Multimedia Instruction

Multimedia Instruction

Lorna Uden (Staffordshire University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-953-3.ch004
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Multimedia technology is increasingly being used as a vehicle to deliver instruction. The terms “hypermedia” and “multimedia” are often used interchangeably. However, a distinction is sometimes made: Not all multimedia applications are necessarily hypermedia. A network representation of information is one of the defining characteristics of hypermedia. An instance of hypermedia consists of pieces of information connected in an arbitrary manner to form a network of references (Begoray, 1990). In this chapter, the terms will be used synonymously. There are many benefits for using multimedia for instruction. Studies have shown that computer-based multimedia can help people learn more information better than traditional classroom lectures (Bagui, 1998). Several factors have been attributed to the success of multimedia in helping people to learn. First, there is a parallel between multimedia and the ‘natural’ way people learn, as explained by the Information Processing Theory (Gagné, Briggs & Wager, 1988). The similarities between the structure of multimedia and the information processing theory account for a large part of the success of learning with multimedia. Second, information in computer-based multimedia is presented in a non-linear, hypermedia format. The nature of hypermedia allows learners to view things from different perspectives. Third, computer-based multimedia is more interactive than traditional classroom lectures. Interacting appears to have a strong positive effect on learning (Najjar, 1996). Fourth, another feature of multimedia-based learning is that of flexibility. There is empirical evidence (Najjar, 1996) that interactive multimedia information helps people learn.

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