Conceptual Customization for Learning with Multimedia: Developing Individual Instructional Experiences to Support Science Understanding

Conceptual Customization for Learning with Multimedia: Developing Individual Instructional Experiences to Support Science Understanding

Kirsten R. Butcher (University of Utah, USA), Sebastian de la Chica (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA), Faisal Ahmad (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA), Qianyi Gu (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA), Tamara Sumner (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA) and James H. Martin (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-158-2.ch014
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This chapter discusses an emerging theme in supporting effective multimedia learning: developing scalable, cognitively-grounded tools that customize learning interactions for individual students. We discuss the theoretical foundation for expected benefits of customization and current approaches in educational technology that leverage a learner’s prior knowledge. We then describe the development of a customized tool for science learning, called CliCk, that uses automatic techniques to create knowledge models that can be fed into cognitively-informed pedagogical tools. CliCk leverages existing multimedia resources in educational digital libraries for two purposes: (a) to generate rich representations of domain content relevant for learner modeling that are easily scaled to new domains and disciplines, and (b) to serve as a repository of instructional resources that support customized pedagogical interactions. The potential of the CliCk system is discussed, along with initial comparisons of knowledge models created by CliCk and human experts. Finally, the chapter discusses the remaining challenges and relevant future extensions for effective customization tools in educational technology.
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Increasingly, classrooms are comprised of diverse learners who are experienced with technology and expect it to play an increasingly significant role in their educational experiences (Hanson & Carlson, 2005). The challenge for researchers and multimedia designers is to identify how educational technology can support useful learning processes and improve outcomes for a broad array of students. However, developing effective educational technology that is robust for a wide variety of learners in a range of educational contexts has been an elusive goal.

We take a learner-centered approach to improving the impact of multimedia materials. We use automatic techniques to develop rich representations of domain knowledge and student understanding that allow us to customize learning interactions based on the conceptual needs of individual learners. Our work targets the large-scale development of individually-targeted materials for educational technology, and can be contrasted with a long history of design-centered efforts to improve the general quality of learning materials that are used by all students regardless of their individual learning needs or existing knowledge. Early efforts to improve the design of learning materials included attempts to supplement traditional learning materials with visual representations, effectively creating simple forms of multimedia by the addition of diagrams (Dwyer, 1967, 1968, 1969) and pictures (see Levie & Lentz, 1982, for a review) to text resources. As multimedia resources with varied content such as text, audio, diagrams, and animations have become more common, researchers have had some success in identifying general design principles to support student learning (e.g., Mayer, 2001). However, these design-centered principles have been targeted toward broad categories of learners (e.g., students with existing high or low prior knowledge). There is little evidence that design-centered approaches can successfully remediate specific student knowledge deficits, especially for learners who have existing knowledge in a domain.

Adaptive technologies that respond to individual student knowledge and interactions do exist—for example, intelligent tutors (Anderson, Corbett, Koedinger, & Pelletier, 1995; Koedinger, Anderson, Hadley, & Mark, 1997) and animated conversational agents (Graesser et al., 2004)—but these technologies typically are difficult and impractical to implement for a wide variety of topics. As a general rule, the more detailed the conceptual feedback offered by technology, the less able the technology has been to scale quickly to new tasks, domains, and disciplines. However, as the prevalence and availability of educational multimedia increases, so does the opportunity to leverage existing computational techniques and digital resources to achieve the next generation of educational technology: tools that perform conceptually-rich student assessment, that scale to new topics and domains using automated processes, and that support customized pedagogical interactions for individual students with a range of prior domain knowledge.

