Oren Chervinsky February 1, at 1: As you are aware, a number of additional blogger sites picked up the story and continued with this important conversation, and I would like to thank you for bringing more light to this growing problem.
We study a field, we gain some expertise in that field, and then — bam! Of course, most instruction librarians adapt admirably to this circumstance by doing some research, talking to more experienced colleagues, and gathering ideas from conferences.
We get up to speed as quickly as possible by drawing on the knowledge around us. In this way, we improvise and improve our teaching to a level that is, in most cases, sufficient. When we try to adapt our instructional strategies to a new medium, however, the challenge begins anew.
Teaching in the classroom is not the same as teaching through a course management system such as Blackboardand teaching on Blackboard is different than teaching through video.
All of these technologies tax our already minimal knowledge of instructional theory, and the results can turn out to be rather ineffective. Our intentions are always good — to educate, to equip students with research skills — but the tools we produce could be better. Recently my colleagues and I have begun a project to train ourselves in the pedagogy and technology of how to make effective video tutorials.
It has all been new to me, and I hope that others may benefit from our efforts.
A couple of disclaimers: My knowledge is still nascent. When you want to teach a certain skill or idea, start by asking: Sometimes it will be video, but other times a step-by-step text description can be simpler and more effective.
Tasks that involve basic, step-by-step instructions may be better presented as text on a webpage or—gasp! On the other hand, those that involve navigation through various, complex online interfaces may need video be clear.
Some pedagogical context Two well-known educational psychologists, Richard E. Mayer and Roxana Moreno, have written extensively on the cognitive implications of multimedia learning. And no matter what our multi-tasking Millennials would have us believe, the brain can process only a limited amount of information from each channel at any given moment.
From everything we take in through our immediate, sensory memory, we select certain words and pictures that are processed to our working, or short-term, memory.
At that point we begin making sense out of those pieces: All of these steps are important, but perhaps most critical here is what happens between the sensory memory absorbing information and the working memory organizing it: So our students need to go through several steps to make meaning out of what we teach them: If we provide too much information at once, we cause cognitive overload, at which point our students shut down, lose interest, or otherwise simply stop learning.
When beginning a new video tutorial, the most critical elements are the most basic ones: The clearer the message of a video, the less cognitive load it will require from students who are trying to make sense out of it, and the more brainpower they will have left to process and internalize the skills being taught.
To help us with this, Moreno and Mayer offer a series of principles on how people process multimedia, and in the article I mentioned above, make nine recommendations for multimedia instruction based on those principles these were nicely encapsulated by Ross Perkins, Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Boise State University, in a workshop he provided for myself and my colleagues: Students learn better when instruction material does not require them to split their attention between multiple sources of mutually referring information.
Students learn better when the verbal information is presented auditorily as speech rather than visually as on-screen text both for concurrent and sequential presentations.
Students learn better from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and text if the visual information is provided simultaneously to the verbal information.
Students learn better when on-screen text and visual materials are physically integrated rather than separated. Students learn better when verbal and visual materials are temporally synchronized rather than separated in time.
Students learn better when extraneous material is excluded rather than included in multimedia explanations. As recommendations based on these principles, Mayer and Moreno suggest: For instance, consider videos that include both verbal narration and on-screen text.
Providing such duplicative information is likely to bog down a student by requiring them to process the same information twice, using both verbal and visual channels. Meanwhile, if the narration and on-screen text is being shown simultaneously with a screencast or other video element, it is likely that the student will not be able to process this third piece at all.
Similarly, when using a screencast of a library homepage, keep in mind that the large number of images and links on an average page can also cause overload.Because each scene needs to be attended to individually, storyboards are useful on another issue in the planning process: reminding .
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Psychologists who study cognition when people try to perform more than one task at a time have found that the mind and brain were not designed for heavy-duty multitasking. Handheld devices have increased the accessibility and usage of technology by young children.
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