Some questions about “learning” outcomes

In the following thesis the author investigated the effects of using tablets on learning.  The important take away from this study is that the researcher found no effect on success rate nor on grades.  However, the students using tablet learning devices were able to display other types of learning and its effects.  Most notably the students who used tablets conducted independent research, shared their ideas with peers and in the opinion of the researcher created new knowledge.  Specifically, users reported that the tablets’ portability and storage capacity for resources enhanced usage outside the classroom and enabled communications and information sharing with peers.   Such learning outcomes are not part of standardized testing and not always included as a grading criteria but are extremely desired in the work place.



“Interestingly, the tablet devices did not have any effect on the success rate and quality of the student grades for the respective courses they were enrolled in. The study also showed that the tablet devices were a good sharing and knowledge creating tool as the devices enabled students to conduct independent research, share ideas with peers and create new form of knowledge from the concepts they learnt.”

Richard Mayer’s Using Multimedia for eLearning

Mayer, R. E. (2017Using multimedia for e-learningJournal of Computer Assisted Learning, doi: 10.1111/jcal.12197.

“This paper reviews 12 research-based principles for how to design computer-based multimedia instructional materials to promote academic learning, starting with the multimedia principle (yielding a median effect size of d = 1.67 based on five experimental comparisons), which holds that people learn better from computer-based instruction containing words and graphics rather than words alone.”

journalAlso includes descriptions of the principles for multi-media principles that affect learning.

  • Coherence principle: Eliminate extraneous material.
  • Signaling principle: Highlight essential material.
  • Redundancy principle: Do not add on-screen text to narrated graphics.
  • Spatial contiguity principle: Please printed words next to corresponding graphics.
  • Temporal contiguity: Present narration simultaneously with corresponding graphics.
  • Segmenting principle: Break lesson into to self-paced parts.
  • Pre-training principle: Provide pre-training in key terms.
  • Modality principle: Use spoken text rather than printed text with graphics.
  • Personalization principle: Use conversational language.
  • Voice principle: Use appealing human voice.
  • Embodiment: Show on-screen agents that use human-like gestures

Another NYT Media Adventure


Graphic Storytelling Grows Up

This time, the Times Sunday magazine was published in an all comics issue telling 12 stories of the city.  Graphic fiction has become a big seller and provides an outlet for visual storytelling.  This electronic version of the magazine has the potential to be used by students as a model for story telling and as an alternative to traditional essay or report writing.  Opens up a variety of presentation styles for instructional designers who believe in universal design for all learners.  The prestige of the New York Times gives value to the media and enhances the professionalism of graphic storytellers.

Multimedia resources for mathematics learning


Some research out of India has found that Excel is good medium for presenting lessons for applied linear programming.  Models, constraints and parameters can be organized in Excel spread sheets and problems solved Fig3

Global Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics. ISSN 0973-1768 Volume 13, Number 7 (2017), pp. 2965–2973 © Research India Publications

Designing Multimedia Learning for Solving Linear Programming Hardi Tambunan Department of Mathematics Education, Nommensen HKBP University. Kopertis Wil. I, Jl. Sutomo No. 4A, Medan-Indonesia

Animation as an Instructional Designer’s Tool

Abstract of new chapter by Richard Mayer (2017) in the edited book:   Learning from Dynamic Visualization  Eds. Richard Lowe (1)  Rolf Ploetzner (2)     pp379-386

New Instructional Design Strategies:

  1. Visual signaling,
  2. orientation references for 3D objects,
  3. active learning strategies,
  4. organization
Date: 19 May 2017

“Animation can be a useful addition to the instructional designer’s toolbox, but techniques are needed to help guide learners’ cognitive processing during learning with animations. One technique is to add instructional design features intended to guide learners’ cognitive processing, such as adding visual signaling to guide how the learner selects and organizes material from animations depicting how a dynamic system works (e.g., De Koning & Jarodzka, 2017, this volume) or adding orientation references intended to guide how the learner selects what to attend to in animations of three-dimensional objects (e.g., Berney & Betrancourt, 2017, this volume). Another technique is to prompt the learner to use active learning strategies intended to guide how the learner selects and organizes material from the animation, such as asking the learner to produce drawings based on an animated lesson (e.g., Lowe & Mason, 2017, this volume; Stieff, 2017, this volume) or answer questions (e.g., Ploetzner & Breyer, 2017, this volume). Overall, the chapters in Parts III and IV of this volume examine how to help learners process instructional animations in ways that lead to useful learning outcomes.”

Other chapters in the book look equally helpful for instructional designers.

DynViz“The volume has recruited international leaders in the field to provide diverse perspectives on the dynamic visualizations and learning. It is the first comprehensive book on the topic that brings together contributions from both renowned researchers and expert practitioners. Rather than aiming to present a broad general overview of the field, it focuses on innovative work that is at the cutting edge.”   About this book,