Theory and Application: Construction of Multimodal eLearning

Theory and Application: Construction of Multimodal eLearning

Ann Musgrove (Florida Atlantic University, USA) and Valerie C. Bryan (Florida Atlantic University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6046-5.ch079
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Abstract

Demand for online learning continues to grow at a strong pace as learners become more diverse in many ways. It is important that we use learning and design theories to shape this learning environment for success. This chapter discusses the use of multimodal design in the creation of online courses based on the science of human learning. Information processing, sensory, working, and long-term memory are discussed in terms of course design. Individual differences and similarities are explored. The question in education remains how we can match what we know about human learning to the technology modes around us to create better learner-centered environments. This chapter explores the theories applicable to multimodal eLearning and how to apply these theories in the creation of learning experiences.
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Background: Growth In Online Learning

Online College Students in 2013 (Aslanian, 2013) noted that nationally 32% of college students were taking at least one online course and three million students were enrolled in fully online programs in 2012. Online learning continues to grow with over 6.7 million students taking at least one online course during the fall 2011 term, an increase of 570,000 students over the previous year (Allen & Seaman, 2013). Online college education growth rate is “three to four times that of classroom enrollment” (Aslanian, 2013, p. 3).For many adults, the face-to-face classroom model does not work due because of the lack of access to the courses, their life schedules with family and careers, and in some cases their personal preferences to be more anonymous within the learning environment. “The greatest advantage of online study continues to be scheduling flexibility and the freedom to manage other responsibilities (Aslanian, 2013, p. 5)” and students with some online study experience are more likely to enroll in fully online programs (Aslanian, 2013, p. 5).” More of today’s digital natives prefer online education because it allows the opportunity to study when and where they want to study and on a variety of platforms and mobile devices.

In 2013, the Aslanian Market Research and Learning House surveyed 1,500 individuals nationwide who have recently enrolled, are currently enrolled, or plan to enroll in the future in online undergraduate or graduate study. The results of the study are reflected in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Value of online learning

(Aslanian, 2013, p. 6). Retrieved from http://www.learninghouse.com/files/documents/resources/Online-College-Students-2013.pdf

Individuals in this study felt that online courses were both a worthwhile financial investment (65%, “Yes, completely”) and worthwhile time investment (72%, “Yes, completely”). People in this study also noted that having had online education helped to improve their employment opportunities for their first job and their opportunities for higher salary and promotions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Modality Principle: People learn better from graphics with spoken text rather than graphics with printed text (Mayer, 2005 AU36: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Personalization Principle: People learn better from a multimedia lesson when words are in conversational style rather than formal style. If people feel as though they are engaged in a conversation, they will make more effort to understand what the other person is saying (Mayer, 2005 AU38: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Sensory Memory: Sensory memory consists of hearing, vision and touch. Sensory memory is large but can only focus on a few elements at a time. This makes focused attention crucial so that relevant information moves into working memory which holds only seven items plus or minus two ( Miller, 1956 ).

Signaling Principle: People learn better when essential words are highlighted (Mayer, 2005 AU42: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Pedagogy: The art and science of helping children learn, contrasted to Andragogy , the art and science of how adults learn ( Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007 ).

Segmenting Principle: People learn better when a narrated animation is presented in learner-paced segments rather than as a continuous presentation (Meyer, 2005 AU41: The in-text citation "Meyer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Chunking: Chunking increases our ability to hold information by strongly associating a collection of elements with one another ( Miller, 1956 ).

Pretraining Principle: People learn better from a narrated animation when they already know the names and characteristics of essential components (Mayer, 2005 AU39: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Temporal Contiguity Principle: People learn better when corresponding narration and animation are presented simultaneously rather than successively, i.e. the words are spoken at the same time they are illustrated in the animation (Mayer, 2005 AU44: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Spatial Contiguity Principle: People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near rather than far from each other on the page or screen (Mayer, 2005 AU43: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Redundancy Principle: People learn better from animation with narration than from animation with narration and text except when the onscreen text is short, highlights the key action described in the narration, and is placed next to the portion of the graphic that it describes (Mayer, 2005 AU40: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Coherence Principle: People learn better when extraneous material is excluded from a multimedia lesson (Mayer, 2005 AU35: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning: A series of principles about how to use multimedia effectively to increase transfer of learning to long term memory (Mayer, 2005 AU34: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Multimedia Principle: People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. This allows people to build connections between their verbal and pictorial models (Mayer, 2005 AU37: The in-text citation "Mayer, 2005" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

HyFlex: A course delivery option that includes both online and face to face options for student’s choice. ( Beatty, 2007 ).

Dual Processing: Visual and auditory information are processed by the brain in different channels ( Shiffrin & Atkinson, 1969 ).

MOOC: Massively Open Online Courses. The term MOOC was coined in 2008 by Dave Cormier of the University of Prince Edward Island and Senior Research Fellow Bryan Alexander of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education in response to a course called Connectivism and Connective Knowledge.

Working Memory: A newer conceptualization of short term memory, only can hold information for 15-20 seconds ( Peterson & Peterson, 1959 ).

Information Processing: A model of how the human senses and brain work to process information ( Shiffrin & Atkinson, 1969 ).

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): “A research-based framework for designing curricula—that is, educational goals, methods, materials, and assessments—that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. This is accomplished by simultaneously providing rich supports for learning and reducing barriers to the curriculum, while maintaining high achievement standards for all students” (CAST, 2013, p. 1).

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