“APPLYING THE MULTIMEDIA LEARNING THEORY IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL"

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The purpose of this paper is to describe an experimental study we ran in 2010 in Uruguay to identify effective learning object formats and adequate conditions for using multimedia contents with kids in “real world” learning contexts. Uruguay is part of the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) initiative that aims to distribute low cost laptop PCs (called XOs) in developing countries schools to foster kids' learning according to the instructional principles of constructionism, learning-by-doing and social constructivism theories. This country is the only one that reached the "saturation" goal, covering the entire primary school population (teachers included). For this reason the capital Montevideo was an appropriate “en plein air” research field because most of the students haven’t evident impairments using educational technologies and digital learning contents. In order to find out how to reduce cognitive load and increase learning performances using infographics, animations and interactivity, we arranged an experimental study that involved 360 early adolescents from 16 classes of critical context schools in Montevideo. We identified a scientific topic, the food chain process, and presented it in 4 different ways. We modified supports and instructional formats according to Mayer’s ‘Multimedia Learning Principles’ and the ‘First Principles of Instruction’ theory by Merrill. The first part of the research focused on Self-Directed Learning in real contexts and investigated the use of different instructional strategies (e.g. topic-centered vs. task-centered; linear vs game-based) handling the learner’s User Experience in order to increase the engagement for the proposed formats. Considering the target of early adolescents, we introduced a likeable virtual tutor to manage explanations, feedbacks, and focus on relevant information. We used infographic techniques to combine analytical and synthetic schemas and to enhance the aesthetic perception. The second part of the study aimed to identify the best use of multimedia contents in classrooms comparing 3 learning settings: Self-Directed Learning, Cooperative Learning and Teacher-Directed Learning. In order to measure the impact of content design format and learning setting we identified 5 instructional objectives using a Content/Performance Matrix, and evaluated the outcomes by 4 kinds of tests: Retention, Comprehension, Problem Solving Transfer, Delayed Problem Solving Transfer (after one week). We also used a qualitative tool: a self-administered questionnaire for the User Experience satisfaction, to discover relationships between students performances and individual preferences matched with satisfactory learning experiences.

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  • Good morning to everybody , my name is Fabio Serenelli, I’m about to conclude my phd course at the Milano Bicocca University and I’m the e-learning manager at the CPM – the Multimedia Production Center in the same istitution.
    Today I’m going to take you to a 10 minutes ride on my first experimental study that’s about
  • 1.Digital Science Contents In Primary School.
    We believe that learning is a context situated process that’s why we are interested in real world classrooms rather than just laboratory conditions.
    So our first question is: which is the most effective use of multimedia learning objects in real contexts?
    2. And starting from my instructional designer experience at the C.P.M. I’ll present my hypotesis as a multimedia learning recipe in order to increase learning performances:
     
    these ingredients are
    The use of infographics to stand out relevant information mixing in a meaningful way verbal and not verbal info
    The Use Audio narration in pair with minimal textual captions Reduce cognitive load
    The adoption of a game based approach to Foster the engagement levels of the students
    The forth ingredient; the cooperative learning setting the constructivist element that could boost the power of the other ingredients
    3. We started from the widely accepted Multimedia Learning Theory by Richard Mayer and we tried to apply its design principles where they are needed most: with kids of a developing  country instead of U.S. college students.
    4. So: I took a flight from Milan to Montevideo – Uruguay (A developing country really in the south of the world) and I have been staying there for about 10 months
    5. I went there because UY is like an “en plein air” research field. It’s part of the OLPC initiative and it’s the only country in the world that reached the so called “saturation goal” . They covered the entire scholar population - including teachers - distributing half a million XO laptops like the one that you can see here.
    6. we took a sample composed by 360 students, aged from 11 to 14, in 16 classrooms of 8 schools that the Uruguaian Ministry of Education defined “very unfavorable critical context schools”. I would like you to know that there wasn’t a budget for this project that is mainly self financed.
  • 1.Digital Science Contents In Primary School.
    We believe that learning is a context situated process that’s why we are interested in real world classrooms rather than just laboratory conditions.
    So our first question is: which is the most effective use of multimedia learning objects in real contexts?
    2. And starting from my instructional designer experience at the C.P.M. I’ll present my hypotesis as a multimedia learning recipe in order to increase learning performances:
     
