Posts Tagged With: multimedia

Instructional design, learning theories, and instruction…oh my!

Thinking - Please wait

(M., 2008)

This week we were required to read three articles. An article provided by our professor, one of our own choosing and one that a peer chose. All of the articles pertained to instructional design, a learning theory, and instruction, whether it was online or blended.

What resonated the most for me from the Savery and Duffy (2001) article, which focused on problem based learning and constructivism, were the concepts of how learning is socially constructed and how important it is that students take ownership of their learning. In their article, they discuss how facts are not facts because of some universal truth but are facts because there is overwhelming agreement about that information (Savery & Duffy, 2001). Until I read this explicitly stated in black and white, I had not fully considered, or understood, how social constructivism truly functions as well as the weight that shared knowledge holds. Knowledge and understanding is based on a give and take and it does require more than one person for this to occur. I see it and experience it daily in my job. In addition, they stress the importance of giving the student ownership of the problem, the solutions, and the entire learning process (Savery & Duffy, 2001). I really like this concept but I think that I need to learn more about the delivery and implementation of it. How do you design learning so that this is possible and that it occurs?

The article by Artemchik (2016) was right up my alley. It focused on a librarian who developed online information literacy tutorials to use in a business course. As I am a business librarian who is interested in learning more about creating online tutorials, I was ecstatic to happen upon this gem. While this article did not explicitly state any theories, it most closely aligned with ADDIE for instructional design and cognitive constructivism for the learning theory. Her tutorials allowed the students to be self-directed learners but still required them to be active participants to construct their knowledge. What stood out the most for me with this article were the authors best practices, i.e., her lessons learned. Artemchik (2016) recommends working closely with the course faculty member to ensure that the tutorials are relevant and relate to course content, that the tutorials are embedded at a point of need for the students so they will use them, that the tutorials contain learning outcomes that are targeted to students so that they can relate to them and will clearly understand the purpose of the activity, and ensure that the tutorials are easy to navigate and use. I would like to learn more about writing learning outcomes that students can easily relate to and internalize.

The article by Loftus, Stavraky & Urquhart (2014) focused on designing multimedia instruction for a nursing course. The authors relied on Merrill’s five principles of instruction and Mayer’s principles for multimedia instruction (Loftus et al., 2014). In this article I was happy that they shared both Merrill’s and Mayer’ principles. I especially like Merrill’s (2002) principles which state that learning should be problem-centered, activate prior knowledge, use demonstration, allow application, and promote reflection and exploration. I plan on reviewing this article throughout this semester as the information will be helpful and relevant for my course design. The main takeaways I have from this article are that multimedia learning needs to incorporate multiple modalities, such as text, images and sound, and that the design of the instruction should help not hinder the learner. For this to occur, extraneous information should be excluded, outlines and headings should be used, placement of images and text should be considered, information should be presented in multiple formats, and the delivery of the content should not overwhelm the student, i.e. cognitive load theory (Mayer, 2014). I have read about this information before in previous classes; however, reading about it again with a different mindset of applying this knowledge brings about new insights and reflections for me about how to design instruction to incorporate these concepts.

All of the articles will impact my design. For my course, I want to create an online information literacy course that focuses on business library resources. To deliver the information, I want to create a series of online tutorials. I want the course and its content to be engaging, interactive, hands-on, easy to navigate and that teaches the students concepts that they will be able to use throughout their entire undergraduate career. It all sounds a bit overwhelming to me at this point, but I know that all I need to do is complete each assignment to the best of my ability. I am excited to embark on this journey.

References

Artemchik, T. (2016). Using the instructional design process in tutorial development. Reference Services Review, 44, 309-323. doi:10.1108/RSR-12-2015-0050

Loftus, J., Stavraky, T., & Urquhart, B. L. (2014). Design it yourself (DIY): In-house instructional design for online pharmacology. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 19, 645-659. doi:10.1007/s10459-013-9492-2

M., W. (2008). Thinking [Digital image]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wadem/2808468566/

Mayer, R. (2014, July 8). Principles for multimedia learning with Richard E. Mayer. Retrieved from http://hilt.harvard.edu/blog/principles-multimedia-learning-richard-e-mayer

Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50, 43-59.

