Blog Post #2: Multimedia Learning Principles & H5P

In a short video, Dr. Ray Pastore discusses the principles and theories behind multimedia learning. Throughout the video, he emphasized that each multimedia principle must be taken with a grain of salt because every situation and learner differs slightly. He also talks about how learners have different preferences, some of which contradict the research behind certain multimedia strategies. In his video, he did not follow every multimedia principle that he talked about. For example, he did not follow the redundancy principle. This principle states that if the presenter has text written on the screen, they should not read the text out loud because it increases cognitive load and decreases retention, and therefore also learning. Another principle that Dr. Pastore did not follow is the embodiment principle, which states that learners do not necessarily learn better when the presenter is on the screen. This may differ from learner to learner, but I find it helpful when the presenter is on the screen because I find it more engaging and conversational. The last principle that was not followed in the video is the modality principle. This rule states that people learn better from graphics and narration than from graphics and printed text. Because I was sketchnoting, I actually found the test helpful because it allowed me to plan the spacing of my words and images appropriately. However, if I was just listening, I would have found the text on the screen distracting.

One principle that Dr. Pastore did follow, which I found exceptionally helpful, is the interactivity effect. This principle dictates that the teacher should allow learners to control the pace of instruction (e.g. being able to fast forward, pause, and replay). I appreciated this because I was trying to sketchnote (see below) during the video, and therefore needed to pause occasionally in order to fill in my notes.

Here is a sketchnote that I created while listening to and watching the instructional materials provided for this topic.

H5P is a platform which supports the creation of interactive multimedia content. After exploring the H5P website, I have realized how helpful it would be when planning lessons with UDL in mind. Click here to read more in depth about my thoughts on the connection between UDL and multimedia learning. Check out the interactive video on the website below:

https://h5p.org/interactive-video

When thoughtfully created, and H5P interactive video would address many of the multimedia learning principles, such as the signalling principle, interactivity effect. The signalling principle dictates that when cues are added to indicate that a piece of information is important, it can reduce cognitive load and help students remember the information. I discussed the interactivity effect above, but I think it it worth mentioning a second time. If students can decide the speed at which they interact with the content, they are more likely to retain the material. Interactivity is vital in order to support learners of all abilities.

References:

Falzon, Julia. (2020, June 7). Topic #1: What is Multimedia and Interactive Learning and Why is it Important? WordPress. https://juliafalzon.home.blog/2020/06/07/topic-1-what-is-multimedia-and-interactive-learning-and-why-is-it-important/

Joubel. (2013, October 6) Smoothie. Interactive Video. H5P. https://h5p.org/interactive-video

Pastore, Ray. (2018, August 16). What is Multimedia Learning? What is Multimedia? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1037&v=g-sknUVq1mk&feature=emb_title

Topic #1: What is Multimedia and Interactive Learning and Why is it Important?

Before looking into today’s topics (and all of the articles and videos) I had not thought deeply about multimedia learning. Previously, when I thought of multimedia, I immediately thought of digital media. However, after reading the articles about using stories and interactivity to teach effectively, my understanding of multimedia has broadened substantially. One point that I think will be central throughout this course is that multimedia and interactive learning should be learner centred, rather than technology centred. I hope to delve deeper into what this will mean in my teaching practice. Technology is powerful and ever-evolving. It is important, as an educator, for me to be familiar with different tools to enhance my students’ learning experiences. However, it is vital to keep students at the forefront, rather than using technology just for the sake of it.

One example that comes to mind of using technology just for the sake of it was last semester when I was working on a PowerPoint presentation for my assessment course. At the time, I had recently learned how to insert GIFs into the presentation and ended up putting them on the majority of the slides, which I thought was engaging and innovative. Unfortunately, the GIFs ended up being quite distracting for the people viewing the slides. The GIFs took away from the text that was on each slide, and although they were funny, did not enhance the learning experience for the viewers. This was a valuable learning experience for me because it served as a reminder to use multimedia as a learning tool, rather than a “cool add-on”. GIFs have their place, just not on every slide of a presentation.

After reading the articles assigned, I have realized the importance of using multimedia in order to promote access, support, and challenge for all students. The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Guidelines created by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) recognizes that each learner is unique, and therefore the learning experience will look different for each of them. Teachers can use the UDL framework when designing their instructional practice to help reach all students. The UDL framework promotes having multiple means of engagement, representation, action, and expression. Multimedia learning is at the heart of these principles. This answers the question posed in the title of today’s blog post. Teachers who are adept at incorporating multimedia and interactivity into the classroom are able to best engage, support, and challenge their students. I have included a short video below describing UDL:

Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=214&v=bDvKnY0g6e4&feature=emb_title

References:

CAST. (2010, January 6). UDL At A Glance. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=214&v=bDvKnY0g6e4&feature=emb_title

Juliani, A.J. (2014). The Hidden Importance of Teaching with Stories. A.J. Juliani. http://ajjuliani.com/hidden-importance-teaching-stories/

The SHARE Team. (2018, April 6). Interactive Teaching Styles Used in the Classroom. Resilient Educator. https://resilienteducator.com/classroom-resources/5-interactive-teaching-styles-2/