagogy, technology and language (pp. 149-172). Flaxton, Australia: Post Pressed.

Shapiro, A., & Niederhauser, D. (2004).  Learning from hypertext: Research issues and findings.  In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research in educational communications and technology (2nd ed.) (pp. 605-620)Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Advertisements
Categories: CECS 5110 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

My journey thus far

Prompt:How has your journey of learning to use multi and single media to teach been so far? What have you learned? What would you still like to learn? What is still hazy?

My journey of learning how to design instructional documents using either single media or multimedia has been frustrating, rewarding, and enlightening throughout these past thirteen weeks. In this course, I have been introduced to various programs of Adobe Creative Cloud, which, by the way, is a great tool and resource to have some exposure to. At this point, I have used Acrobat to create text instructions, Photoshop to create image instructions, Audition to create audio instructions, InDesign to create text and image instructions as well as to create audio, text and image instructions in the form of an interactive PDF (FYI extremely cool), and Premiere Pro to create video instructions. My upcoming project will require me to use Dreamweaver to create a website.

Some of these programs have been very easy to learn and use, e.g., Acrobat and Audition; whereas, others, e.g., Photoshop, Premiere Pro, InDesign, and what I have seen of Dreamweaver were/are quite complicated. Hence, both my frustration in learning how to use the software in order to create a professional looking product and my reward in that I persevered and actually succeeded! In fact, for the most part, I am quite pleased with the final versions my projects. I am also extremely thankful, even considering the tears, hair pulling, and expletives that were muttered up to this point (only semi-joking), that I was required to use this specific software suite to create instructional artefacts. Knowing, even in a rudimentary sense, how to use Adobe Creative Cloud, is a most impressive item I plan to add to my resume and my arsenal of skills. I also want to continue learning how to effectively use Adobe Creative Cloud tools as with each new update, the interface and how you navigate the various programs changes.

The journey has been enlightening in that all of the research we have had to read throughout the past thirteen weeks has helped me to think deeper and look more critically at how I design instruction, from both a learner and an instructor perspective. I have had to consider text formatting (Hartley, 2004), image meanings and image limitations (Braden, 2004), cognitive load and learner control (Daniels, 1996; Hede, 2002; Koumi, 2003; Lang, 1995), auditory memory and how it differs from visual memory (Barron, 2004; Lang, 1995), how video, television and the internet affect learning (Hill, Wiley, Nelson, & Han, 2004; Seels, Fullerton, Berry, & Horn, 2004), and effective uses of design principles (Williams, 2008). With each project, I had to plan how best to accomplish my learning goals using the designated media, or medium. I asked my colleagues for lots of feedback as to what worked, what did not, and redesigned when appropriate. I found it very helpful to get outside opinions as that kept me from living in an instructional design bubble. I also learned that in most aspects using a variety of multimedia instead of a single media is better from a learner’s perspective as it offers choices when it comes to engaging with the content (Koumi, 2003; Sankey & Nooriafshar, 2005).

Throughout all of this research, the one thing that appears to remain constant, at least in my opinion, is that research on learning using either single media or multimedia contains many differing opinions on what is best from an instructional design perspective. I would like to see one overarching theoretical framework for instructional design instead of many different theories that researchers continue to debate. For a complete list, please reference the authors listed below in the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology. I do not know if this is possible or even probable, but I think that if a consensus could be agreed upon the field of instructional design would definitely flourish. Research could focus on why instructional content is designed a certain way from a learning perspective instead of which media is better to use. In addition, I would like to see research move away from the debate of traditional learning versus distance learning (Gunawardena & McIsaac, 2004). With so many students owning mobile devices, what we once thought of as traditional learning has all but disappeared. Students can learn anywhere at anytime, whether it is formal or informal learning. To me, from this viewpoint, learning is learning regardless of how and where it takes place.

As you may be able to surmise, my journey in learning how to design instruction using single and multimedia has been a rollercoaster of surprises, challenges, and fun. Even with the difficulties I have encountered, I have really enjoyed learning how to design instructional content using a variety of media. I plan to continue honing my skills in this area and using many of the same tools in my current job and with future classes.

References

Barron, A. E. (2004). Auditory instruction. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed.) (pp. 949–978). Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Braden, R. A. (2004). Visual literacy. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed.). Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Daniels, H. L. (1996). Interaction of cognitive style and learner control of presentation mode in a hypermedia environment. Retrieved from https://learn.unt.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-1974414-dt-content-rid-17414476_1/xid-17414476_1

Gunawardena, C. N., & McIsaac, M. S. (2004). Distance education. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed.) (pp. 355–396). Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hartley, J. (2004).  Designing instructional and informational text.  In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research in educational communications and technology (2nd ed.(pp. 917-947)Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hede, A. (2002). An integrated model of multimedia effects on learning. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 11, 177-191.

Hill, J. R., Wiley, D., Nelson, L. M., & Han, S. (2004). Exploring research on internet-based learning: From infrastructure to interactions. In. D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed.) (pp. 949-978). Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Koumi, J. (2003). Synergy between audio commentary and visuals in multimedia packages. Journal of Educational Media, 28, 19-34. doi:10.1080/1358165032000156419

Lang, A. (1995). Defining audio/video redundancy from a limited-capacity information processing perspective. Communication Research, 22, 86-115.