Savery, J. R., & Duffy, T. M. (2001). Problem based learning: An instructional model and its constructivist framework. (Center for Research on Learning and Technology Technical Report 16-01). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University.

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Onward through multimedia, instructional design, & learning theories

Prompt: What have you learned in the course about designing instruction from a multimedia perspective? How would designing instruction be different from a constructivist perspective, based on what you read? Would it?

I would like to start off this post by expressing my gratitude that to assist with learning the software in this course we had access to VTC.com trainings. I truly believe if I had not been able to watch the tutorials and follow along with the practice examples that I would have been unable to complete this course. Thank you to VTC.com for making the training videos and thank you to UNT College of Information for providing us access to them.

That segue does dovetail nicely into the first question of the prompt: what have I learned about designing instruction with multimedia? Essentially, I learned that designing effective multimedia instruction is difficult and time consuming but rewarding when viewed from the perspective of the learner. As an example, look at me, Adobe software and this course. I was able to use multimedia in the form of video for the tutorials, text for the readings, and audio and text with the synchronous chats, to discover new content and amass new learning experiences. That does not mean that my journey was smooth sailing. No, in fact effective multimedia instruction causes learners, including me, to undergo mental dissonance as new experiences and new knowledge conflict with existing schemas (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996); however, by continuing to incorporate the various forms of multimedia into my learning quest, I was able to resolve my conflict by actively applying what I was learning to construct content of my own.

I also learned that effective instruction uses combinations of text, audio, video, and images but does not overwhelm the learner with all four of them at one time (Lang, 1995). One concept that was mentioned throughout much of the literature were discussions on cognitive overload (Barron, 2004; Braden, 2004; Daniels, 1996; Hartley, 2004; Koumi, 2003; Lang, 1995; Seels, Fullerton, Berry, & Horn, 2004) and how it is import to consider the impact the multimedia instruction will have on the learner. Will it impede the learning process because it is overwhelming the learner’s working memory which then means they won’t be able to effectively process the information? Either because the media are competing against each other for dominance or because the media does not fit the content. Or do the multimedia work in harmony together to aid the learning process? By engaging the learner’s attention and by appealing to both the audio and visual channels of the brain using complementary content so that the learner can successfully absorb the information and relate it to prior knowledge, which allows them to build new schemas (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996; Lang, 1995).

Regarding designing multimedia instruction from a constructivist perspective, I must admit that I am still confused about the learning theories, instructional design and which one works best. I think part of my confusion stems from all of the conflicting opinions in the articles throughout the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, including the 2nd edition and the first. Honestly, I do not think that there is one “right” theory. I do think that how you design multimedia instruction depends on the learning theory that you employ. If we take the constructivist approach, the multimedia instruction would depend on the learning objectives, or learning issues, that the students themselves decide upon (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996). The students would determine the course of action as well as the educational technologies they would use and the instructional designer would be the guide/facilitator. Perhaps I am looking at this all wrong but that is my understanding of the matter.

From the learner perspective of my project, it is not constructivist as I had set learning goals and objectives the learner had to meet and to meet those goals and objectives they had to follow instructions in a specific order, which is a behaviorist approach. From my view of the project as both the instructional designer and learner, while I did have to meet set goals and objectives each week, I had freedom in how I wanted to meet those goals. I chose my own topic and chose how I wanted to represent the topic using the required media. In my opinion, my learning journey in this course was a combination of cognitive constructivism, which I think closely aligns with cognitivism, and sociocultural constructivism (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996; Ertmer & Newby, 1993). I think most learning situations follow suit in that they adopt a combination of learning theories and multimedia.

Overall, it has been an interesting experience. I am happy, proud, and relieved that I have made it through. I look forward to continuing my journey of instructional design and seeing what lies ahead.

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

Duffy, T., & Cunningham D. (1996). Constructivism: Implications for the design and delivery of
instruction. In D. H. Jonassen, (Ed.), Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology (170-198). New York: Simon and Schuster.

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50-71. doi:10.1111/j.1937-8327.1993.tb00605.x

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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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Audio, visuals, text, oh my!

Prompt: What is different about developing instruction with both images and audio combined? Is it more efficient? Do you think about how you instruct someone differently? Are there limitations? Benefits? If so, what are they?