    these ingredients are
    The use of infographics to stand out relevant information mixing in a meaningful way verbal and not verbal info
    The Use Audio narration in pair with minimal textual captions Reduce cognitive load
    The adoption of a game based approach to Foster the engagement levels of the students
    The forth ingredient; the cooperative learning setting the constructivist element that could boost the power of the other ingredients
    3. We started from the widely accepted Multimedia Learning Theory by Richard Mayer and we tried to apply its design principles where they are needed most: with kids of a developing  country instead of U.S. college students.
    4. So: I took a flight from Milan to Montevideo – Uruguay (A developing country really in the south of the world) and I have been staying there for about 10 months
    5. I went there because UY is like an “en plein air” research field. It’s part of the OLPC initiative and it’s the only country in the world that reached the so called “saturation goal” . They covered the entire scholar population - including teachers - distributing half a million XO laptops like the one that you can see here.
    6. we took a sample composed by 360 students, aged from 11 to 14, in 16 classrooms of 8 schools that the Uruguaian Ministry of Education defined “very unfavorable critical context schools”. I would like you to know that there wasn’t a budget for this project that is mainly self financed.
  • 1.Digital Science Contents In Primary School.
    We believe that learning is a context situated process that’s why we are interested in real world classrooms rather than just laboratory conditions.
    So our first question is: which is the most effective use of multimedia learning objects in real contexts?
    2. And starting from my instructional designer experience at the C.P.M. I’ll present my hypotesis as a multimedia learning recipe in order to increase learning performances:
     
    these ingredients are
    The use of infographics to stand out relevant information mixing in a meaningful way verbal and not verbal info
    The Use Audio narration in pair with minimal textual captions Reduce cognitive load
    The adoption of a game based approach to Foster the engagement levels of the students
    The forth ingredient; the cooperative learning setting the constructivist element that could boost the power of the other ingredients
    3. We started from the widely accepted Multimedia Learning Theory by Richard Mayer and we tried to apply its design principles where they are needed most: with kids of a developing  country instead of U.S. college students.
    4. So: I took a flight from Milan to Montevideo – Uruguay (A developing country really in the south of the world) and I have been staying there for about 10 months
    5. I went there because UY is like an “en plein air” research field. It’s part of the OLPC initiative and it’s the only country in the world that reached the so called “saturation goal” . They covered the entire scholar population - including teachers - distributing half a million XO laptops like the one that you can see here.
    6. we took a sample composed by 360 students, aged from 11 to 14, in 16 classrooms of 8 schools that the Uruguaian Ministry of Education defined “very unfavorable critical context schools”. I would like you to know that there wasn’t a budget for this project that is mainly self financed.
  • 1.Digital Science Contents In Primary School.
    We believe that learning is a context situated process that’s why we are interested in real world classrooms rather than just laboratory conditions.
    So our first question is: which is the most effective use of multimedia learning objects in real contexts?
    2. And starting from my instructional designer experience at the C.P.M. I’ll present my hypotesis as a multimedia learning recipe in order to increase learning performances:
     
    these ingredients are
    The use of infographics to stand out relevant information mixing in a meaningful way verbal and not verbal info
    The Use Audio narration in pair with minimal textual captions Reduce cognitive load
    The adoption of a game based approach to Foster the engagement levels of the students
    The forth ingredient; the cooperative learning setting the constructivist element that could boost the power of the other ingredients
    3. We started from the widely accepted Multimedia Learning Theory by Richard Mayer and we tried to apply its design principles where they are needed most: with kids of a developing  country instead of U.S. college students.
    4. So: I took a flight from Milan to Montevideo – Uruguay (A developing country really in the south of the world) and I have been staying there for about 10 months
    5. I went there because UY is like an “en plein air” research field. It’s part of the OLPC initiative and it’s the only country in the world that reached the so called “saturation goal” . They covered the entire scholar population - including teachers - distributing half a million XO laptops like the one that you can see here.
    6. we took a sample composed by 360 students, aged from 11 to 14, in 16 classrooms of 8 schools that the Uruguaian Ministry of Education defined “very unfavorable critical context schools”. I would like you to know that there wasn’t a budget for this project that is mainly self financed.
  • 1.Digital Science Contents In Primary School.
    We believe that learning is a context situated process that’s why we are interested in real world classrooms rather than just laboratory conditions.
    So our first question is: which is the most effective use of multimedia learning objects in real contexts?
    2. And starting from my instructional designer experience at the C.P.M. I’ll present my hypotesis as a multimedia learning recipe in order to increase learning performances:
     
