Mandernach, J. (2009). Effect of Instructor-Personalized Multimedia in the Online Classroom. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(3), 1-19.
According to dictionary.com the term multimedia is, “the combined use of several media, as sound and full-motion video in computer applications.” I think we use multimedia constantly in the classroom whether we call it that or not.
The journal article by Jean Mandernach is a recounting study of conducted through a college psychology course that examines the types of student engagement through various use of multimedia in the course. They use the theory of multimedia by Doolittle, “web-based multimedia represent the presentation of instruction that enables more then one delivery media, presentation mode, and/or sensory modality” (2001, p3).
The study relied on the basic learning principles of the cognitive theory of multimedia:
1. Meaningful learning occurs when a learner selects relevant information, organizes the information, and makes connection between corresponding representations.
2. Each working memory store has limited capacity.
3. Human have separate systems for representing verbal and nonverbal information.
Using screenshot and visual audio, the professor taught several courses. Each course was designed to see the educational value of multimedia and if it is dependent upon appropriate inclusion of multimedia supplements to enhance the cognitive impact of the text.
There was a control group, a video only group, an audio power point group and finally a video plus power point group. The content was exactly the same for each class, the variable was the instruction.
The overall result was that students focused on performance engagement rather than skills, emotional or participation engagement. A number of students chose to respond to the professor praising the course that utilized multimedia. They stated that it was more interesting, they learned more than in other classes and some even changed their major.
With technology being a forefront of many children’s early learning, I think that it is important that we understand when we try to teach them the “traditional” curriculum. Students learn in a variety of ways and with technology almost immediately. When planning lessons, I think that it is an advantage of having the same message/lesson come across in a variety of ways. This can not only increase the engagement of the students, but also allow for students to have a greater understanding of the content since it is presented multiple times and in a variety of ways.
I think is also beneficial if students can utilize multimedia as an assessment to their learning. The key part if teaching them what multimedia is and showing how to use it effectively. Just because there is a video embedded into a power point presentation or they use WeVideo, the content may still be lacking. This is a continued struggle even with adults.