The cognitive demands of student-...
Cognitive Effects of Multimedia Learning Robert Z. Zheng University of Utah, USA Hershey ��� New York InformatIon scIence reference
Director of Editorial Content: Kristin Klinger Director of Production: Jennifer Neidig Managing Editor: Jamie Snavely Assistant Managing Editor: Carole Coulson Typesetter: Jeff Ash Cover Design: Lisa Tosheff Printed at: Yurchak Printing Inc. Published in the United States of America by Information Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global) 701 E. Chocolate Avenue, Suite 200 Hershey PA 17033 Tel: 717-533-8845 Fax: 717-533-8661 E-mail: email@example.com Web site: http://www.igi-global.com and in the United Kingdom by Information Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global) 3 Henrietta Street Covent Garden London WC2E 8LU Tel: 44 20 7240 0856 Fax: 44 20 7379 0609 Web site: http://www.eurospanbookstore.com Copyright �� 2009 by IGI Global. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or distributed in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, without written permission from the publisher. Product or company names used in this set are for identification purposes only. Inclusion of the names of the products or companies does not indicate a claim of ownership by IGI Global of the trademark or registered trademark. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Cognitive effects of multimedia learning / Robert Zheng, editor. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Summary: "This book identifies the role and function of multimedia in learning through a collection of research studies focusing on cognitive functionality"--Provided by publisher. ISBN 978-1-60566-158-2 (hardcover) -- ISBN 978-1-60566-159-9 (ebook) 1. Media programs (Education) 2. Learning, Psychology of. I. Zheng, Robert. LB1028.4.C64 2009 371.33--dc22 2008024195 British Cataloguing in Publication Data A Cataloguing in Publication record for this book is available from the British Library. All work contributed to this book set is original material. The views expressed in this book are those of the authors, but not necessarily of the publisher. If a library purchased a print copy of this publication, please go to http://www.igi-global.com/agreement for information on activating the library's complimentary electronic access to this publication.
Chapter XI The Cognitive Demands of Student-Centered, Web-Based Multimedia: Current and Emerging Perspectives Michael J. Hannafin University of Georgia, USA Richard E. West University of Georgia, USA Craig E. Shepherd University of Wyoming, USA Copyright �� 2009, IGI Global, distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited. ABSTRACT This chapter examines the cognitive demands of student-centered learning from, and with, Web-based multimedia. In contrast to externally-structured directed learning, during the student-centered learning, the individual assumes responsibility for determining learning goals, monitoring progress toward meet- ing goals, adjusting or adapting approaches as warranted, and determining when individual goals have been adequately addressed. These tasks can be particularly challenging in learning from the World Wide Web, where billions of resources address a variety of needs. The individual, in effect, must identify which tools and resources are available and appropriate, how to assemble them, and how to manage the process to support unique learning goals. We briefly analyze the applicability of current cognitive principles to learning from Web-based multimedia, review and critically analyze research and practice specific to student-centered learning from Web-based multimedia, and describe implications for research.
The Cognitive Demands of Student-Centered, Web-Based Multimedia INTRODUCTION Several time-tested cognitive principles are appli- cable to both face-to-face and print-based learning environments. Indeed, the research summarized throughout this text supports several principles and constructs relevant to multimedia. However, much of this research is rooted in objectivist epis- temology, where the individual selects, organizes, and integrates knowledge in an effort to acquire and demonstrate externally prescribed, canoni- cal meaning. While the effectiveness of didactic, directed methods have been demonstrated using multimedia (see, for example, Azevedo, Moss, Greene, Winters, & Cromley, 2008 Gerjets, Scheiter, & Schuh, 2008), significant growth has been evident in user-centered, Web-based mul- timedia applications that are individually rather than externally directed and managed. This chapter focuses on student-centered learning in Web-based multimedia environments wherein the individual assumes primacy in deter- mining goals, selecting or devising approaches to address these goals, and responsibility for interpreting and constructing unique mean- ing. We examine the applicability of research related to Web-based multimedia and address both similarities and differences in cognitive demands between ill-structured and externally- structured multimedia learning environments. The purposes of the chapter are to briefly review selected principles of human cognition that are applicable to Web-based multimedia, to review cognitive perspectives, research, and practice specific to student-centered learning from Web- based multimedia, and to describe implications for research, theory, and practice. BACKGROUND Cognitive Roots of Technology-Enhanced Learning During the past two decades, researchers