Multimedia Instructional Tools and Student Learning in a Computer Applications Course

Multimedia Instructional Tools and Student Learning in a Computer Applications Course

Debra L. Chapman (University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA) and Shuyan Wang (The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijicte.2015040105
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Abstract

Advances in technology and changes in educational strategies have resulted in the integration of technology in the classroom. Multimedia instructional tools (MMIT) provide student-centered active-learning instructional activities. MMITs are common in introductory computer applications courses based on the premise that MMITs should increase student learning. This study examined the use of MMIT in an introductory computer applications course to determine if a significant relationship existed between the level of use of the MMIT and student learning. Subjects included students enrolled in an online introductory computer applications course at one southeastern university. The researchers used descriptive statistics to demonstrate students' use of the MMIT and used pre and post-course test scores to determine changes in learning. This study revealed no significant impact on student learning based on level of use of the MMIT grader assignments or training activities. A significant difference was found for the level of use of MMIT quizzes.
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Introduction

Advances in technology have led to changes in education. The integration of technology into educational processes provides potential to improve instruction by creating technology-based, student-centered learning environments that allow students to take charge of their learning (Gaytan & Slate, 2002-2003). Multimedia instructional tools (MMIT) are created when interactive media content is developed in conjunction with instructional design processes which requires students to take an active role in their learning and increases communication between students and faculty (Eastman, Iyer, & Eastman, 2011). Higher education institutions are looking for ways to reduce costs while providing quality education (Twigg, 2011). Educational technology, including MMIT, can provide this opportunity (Bassoppo-Moyo, 2011).

MMIT allow faculty to control the design and content of the course and student assessment. Students control the delivery and pace of the content empowering them to control their own learning (Chien & Chang, 2012). MMIT can present some course material as effectively or better than instructors allowing the instructors to allocate their time to providing individual instruction and assistance instead of delivering content (Twigg, 2011). Class focus changes from presenting course material to student-centered, interactive, problem-solving activities that incorporate instructional materials to support their individual learning (Eyal, 2012).

Technology-based materials offer students practice opportunities with immediate high-quality feedback that can improve students’ work and learning (Schilling, 2009). Nichol’s (2009) research shows that assessment activities support student learning, especially for first year students who traditionally make up a large population of introductory courses. Students need productive and relevant learning activities that encourage appropriate time on task. MMIT supplies these opportunities allowing equal to significantly improved learning and retention as compared to traditional instructional methods (Stegeman & Zydney, 2010).

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