Sankey, M., & Nooriafshar, M. (2005). Multiple representations in multimedia and e-learning materials: An issue of literacy. In Enhancing learning and teaching: pedagogy, technology and language (pp. 149-172). Flaxton, Australia: Post Pressed.

Seels, B., Fullerton, K., Berry, L., & Horn, L. J. (2004). Research on learning from television. In. D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed.) (pp. 949-978). Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Williams, R. (2008). The non-designer’s design book: Design and typographic principles for the visual novice (3rd ed.). Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.

Categories: CECS 5110 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Ready for my closeup

Prompt: What have you learned thus far about designing instruction from a video media perspective? What was beneficial? What was difficult? How did it change the way you think about learning and teaching? What is helpful about using video versus a single medium for delivering instruction?

For my project this week, I had to recreate my instructional set using video. According to YouTube (2014), it has over 1 billion unique visitors a month. That is a lot of people watching videos! Whether they are educational in nature or entertainment oriented, people clearly love to watch videos and I am one of them. Using video as an instruction tool is not a new concept to me. In my current career, we use video to demonstrate to our students how to search the databases. We record screencasts of ourselves, using Screencast-O-Matic, searching the database with audio commentary explaining what we are doing. We keep them short, under three minutes and post them online on our YouTube channel. We also embed them in our course management system so students can interact with them at their point of need.

Personally, I love watching videos to learn how to do something as I appreciate the symmetry of hearing the instructions while seeing the actions demonstrated. For me this is my preferred method of learning how to do something technical in nature. The reason being that I can listen to the video, watch the demonstration, and follow along all at the same time. It allows me to learn by doing, which is something that single media do not allow really allow for. This what I find most beneficial about using video for educational or training purposes. In fact, research shows that even when people watch videos or television with only entertainment in mind incidental learning still occurs as the viewer makes sense of what they are seeing by applying it to their pre-existing knowledge or they take the new information and encode it into their schemas (Krendl & Warren, 2004; Seels, Fullerton, Berry & Horn, 2004). This is especially true when the people viewing the video or TV interact with it by questioning the content or actions of the characters.

While I had fun with this project, I had some difficulties. For one thing the video camera that I used recorded my video files in a non-standard format that I had to convert. I am afraid that I suffered some compression losses during the conversion that slightly skewed the video quality. For another, this project was definitely the most time consuming. I recorded about three hours of raw footage and my video is only three and half minutes long! Since my project is about checking out a book from an academic library, I wanted my video to be as authentic as possible so I had to plan to record during a weekend when the library is typically less busy as I did not want to bother the students who were studying. That meant I was limited in the times and days I could record. I ended up coming in on a Saturday I had off to record and creating a library bookshelf in an area that did not have any students studying.

I tried very hard to make my video both authentic and exciting as I wanted to catch the viewer’s attention as well as make it meaningful for the learner. Seels et al. (2004) and Krendl and Warren (2004) all discuss how learners tend to listen to the audio first and only after something in the audio catches their attention, do they then actively focus on the video to be able encode information. Hill, Wiley, Nelson, and Han (2004) discuss how learning that occurs in realistic, or authentic, situations is more meaningful to the learner as it mimics the ‘real world’ (p. 447). To accomplish this, I recorded each scene in a different location but all centralized around the library, which meant that much of my time was spent packing up the equipment, moving it, and framing each shot independently. I had my actor, who was my husband, perform the very same actions that the learner would have to do in order to check out a book. During the editing process, I added in the explanation audio, fixed the timing so that audio and video were in sync and added in peppy background music to give the video some panache.

All in all, I think my video turned out nicely and am proud of what I accomplished. I plan to continue using video as an instructional tool as I believe that it is the most popular method for learning among students and people of all ages. YouTube concurs with its high usage!

References

Hill, J. R., Wiley, D., Nelson, L. M., & Han, S. (2004). Exploring research on internet-based learning: From infrastructure to interactions. In. D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed.) (pp. 949-978). Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Krendl, K. A., & Warren, R. (2004). Communication effects of noninteractive media: Learning in out-of-school contexts. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed.) (pp. 59-78). Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Seels, B., Fullerton, K., Berry, L., & Horn, L. J. (2004). Research on learning from television. In. D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed.) (pp. 949-978). Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

YouTube. (2014). Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/

Categories: CECS 5110 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Through stories

Scott's blog about teaching, learning, games, film...

ITFORUM Jobs

Part of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology

JHartpence

learning & development

E Learning with Ali

Ideas, thoughts, research, and reflections on learning technologies, instructional design, and online learning

DominikMikula.com

Entrepreneur, Globetrotter, Thrill Seeker...

idapriyanto

one step ahead

Nerd by nature; Librarian by choice!

Brain2Overloaded

Nerd by nature; Librarian by choice!

Communities of Learners

Nerd by nature; Librarian by choice!

Ke'shun's Blog

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." Albert Einstein