Learning with multimedia

Learning with multimedia is an interactive, dynamic process that boosts comprehension and retention. It employs diverse content forms—text, audio, images, animations, video, and interactive elements—embracing various learning approaches. This multi-sensory approach enhances accessibility and engagement, enabling learners to visualize complex concepts, explore perspectives, and actively participate.

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Photo: Bing Chat Enterprise

Why use multimedia in teaching and learning?

The inclusion of multiple modes and media for students to represent their knowledge and learning has been shown to be advantageous for diverse groups of students in the glocal classroom.

Learning with multimedia can significantly enhance the quality of education. Multimedia learning resources foster an engaging and interactive educational environment that caters to various learning approaches. Visual aids like images, videos, and animations can help students grasp complex concepts more easily by providing concrete examples and visualizing abstract ideas. Audio elements, such as voiceovers and music, may enhance memory retention, and offer alternatives format for feedback. Interactive elements, like quizzes and games, promote active learning and immediate feedback. Furthermore, multimedia resources are often accessible on various devices, promoting learning anytime and anywhere. Therefore, learning using multimedia is a powerful tool that can make education more effective, engaging, and inclusive.

What forms of multimedia can be used in teaching and learning?

Multimedia learning resources can come in various forms, each catering to different learning approaches and educational needs. This is known as multimodality, the use and integration of multiple modes of communication, such as text, images, and audio, to convey information or meaning in a cohesive manner (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2020).

Here are some examples:

Multimodal design refers to the use of different modes – image, writing, colour [sic], layout – to present, to realize, at times to (re-)contextualize social positions and relations, as well as knowledge in specific arrangements for a specific audience.

Kress, 2010.

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Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education Photo: N/A

How does learning with multimedia contribute to quality?

Learning with multimedia enhances education by providing diverse and engaging content, catering to various learning approaches, fostering better comprehension, and promoting retention of information through a multimodal approach.

Learning with multimedia will help you:

Focus on student learning:

  • By creating a safe and brave space for learning through offering multiple ways for expressing knowledge and learning (Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2023);
  • By developing higher-order thinking through multimedia learning that fosters skills transfer to other situations (Murad-Martinez, 2022);
  • By accommodating diverse learners through learning resources that support concept development in various ways (Kaczorowski et al., 2019);
  • By reinforcing learning through the addition of appropriate graphics to text, substantially improving human understanding (Ayres, 2015).

Connect outcomes, teaching, and assessment:

  • By understanding students’ learning through multimedia, providing educators with a wider lens and overview of research for appropriate use in educational settings (Ondrejka, 2014);
  • Through multimedia challenges that engage students while enhancing learning outcomes;
  • Through the use of media as a component of active learning strategies, such as group discussions or case studies (Roberts, 2022);
  • By making the learning experience more meaningful, relevant and fun;
  • By enabling students to create own media, such as video projects (Mutlu-Bayraktar et al., 2019);
  • By creating new opportunities for engaging students through social media (Mateer & Ghent, 2023).

Improve the quality of teaching & learning:

  • By enhancing student engagement with digital technologies, including multimedia, to provide learning opportunities for all and facilitate the development of higher-order thinking skills (Roberts, 2018);
  • By encouraging innovative practices in teaching and learning through the use of multimedia
  • By enabling educators to connect and use interprofessional approaches to teaching and learning.

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