Integrating Multimedia Technology

For this weeks readings, there were two papers (Burleson, 2005; Moreno & Mayer, 1999) and a video of Jane McGonigal at the TED2010.

Moreno & Mayer (1999) discussed two experiments regarding multimedia learning and the effects of images/visuals and text vs. narration within a lesson. This is an important effect, as lesson become increasingly multimedia-based. Students are bombarded with text, a teacher’s or video’s narration, and images to tie everything together. However, facilitating learning for transfer requires a careful balance between each of these components. This means there is pretty much a proper way to use Powerpoint for lecturing to college students. Thus, for our technology project, facilitating learning requires a deep understanding of what students will be doing with our technological solutions to the educational challenges we’ve identified.

Burleson (2005) discussed creativity, motivation, and self-actualization with respect to hands-on technological learning. This has implications for every new technology that comes out, including our real or imagined solutions for our class project. Specifically, the idea of constructionism is important for my challenge; that is, since psychology methods and statistics courses are so dry, and since there is little time for anything else that contentless doldrums, students are not getting the opportunity to get hands-on training. At UCSB, there is too much time between when students take the intro courses to the lab courses where hands-on actually occurs, and it is a no-brainer that they’ve forgotten all the techniques and concepts that will aid them through designing and implementing scientific design. It is exactly this reason why I would like to add hands-on training to the intro courses to facilitate the deeper learning needed for retention.

This brings me to Jane McGonigal’s TED talk from a couple of years ago. She implored the audience to start gaming in order to solve real-world problems. While I agree with this sentiment, she is missing the one piece of motivational difference from those who game and those who don’t. I argue that those who game with a strict passion displayed in the portrait she uses, these people are using gaming to remove themselves from the real world on purpose in order. It is a form of escapism, much like movies were and still are. Though the problems they solve in these massive multiplayer games are important for problem-solving skills and other social abilities, I think the motivation is not there yet to branch out the big guns of real-world “holy crap” problems. If everyone played a game that solved one problem and it was something that they like doing in their normal lives (and not as a form of escape), we’d be doing pretty good right now. Her video is embedded below. I definitely recommend watching it.

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