We take an interdisciplinary approach to educational technology design and assessment that builds on existing multimedia resources in digital libraries. Our goal is to assess whether customized interactions with multimedia can increase students’ conceptual science understanding. Our approach uses cognitive theories of multimedia and comprehension, learner discourse, and techniques in computer science (especially natural language processing) to push the multimedia envelope toward successful implementation of fully automated but conceptually customized learning environments.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Robert Zheng
Chapter 1
Renae Low
Our knowledge of human cognitive architecture has advanced dramatically in the last few decades. In turn, that knowledge has implications for... Sample PDF
Cognitive Architecture and Instructional Design in a Multimedia Context
Chapter 2
Peter E. Doolittle
This chapter addresses the role that working memory capacity (WMC) plays in learning in multimedia environments. WMC represents the ability to... Sample PDF
Multimedia Learning and Working Memory Capacity
Chapter 3
Anne E. Cook
This chapter focuses on issues dealing with the definition and measurement of cognitive load in multimedia and other complex learning activities.... Sample PDF
Measurement of Cognitive Load During Multimedia Learning Activities
Chapter 4
Stephen K. Reed
This chapter discusses a theoretical framework for designing multimedia in which manipulation, rather than perception, of objects plays the... Sample PDF
Manipulating Multimedia Materials
Chapter 5
Katharina Scheiter, Eric Wiebe, Jana Holsanova
Multimedia environments consist of verbal and visual representations that, if appropriately processed, allow for the construction of an integrated... Sample PDF
Theoretical and Instructional Aspects of Learning with Visualizations
Chapter 6
Florian Schmidt-Weigand
This chapter introduces eye tracking as a method to observe how the split of visual attention is managed in multimedia learning. The chapter reviews... Sample PDF
The Influence of Visual and Temporal Dynamics on Split Attention: Evidences from Eye Tracking
Chapter 7
Tad T. Brunyé, Tali Ditman, Jason S. Augustyn
Multiformat and modality interfaces have become popular and effective tools for presenting information in training and instructional systems.... Sample PDF
Spatial and Nonspatial Integration in Learning and Training with Multimedia Systems
Chapter 8
Mike DeSchryver
We claim that the Web has the potential to be a quintessential multimedia environment for complex learning, particularly in ill-structured domains.... Sample PDF
New Forms of Deep Learning on the Web: Meeting the Challenge of Cognitive Load in Conditions of Unfettered Exploration in Online Multimedia Environments
Chapter 9
Renae Low
In the field of multimedia learning, although research on cognitive effects and their implications for instructional design is rich, research on the... Sample PDF
Motivation and Multimedia Learning
Chapter 10
Min Liu, Paul Toprac, Timothy T. Yuen
The purpose of this study is to investigate students’ engagement with a multimedia enhanced problem-based learning (PBL) environment, Alien Rescue... Sample PDF
What Factors Make a Multimedia Learning Environment Engaging: A Case Study
Chapter 11
Michael J. Hannafin, Richard E. West, Craig E. Shepherd
This chapter examines the cognitive demands of student-centered learning from, and with, Web-based multimedia. In contrast to externally-structured... Sample PDF
The Cognitive Demands of Student-Centered, Web-Based Multimedia: Current and Emerging Perspectives
Chapter 12
Lloyd P. Rieber
This chapter presents a review of research on the use and role of interactive simulations for learning. Contemporary theories of learning... Sample PDF
Supporting Discovery-Based Learning within Simulations
Chapter 13
Gina J. Mariano
The role and promotion of transfer in multimedia instructional environments is an oft-neglected concept in instructional multimedia research.... Sample PDF
Fostering Transfer in Multimedia Instructional Environments
Chapter 14
Kirsten R. Butcher, Sebastian de la Chica, Faisal Ahmad, Qianyi Gu, Tamara Sumner, James H. Martin
This chapter discusses an emerging theme in supporting effective multimedia learning: developing scalable, cognitively-grounded tools that customize... Sample PDF
Conceptual Customization for Learning with Multimedia: Developing Individual Instructional Experiences to Support Science Understanding
Chapter 15
Mingming Zhou
We suggest that multimedia environments can benefit from learning as well as offer significant capacity to serve as research purposes. Because... Sample PDF
Designing Multimedia to Trace Goal Setting in Studying
Chapter 16
Alan D. Koenig, Robert K. Atkinson
The first part of this chapter explores how narrative can be used as a cognitive aid in educational video games. It discusses how narrative is... Sample PDF
Using Narrative and Game-Schema Acquisition Techniques to Support Learning from Educational Games
Chapter 17
Marian J.A.J. Verhallen
Advanced digital storybooks offer, in addition to an oral rendition of text, the possibility of enhancing story content through the use of video. In... Sample PDF
How Literacy Emerges from Living Books in the Digital Era: New Chances for Young Linguistically Disadvantaged Children
Chapter 18
Wolff-Michael Roth
To learn by means of analogies, students have to see surface and deep structures in both source and target domains. Educators generally assume that... Sample PDF
Emergence of Analogies in Collaboratively Conducted Computer Simulations
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