have studied technology-enhanced learning from several perspectives. Initially, for example, we examined the applicability of cognitive theories to computer-based instruction (Hannafin & Rieber, 1989 Hooper & Hannafin, 1991). It became ap- parent that while many research-based learning and cognition principles were readily applicable, epistemological shifts and advances in technolo- gies raised important questions about the nature of computer-assisted learning. Constructivists suggested basic shifts in both beliefs as to the locus of knowledge and educational practices (Jonassen, 1991). Concurrently, technologies emerged that extended, augmented, and/or sup- planted individual cognitive processes, reflect- ing a shift from delivery to tools that supported and enhanced thinking (Iiyoshi, Hannafin, & Wang, 2005). Thus, the focus on technology and constructivist, student-centered approaches has become increasingly evident in the efforts of cognition and multimedia theorists, researchers, and practitioners. Hannafin, Land and Oliver (1999) described student-centered activity during ���open learning��� where the locus of activity and control shifts from external to individual responsibility for establish- ing learning goals and/or determining learning means. As a result, the cognitive demands shift from selecting and processing externally-pro- vided stimuli to anticipating and seeking based on individual needs and learning goals. In many cases, the associated cognitive shifts have proven problematic. Researchers have noted that students failed to develop theories or explanations and retained initial misconceptions (de Jong & Van
The Cognitive Demands of Student-Centered, Web-Based Multimedia Joolingen, 1998 Gyllenhaal & Perry, 1998 Land & Hannafin, 1997 Nicaise & Crane, 1999), to reflect or enact metacognitive processes (Atkins & Blissett, 1992 Hill & Hannafin, 1997 Wallace & Kupperman, 1997), and to develop coherent, evidence-based explanations (Land & Greene, 2000 Nicaise & Crane, 1999). Land (2000, pp 75-76) concluded that without effective support, misperceptions, misinterpretations, or ineffective strategy use ��� can lead to significant misunder- standings that are difficult to detect or repair. When learners have little prior knowledge���metacogni- tive and prior knowledge are needed to ask good questions and to make sense out of the data and events being modeled. The continued emergence of the World Wide Web has both extended and, to some extent, re- defined user interactions involving multimedia. Hill and Hannafin (2001) described transforma- tions where heretofore intact traditional media have been increasingly granularized, noting that while ���Predigital educational resources conveyed meaning consistent with and supportive of es- tablished goals and standards��� (p. 38), a digital resource���s ���meaning is influenced more by the diversity than the singularity of the perspectives taken���resources are accessed and interpreted for meaning, evaluated for veracity and utility, compared with competing perspectives, and acted upon��� (p. 40). In effect, the increased potential for granularity alters the cognitive demands as- sociated with resource access and use. Similarly, individual self-regulation, metacognitive, and navigation capabilities vary considerably across a vast and ill-structured array of Web resources (Land & Hannafin, 2000). Thus, student-centered, Web-based learning may reflect fundamental shifts in cognitive load requirements as well as the foundations and as- sumptions underlying their design and use (Han- nafin & Land, 1997). While several principles and constructs may well provide a reasonable basis for extrapolation, the demands of student-centered, Web-based learning often vary as a function of available resources and the learner���s intent. In the following sections, we briefly highlight selective research on cognition and multimedia, examine similarities and differences attributed to student- centered learning, and identify implications for future study. Externally Mediated Multimedia Learning: A Primer Perception, Selection, and Encoding According to information processing theory, learners must first perceive information in order to encode it. This perception is mediated by prior knowledge and mental models. Learners selec- tively attend to particular aspects of an instruc- tional message, which influences what is processed and encoded (Lieberman, 2000 Schacter, 1990). Multimedia researchers report that the format or design of the message can influence the perception and selection processes. Seels, Berry, Fullerton, and Horn (1996) grouped this research according to visual complexity (i.e., how much information is presented) and perceptual salience (i.e., how that information may be more or less perceptible due to differences in intensity, contrast, change, and novelty). Recent perspectives on multimedia encoding, reflected in Mayer���s (2005) Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML), were influenced by three perspectives: cognitive load theory, dual-coding theory, and constructivist learn- ing theory. Cognitive load theory suggests that cognitive resources are limited in the amount of information that can be processed at a given time. Whereas dual-coding theory (Clark & Paivio, 1991) describes independent verbal and visual processing systems during acquisition, constructivists suggest that students learn by generating uniquely individual representations. CTML, therefore, emphasizes the use of both