    these ingredients are
    The use of infographics to stand out relevant information mixing in a meaningful way verbal and not verbal info
    The Use Audio narration in pair with minimal textual captions Reduce cognitive load
    The adoption of a game based approach to Foster the engagement levels of the students
    The forth ingredient; the cooperative learning setting the constructivist element that could boost the power of the other ingredients
    3. We started from the widely accepted Multimedia Learning Theory by Richard Mayer and we tried to apply its design principles where they are needed most: with kids of a developing  country instead of U.S. college students.
    4. So: I took a flight from Milan to Montevideo – Uruguay (A developing country really in the south of the world) and I have been staying there for about 10 months
    5. I went there because UY is like an “en plein air” research field. It’s part of the OLPC initiative and it’s the only country in the world that reached the so called “saturation goal” . They covered the entire scholar population - including teachers - distributing half a million XO laptops like the one that you can see here.
    6. we took a sample composed by 360 students, aged from 11 to 14, in 16 classrooms of 8 schools that the Uruguaian Ministry of Education defined “very unfavorable critical context schools”. I would like you to know that there wasn’t a budget for this project that is mainly self financed.
  • 1.Digital Science Contents In Primary School.
    We believe that learning is a context situated process that’s why we are interested in real world classrooms rather than just laboratory conditions.
    So our first question is: which is the most effective use of multimedia learning objects in real contexts?
    2. And starting from my instructional designer experience at the C.P.M. I’ll present my hypotesis as a multimedia learning recipe in order to increase learning performances:
     
