2 Definitions and background
Multimedia involves several forms of communication. According to Liu (2011) multimedia is the "integration of different media such as text, graphics, animation, sound, video (digital or analog), imaging, and spatial modeling into a computer system" (p. 251). Educational programs became popular because of home computers. Forms and content had limited memory and low hardware capabilities. With the rapid development of technology, the educational computer programs expanded. During the last twenty years "simple computer-based didactic tasks transformed into complex, multipurpose, multimedia packages" (Topol, 2003, p. 12).
Multimedia learning occurs when the content is delivered in multiple formats such as text and pictures, allowing mental representations of the information (Wu & Yamanaka, 2013, p. 292). Abdulaziz (2014) identified that "multimedia e-learning has transformed the traditional media like books, figures and written material into online, readily available and interactive forms" (p. 26). Multimedia instruction includes a unit with lessons designed for self-instruction or small-group instruction using a computer system, as well as hypermedia and hypertext. (Gibbs, Graves, & Bernas, 2001, p. 3).
Kingsley & Boone (2008) found that the "sensory stimulation and user navigation of interactive multimedia parallel student's natural ways of learning" (p. 204). Multimedia instruction move learning from pure memorization of information to a "student- centered, hands-on learning experience" (Kingsley & Boone, 2008, p. 206). Multimedia environments distribute information across the visual and verbal processing channels (McNeill, Doolittle, & Hicks, 2009, p. 255). In introductory courses, multimedia learning increases memory, comprehension, understanding and deeper learning (Berk, 2009, p. 14).
McNeill, Doolittle & Hicks (2009) found research supports the idea that student learning increases when information is presented as multimedia presentations (p. 255). Multimedia learning provides "instant feedback, a multimodal and multiscale presentation of information, intelligent guidance to facilitate sense making, and access anytime anywhere" which increases student performance (Magana, 2014, p. 367). Multimedia instructional packages helped students to understand the content better and concluded that web-based interactive multimedia was cost effective (Nooriafshar , 2002, p.339). Multimedia learning also offered students the opportunity to move towards the goals they want to set (Nooriafshar, 2002, p. 336).
Another positive aspect of multimedia research is the use of animations and narration together as a powerful instructional design strategy (Wiebe & Annetta, 2008, p. 262). Smith & Smith (2012) noted participants found it easier to learn using multimedia instruction than from reading written instructions (p. 226). Yu (2009) also found "multimedia presentations with text, graphics, and animations across various disciplines have been shown to result in an increase in student interest" (p. 26). Electronic books increase student motivation and comprehension (Kingsley & Boone, 2008, p. 204). This is supported by Wu & Yamanaka (2013) who found learners build mental connections (verbally and visually) when words and pictures are presented at the same time (p. 292).
The use of multimedia in the classroom can affect students positively by allowing them to adapt to different learning styles and to feel comfortable with different courses to reduce the time needed to understand the content presented (Abdulaziz, 2014, p. 339).
Multimedia instructions are not without drawbacks. Abdulaziz (2014) identified technical issues with software and computer limitations including specifications and bandwidth that may hinder the use of multimedia instruction (p. 29). As well, low income students often do not benefit from multimedia instruction because they are less likely to have computers at home (Liu, 2011, p. 252).
Stengar (2008) found a challenge in delivering a wider diversity of assessment in computer-based, multimedia instruction (p. 21). Although internet classes have become more popular, there is little research data to indicate whether online instruction is having any affect on learning (Smith & Smith, 2012, p. 208). The lack of face-to-face, physical interaction between student and teacher can be a hindrance to learning (Abdulaziz, 2014, p. 30).
Constructing multimedia instruction and files is time consuming and costly (Abdulaziz , 2014, p. 30). Multimedia learning requires more planning of "incorporating multimedia-enabled learning methods into the existing practices without creating unnecessary frustration in the learning process" (Stengar, 2008, p. 21). Many secondary teachers are uncertain about how to implement new technologies to replace outdated forms of classroom instruction (Smith & Smith, 2012, p. 208).
Yu (2009) identified a new breed of "technologically proficient learners" who are influenced by their digital environments which has created a challenge to find approaches to engage students and keep them involved in learning (p. 25).
Multimedia learning can be "detrimental to learning because it can lead to cognitive overload" (Yu , 2009, p. 25). Research has shown that multimedia can impose a burden on the learner's information processing system if it's not designed appropriately (McNeill, Doolittle, & Hicks, 2009, p. 255).
6 Works Cited
Abdulaziz O., Sami, A. & Mohd M. (2014). Multimedia Based E-learning: Design and Integration of Multimedia Content in E-learning. International Journal Of Emerging Technologies In Learning, 9(3), 26- 30. doi:10.3991/ijet.v9i3.3308
Berk, R. (2009). Multimedia Teaching with video clips: tv, movies, youtube, and mtvu in the college classroom. International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning, 5(1), 1-21.
Gibbs, W., Graves, P. R., & Bernas, R. S. (2001). Evaluation guidelines for multimedia courseware. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 34(1), 2-17.
Kingsley, K. V., & Boone, R. (2008). Effects of multimedia software on achievement of middle school students in an american history class. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(2), 203-221.
Leow, F., & Neo, M.(2014). Interactive multimedia learning: innovating classroom education in a Malaysian university. Turkish Online Journal Of Educational Technology, 13(2), 99-110.
Liu, Y. (2011). Effects of integrating multimedia into the third grade mathematics curriculum to improve student learning. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 40(3), 251-271.
Magana, A. (2014). Learning strategies and multimedia techniques for scaffolding size and scale cognition. Computers & Education, 72367-377. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2013.11.012
McNeill, A. L., Doolittle, P. E., & Hicks, D. (2009). The effects of training, modality, and redundancy on the development of a historical inquiry strategy in a multimedia learning environment. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 8(3), 255-269.
Neo,M., Tse-Kian, K. & Thian-Li, S. (2013). Designing a web-based multimedia learning environment with Laurillard's conversational framework: an investigation on instructional relationships. Turkish Online Journal Of Educational Technology, 12(3), 39-50.
Nooriafshar, M. (2002). Use of web-based multimedia technology in teaching and learning mathematical programming. Journal of Computers in Mathematics & Science Teaching, 21(4), 331-339.
Smith, J., & Smith, R. (2012). Screen-capture instructional technology: a cognitive tool for designing a blended multimedia curriculum. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 46(2), 207-228.
Stergar, J., Šulić, A., & Brvar, M. (2008). Item modeling concept based on multimedia authoring. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 3(3), 21-26.
Topol, P. (2003). Multimedia, the web, and formal EFL exams. Teaching English with Technology, 3(4), 12-21.
Wiebe, E., & Annetta, L. (2008). Influences on visual attentional distribution in multimedia instruction. Journal of Educational Multimedia & Hypermedia, 17(2), 259-277.
Wu, L., & Yamanaka, A. (2013). Exploring the effects of multimedia learning on pre-service teachers’ perceived and actual learning performance: the use of embedded summarized texts in educational media. Educational Media International, 50(4), 291-305. doi:10.1080/09523987.2013.863556
Yu, C., Jannasch-Pennell, A., DiGangi, S., & Kaprolet, C. (2009). An exploratory crossover study of learner perceptions of use of audio in multimedia-based tutorials. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 40(1), 23-46. doi:10.2190/EC.40.1.b