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.

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