This week for our project, I had to redesign my instruction set to include images, audio, and text. While that may seem like an easy task to undertake, reality was starkly different. This assignment was hands-down, the most difficult concept for me to wrap my mind around. How was I going to effectively teach my project with only one page and incorporate all three media forms? I really had to think about the overall layout of the content as well as the how to combine my previous images, text and visuals to make a whole, seamless instruction, instead of three separate forms of communication.

From a design perspective, I was limited to a one page interactive PDF to include all my instruction content so space was at a premium. Since my topic is about how to checkout a book from an academic library, I decided to have my design layout mimic a book. I halved my page and put the section headers as chapter titles on the left and the actuals instructions as the chapter content on the right, similar to how people read. In addition, I decided to not have the audio automatically play when the learner clicked on a section. I dislike pages that automatically play sound on websites, so I made the audio part of my project as an option that the learner must click on to hear it play. On the plus side, since we used InDesign to create our instruction set, I know now how to make interactive PDFs and find that they are a useful method to deliver multimedia instruction. A downside of them is that since they export as Flash files they exclude mobile devices as an option to view the content. Since many people appreciate the convenience of learning on the go, this is a serious drawback in my opinion. With future interactive PDF content, I plan to research how to make them compatible across devices so that they are device and platform agnostic.

Another drawback of designing instruction with multimedia is that it becomes very easy to overload and overwhelm learners with content. It is important to not throw all the information at the learner in one swoop. If the learner’s sensory memory becomes overloaded, they will not know which part of the content they should focus on, which in turn means that they will not be able to successfully encode the information for retrieval later (Lang, 1995).  In Lang’s research, she found that when presenting content in multiple channels, such as audio and visual information, that presentations that shared similar visual and audio content were the ones most successfully remembered and were the ones that imposed less of a cognitive burden on the learner (Lang, 1995). The instructional designer should keep this in mind when designing instructional content and ensure that all the components complement each other to increase the learner’s chances to successfully attend to and encode the information.

From a learning perspective, instructions that use audio, images, and text are expected and standard learning techniques. Personally, as a learner, I enjoy being able to choose how I want to learn and the types of media I employ, and I think the majority of learners are the same. We appreciate choices and having the ability to decide how we learn. Using multiple forms of media provides the learner with control (Koumi, 2003). With multimedia, the learner can choose if they want to listen to the instructions, read them, or view them. They can pause or stop the audio to read something more deeply and can go back and listen to content again if they choose. They can look at the visuals and then read the text. Compare this to instruction using only single media where the learner does not have an option. They are forced into relying on one media for instructional content delivery.

Overall, I am pleased with how this week’s project turned out and think that designing with multimedia is always better from a learning perspective than single media. It is important to give learners choices and control over how they learn. While the learner may not have a choice about the content, they can have a choice about how they learn it.

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.

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Designing with audio and visuals

Prompt: What have you learned thus far about designing instruction from a multiple media perspective? How do you think the use of audio-visual instruction will benefit teaching and learning? What do you think will be potential issues with the use of audio-visual instruction? How do you think it will impact your teaching and learning?

Each week we read various scholarly articles* about designing with multimedia. Each week after I finish reading the articles, I come away more confused than ever. Each author has their own theory for what is the best method and each theory cites multiple literature reviews that all seem to cite conflicting research (Lang, 1995). What is the best method for designing instruction with multimedia? Is there even a best method for designing instruction with multimedia?

I started this class with the thought that I would learn the best way to design using multimedia. At this point in the semester, about 8 weeks in, I think that this was an erroneous thought. I honestly think, and this may change as the semester progresses, that there is no one best method for designing instruction using multimedia. One thing that I have realized during this course is that an important theme to keep in mind when creating multimedia instruction is balance. Simply incorporating advanced technologies such as audio and visual information does not automatically create a superior product. Superior instructional design strategies incorporate strategies that are complementary and succinct.

For example, in Lang’s (1995) article she discusses multimedia from the perspective of memory and cognitive overload. When designing using multimedia, it is very easy to overload the learner’s cognitive processing capacity. When a learner’s cognitive processing capacity has reached its limit, the learner is less likely to be able to successfully encode information for retrieval at a later date. This is especially true when incorporating multiple types of media that each present conflicting information. Her research found that multimedia that present the same, or redundant, messages are the ones that tend to not overload cognitive capacity and so allow the learner to successfully encode, store and retrieve the information from memory (Lang, 1995).

