Does media influence learning
Does media influence learning?
wave in learning theory to improve classroom learning, in 1990s, is coming from
the constructivist paradigm. Proponents
of this new branch of psychology again echo what previous new wave paradigm
proponents offered: “a systematic change to learning environment.
They rely on an approach to science promotion that concentrates on
defining their proposed solutions by attacking the failures of the
‘established’ paradigm” (Tennyson, 1994p.,16).
Tennyson says in his article” The Big Wrench vs. Integrated
Approaches” ETR&D 1994 “ that unfortunately, learning is a complex
phenomena, and thus far , the available theories offer explanations of only
restricted situations” and he call this situation, the big-wrench approach.
situations have caused a debate amongst educationalist. Richard E. Clark has
said that media are “mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not
influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers our
groceries causes changes in our nutrition”(Clark, 1983,p.,445).
He presents evidence in support of the hypothesis that instructional
methods had been confused with media and that it is methods which influence
learning. He also says that any
needed teaching method can be designed into variety of media presentations.
He questions the unique improvement of media attributes which Gaveriel
Salomon and others have argued for. They
said that it was not the medium which affected learning but instead certain
attributes of media that can be modelled by learners and can shape the
development of unique ‘cognitive processes’.
The examples of media attributes are the potential of television and
movies to ‘zoom’ into detail or to ‘unwrap’ three-dimensional objects
into two dimensions. Clark says
“that the problem with the media attribute argument is that there is strong
evidence that many very different media attributes accomplish the same learning
goal (for example, there are a variety of equally effective ways to highlight
details other than zooming)” (Clark,1994,p.,22).
his article “ Will Media Influence Learning” in ETR&D 1994 Robert B.
Kozma challenge the position taken by Clark that media do not influence learning
under any conditions. He claims
that so far there has not been established a relationship between media and
learning and “If we do not understand the potential relationship......quite
likely one will not be made” (Kozma,1994,p.,7).
He says that there is a certain urgency about revisiting the question
about if media does influence learning.
not-too-distant future, we will be faced with a situation where telephone, cable
television, and digital computer technologies will merge.
This capability presents the prospect of interactive video integrated
with access to large multimedia data bases distributed among people in offices,
classrooms, and living rooms all over the world. If by then we have not come to
understand the relationship between media and learning- this capability
may be used primarily for interactive soap operas and on-line purchasing of
merchandise with automatic funds transfer (Kozma,1994,p.,8).
affirms that the source of the failure to find the relationship between media
and learning has do to with the fact, that the theories, research, and designs
have been constrained by the vestiges of the behavioural roots from which the
discipline sprang. He claims that
missing in previous studies are any mentalist notions or descriptions of the
cognitive, affective, or social process by which learning occurs.
Also missing are descriptions of the underlying structure and functions
of media which might serve as the causal mechanisms, that influence these
define learning as an
constructive, cognitive and social process by which the learner strategically
manages available cognitive, physical, and social resources to create new
knowledge by interacting with information in the environment and integrating it
with information already stored in memory.....Consequently, we will understand
the potential for a relationship between media and learning when we consider it
as an interaction between cognitive process and characteristics of the
example of learning package Kozma describes the computer based learning
environment, called Thinker-Tools .
The curriculum for this microworld consists of four modules that present
progressively sophisticated models of force and motion.
As an other example is the Jasper
Woodbury Series which is a videodisk that provides teachers and middleschool
students with real -world contexts for learning complex mathematics problems to
be solved. Kozma says that in
schools students have problem drawing on the knowledge that they have of
situations in real world. On the
contrary, the knowledge of solution strategies that they acquire in school is
frequently stored in ways that are not evoked by problem situations that they
come across outside school. Thinker Tools and Jasper
Woodbury Series are examples where these problems are faced, where the
students can use their cognitive resources to learn the target problem-solving
Roundstone the band see their site here
Some photos from Iceland see here
Sólrún B. Kristinsdóttir © 2001 Síðast uppfært 21.10.2008