Multimedia Learning Are We Still Asking the Wrong Questions

Multimedia Learning Are We Still Asking the Wrong Questions...

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Unformatted text preview: Jl. of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia (2010) 19(1), 103-120 Multimedia Learning: Are We Still Asking the Wrong Questions? GÜNTER DANIEL REY University Würzburg [email protected] The article discusses problems that arise from comparing dif- ferent kinds of presentation modes such as texts, pictures or animations with regard to learning outcome. These compari- sons are confounded with or depend on other variables like quality of the instructional design, learning content, familiar- ity with the presentation mode as well as learners’ willingness to invest mental effort. Other variables concern the implicit stimulative nature to make a prediction, interactivity possibil- ities, the ft between the type oF inFormation presentation and information retrieval, the level of delivery media (e.g., books or computers), the level oF sensory modalities and the fxation of learning time. Due to these problems, comparing different kinds of presentation modes seems to be an inappropriate re- search approach and will not lead to general conclusions. In- stead, other research approaches are presented and critically discussed like elaborating, extending or contrasting theories of multimedia learning, testing design principles or investi- gating moderator variables. Keywords: multimedia learning; media; technology; sensory modality; presentation mode INTRODUCTION What is multimedia learning? The term multimedia usually refers to dif- ferent aspects on distinct levels (e.g. Mayer, 1996, 2009; Schnotz, 2005). First, on the level of delivery media, it means the use of multiple delivery media, for example, computers, screens, and loudspeakers. Second, on the 104 Rey level of sensory modalities, multimedia relates to multiple senses such as eyes and ears. Third, on the level of presentation mode, different ways (e.g., texts, pictures, animations) of representing the multimedia material are con- sidered (Mayer, 2009). Delivery media Delivery media refer to devices used to present the multimedia material (Mayer, 2009). There are many different alternatives for delivering infor- mation in multimedia learning. For example, a text passage can be deliv- ered either by a computer screen or by a printed book (e.g. Schnotz, 2005). Therefore, it could be assumed, that research should investigate which kind of technology (or combinations of technologies) is best suited for delivering information in multimedia learning to improve learning outcome (cf. May- er, 2005b). Clark (1983, 1985, 1994) rejects this kind of approach for vari- ous reasons and points out that media (i.e., the kind of delivery media) will never infuence learning (see also Kozma, 1994). In this context, his well known analogy between media and vehicles is often quoted: “Media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not infuence stu- dent achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in our nutrition” (Clark, 1983, p. 445) Schnotz (2005) also asserts that, although the level of technology is im-...
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Multimedia Learning Are We Still Asking the Wrong Questions...

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