Designing instruction using both audio and visual information, in which visual includes text and images, allows the learner the most control over their instruction (Koumi, 2003). The learner can choose whether to follow the instructions by viewing the text and images, by listening to the audio, or by using some combination of all of the above. Designing with multimedia is also more inclusive than using a single media. Single media can exclude learners with disabilities or learners who prefer using one form of media over another. Instruction that includes multiple types of media ensures that all learners can benefit from the instruction.

To sum up what I have learned about designing instruction from a multimedia perspective, it is a complex topic that is both frustrating yet also rewarding. At the end of a project, after I have taken many, many deep breaths, I look back at what I have created and am pleasantly surprised and pleased with my end result. Designing with multimedia allows the instructor more freedom, is more inclusive for all learners, and allows the learner more control over their education.

*For a complete list of references, please refer to my past blogs in the CECS 5110 category.

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.

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Designing with text and images

Prompt: What is different about developing instruction with both images and text combined? Is it more efficient? Do you think about how you instruct someone differently? Are there limitations? Benefits? If so, what are they?

This week with our project we combined our text instructions with our image instructions. I thought that this would be a simple matter of putting them both together; however, that wasn’t the case at all. It took me quite a while to determine the best method for presenting the combined text and images. In undertaking this project, I first had to think about what the learning goals and objectives are and then, I had to decide how best to convey them using both text and images together, not separately. I had to think about the layout, which images to use, how to rewrite the text in order for it to make sense with the images, and color choices. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t overwhelm my audience and cause confusion. I also wanted to make sure that my layout wasn’t cluttered and presented the information in a clear and logical manner.

When combining two forms of media, the instructional designer must make sure that the combined media don’t overload the learner (Daniels, 1996; Hede, 2002). If the learner is presented with too much stimuli, it can tax their working memory. When the working memory is overloaded, this causes the cognitive processing abilities to devote all of their efforts to sifting through the various stimuli (Daniels, 1996; Hede, 2002). What all this boils down to is that instead of the learner actually using the multimedia to learn the content, which is the point of instruction, they end up using all of their mental prowess to just make sense of the multimedia. They don’t actually learn anything because the multimedia is so overwhelming or confusing that all of their attention is devoted to the stimuli instead of the content.

On the other hand, with good instructional design combining two media, such as text and images, can actually increase learning and retention (Braden, 2004; Daniels, 1996). Research has shown that for many people combining text with supporting images helps people to comprehend and retain the information better than compared to using just one mode of instruction (Braden, 2004; Daniels, 1996). I think that this is because the combined multimedia help support additional learning styles. For some people, they learn best with pictures; whereas, with other learners verbal input is the best method (Hede, 2002). When you combine text with images, you are able to reach both learning styles at the same time. For visual learners the images help them make sense of the textual instructions and for verbal learners the textual instructions are highlighted by the placement of the images.

Source: Flickr/CC - Student studying

Source: Flickr/CC – Student studying

In my opinion, combining text and images to instruct learners is better than using either text or images alone and is also a multimedia method that is very familiar to learners. Consider textbooks as an example. Most textbooks use a combination of text and images to share information with students. The text explains a concept and the supporting images provide the reader with a visual depiction of the concept. As a student, I comprehend information better when I can both read it and see it, especially with abstract concepts. Having access to a graphical representation of a difficult concept that I can refer back to when reading about it helps me to fully grasp the “big picture.” Often times, when I am recalling information, the picture is what my long-term and working memory first recall and then, the corresponding text. Both play a part in helping me to learn.

Overall, using a combination of text and images versus using only text or only images makes more sense from an instructional design perspective. Although instructional designers can run the risk of overwhelming the learner using multiple media, if they keep in mind the design principles of contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity (Williams, 2008), they mitigate those risks. By combining text and images in instructional design, they provide content that has a higher chance of attracting learners and engaging them (Hede, 2002). The more learners are engaged the higher the odds are that they will actually learn the material.

References

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

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

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

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

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