These are live blogged notes from DevLearn '09 -- session with Ruth Clark on Evidenced Based E-Learning. I arrived a few minutes late to the session and just had to dive in...
Learning Styles/the Learning Styles Myth --
Did an experiment: Self report, Barsch learning style inventory, memory test. What were the correlations? If someone said they were kinesthetic, were the other measures showing the same? Instead, they found NO Relationships!
(Her new book takes on the biggest myths of the field including Learning Styles. This is controversial!)
Replace it with Mayer’s Multimedia Principles
Richard Mayer (25 years of research)
Do graphics improve learning?
(Having just read Mayer’s Multimedia Learning on the plane over here, I’m not sure if this will be a useful session for me – but I really wanted to see Ruth Clark speak!)
Multimedia Principle – having visual results in better learning.
For whom do graphics improve learning?
experiment: visuals in the courtroom --
Judge gives instructions on self-defense to 2 juries: 90 legally untrained adults, 90 law students.
- One got all audio instruction
- The other was audio + visuals (flow chart)
The worst was novices with audio only. Visuals helped learners with no prior knowledge the most. The law students didn’t show great improvement with video.
Invest more in visuals in beginning level courses. If people have prior knowledge in domain, they can create own visual by activating their prior knowledge.
Are all visuals equal?
Jazz it up and make it more engaging. Are these types of visuals helpful?
Which gets better learning:
- Base text and graphic
- Interesting anecdotes added to base lesson
The basic version wins.
The Coherence Principle
The interest factor did not serve learning. Distracting.
Learning is better when extraneous materials are eliminated.
What is the relationship between student ratings and learning?
Liking vs. learning.
Recent study looked at thousands of surveys and looked at correlation. This was a meta analysis of all the ratings on the courses – looked at classroom based learning and not elearning. Correlation between liking (ratings) and learning (tests) is:
- Delcarative learning (concepts and facts) – really small (.12)
- procedural learning – really small (.15)
- delayed procedural learning) – really small…
The relationship between ratings (level 1 student rating sheets) is too small to assess lesson effectiveness.
Use explanatory graphics
3 types of graphics: Decorative (generally overdone!), explanatory and representational (here’s what the screen looks like – these are important in our work)
Explanatory Visuals -- Show relationships among your content topics.
- organizational (shows qualitative relationships among topics – tree, concept map)
- relational (summary of quantitative, pie charts and bar charts)
- transformational (shows change in time and space)
- interpretive (take invisible, abstract ideas and make visible – used in science a lot to show molecules, etc.)
[Cammy sidebar: My burning question is about using visuals in storytelling/scenarios. I have a course on sexual harrassment and I use a picture to help the story. If it’s a picture of the woman looking upset after an incident what is that? I don’t think that’s a distracting visual as it puts a human face to the story.]
Which is best?
- Visuals (animation) with narration
- Visuals with Text
- Visuals with Text and narration
Visuals (animation) with narration.
When modality applies -- exceptions
- The content and/or visual are complex
- learners are relatively novice
- instructional pacing
- words NOT needed for reference (important new words may need to be on screen)
- native language
Redundancy Principle: learning is better when visuals are explained by audio narration than by text
We are ALL visual learners. We ALL benefit from audio!
Contiguity Principle: Put text in with the graphics (not off to the side or under the screen) – integrate text as close to relevant visual as you can.
As you read a book – you have to turn page to see visual that goes with text on the page. Annoying.
Learning is better from integrated text.
Avoid scrolling screens when text is on bottom and visual at top…
When Less is More (new research)
1. complex vs. simple graphics
Comparing line drawing to realistic 3D drawing. – lean vs. rich multimedia.
Carol Butcher, University of Colorado study – where was learning best?
- text & simple graphic (this was more effective!)
- text & complex graphic
2. Stills vs. animations?
Are animations better? How a toilet works…
stills with text vs. animated with audio?
4 diff experiments done.
STILLS fared better in all experiments. The animation can give too much visual information and it’s often out of the control of the learner.
Two theories about why:
1) animations can – impose extraneous mental load have to hold animation frames in memory to link one to the next.
2) animations can - promote a passive mental state (vs. mentally animating or self-explaining the key steps) – we go into couch potato state with animations…
(The discussion is now transgressing to whether or not people know how toilets work…)
Are animations better? (part II)
stills vs. animation to learn a procedure – animations were MUCH better. Mirror neurons. Adapted part of our brain to learn movement – doesn’t impact working memory.
Learning of motor skills is better when illustrated with animation vs. stills.
3. Learning from examples in text, video and animation
Which led to better learning?
Which was rated higher?
Animation examples were the highest on both, followed closely by video. Visual examples were more effective – but animation/video not statistically different from each other.