    these ingredients are
    The use of infographics to stand out relevant information mixing in a meaningful way verbal and not verbal info
    The Use Audio narration in pair with minimal textual captions Reduce cognitive load
    The adoption of a game based approach to Foster the engagement levels of the students
    The forth ingredient; the cooperative learning setting the constructivist element that could boost the power of the other ingredients
    3. We started from the widely accepted Multimedia Learning Theory by Richard Mayer and we tried to apply its design principles where they are needed most: with kids of a developing  country instead of U.S. college students.
    4. So: I took a flight from Milan to Montevideo – Uruguay (A developing country really in the south of the world) and I have been staying there for about 10 months
    5. I went there because UY is like an “en plein air” research field. It’s part of the OLPC initiative and it’s the only country in the world that reached the so called “saturation goal” . They covered the entire scholar population - including teachers - distributing half a million XO laptops like the one that you can see here.
    6. we took a sample composed by 360 students, aged from 11 to 14, in 16 classrooms of 8 schools that the Uruguaian Ministry of Education defined “very unfavorable critical context schools”. I would like you to know that there wasn’t a budget for this project that is mainly self financed.
  • Our first experiment is about Instructional Formats For Self-Directed Learning.
    We arranged a participatory design process In collaboration with 16 teachers, an american software house (Sheppard Software) and a small uruguayan graphic design team. We developed three learning object concepts for the Food-Chain topic, because it’s part of the school program.
    2-The 1°LO is an infographics resume that I have here in my hands.
    We used the same infographics display method for the three prototypes and the same virtual pedagogical agent – Prof. Haragan – that means prof. Idler
    The modality for conveying the verbal information is comic based
    As you can see it’s made of paper and the concepts are presented with a topic centered approach
    3. the 2° is developed for the XO platform, the modality is mostly audio with a few text captions, we limited the interactivity to a very basic level: just the self-paced progression by the student.
    4.the 3rd is an interactive learning game conducted by an animated pedagogical agent called “Prof. Haragan” (Professor Idler) based on the Task Centered Inst.Strategy by D. Merrill
  • Our first experiment is about Instructional Formats For Self-Directed Learning.
    We arranged a participatory design process In collaboration with 16 teachers, an american software house (Sheppard Software) and a small uruguayan graphic design team. We developed three learning object concepts for the Food-Chain topic, because it’s part of the school program.
    2-The 1°LO is an infographics resume that I have here in my hands.
    We used the same infographics display method for the three prototypes and the same virtual pedagogical agent – Prof. Haragan – that means prof. Idler
    The modality for conveying the verbal information is comic based
    As you can see it’s made of paper and the concepts are presented with a topic centered approach
    3. the 2° is developed for the XO platform, the modality is mostly audio with a few text captions, we limited the interactivity to a very basic level: just the self-paced progression by the student.
    4.the 3rd is an interactive learning game conducted by an animated pedagogical agent called “Prof. Haragan” (Professor Idler) based on the Task Centered Inst.Strategy by D. Merrill
  • Our first experiment is about Instructional Formats For Self-Directed Learning.
    We arranged a participatory design process In collaboration with 16 teachers, an american software house (Sheppard Software) and a small uruguayan graphic design team. We developed three learning object concepts for the Food-Chain topic, because it’s part of the school program.
    2-The 1°LO is an infographics resume that I have here in my hands.
    We used the same infographics display method for the three prototypes and the same virtual pedagogical agent – Prof. Haragan – that means prof. Idler
    The modality for conveying the verbal information is comic based
    As you can see it’s made of paper and the concepts are presented with a topic centered approach
    3. the 2° is developed for the XO platform, the modality is mostly audio with a few text captions, we limited the interactivity to a very basic level: just the self-paced progression by the student.
    4.the 3rd is an interactive learning game conducted by an animated pedagogical agent called “Prof. Haragan” (Professor Idler) based on the Task Centered Inst.Strategy by D. Merrill
  • Our first experiment is about Instructional Formats For Self-Directed Learning.
    We arranged a participatory design process In collaboration with 16 teachers, an american software house (Sheppard Software) and a small uruguayan graphic design team. We developed three learning object concepts for the Food-Chain topic, because it’s part of the school program.
    2-The 1°LO is an infographics resume that I have here in my hands.
    We used the same infographics display method for the three prototypes and the same virtual pedagogical agent – Prof. Haragan – that means prof. Idler
    The modality for conveying the verbal information is comic based
    As you can see it’s made of paper and the concepts are presented with a topic centered approach
    3. the 2° is developed for the XO platform, the modality is mostly audio with a few text captions, we limited the interactivity to a very basic level: just the self-paced progression by the student.
    4.the 3rd is an interactive learning game conducted by an animated pedagogical agent called “Prof. Haragan” (Professor Idler) based on the Task Centered Inst.Strategy by D. Merrill
  • We administered 5 tests but here I’m going to presents just the results of the transfer test. Which is the mean between a comprehension test and a problem solving test.
    As you can see in the chart, In Disagreement with our hypothesis, the step by step multimedia group with its strongly guided instructional strategy and minimal interactivity seems to outperform the other groups
    So the high interactivity levels of the learning game are not a plus for this critical context sample.
    We can assume that it’s better to avoid the individual reading activity (26% of CA less!!) maybe because it lacks of the needed isolation provided by the headset in order to exclude the classroom noise and pay attention to relevant information.
    EXP2
    to understand which is the best classroom setting for a game-based learning object we ran the 2nd exp, so we compared the results of the previous learning game played individually with a new group divided in pairs that played sharing one laptop and one headset and were strongly asked to negotiate game strategies and mutually check the comprehension levels of the mate.
  • We administered 5 tests but here I’m going to presents just the results of the transfer test. Which is the mean between a comprehension test and a problem solving test.
    As you can see in the chart, In Disagreement with our hypothesis, the step by step multimedia group with its strongly guided instructional strategy and minimal interactivity seems to outperform the other groups
    So the high interactivity levels of the learning game are not a plus for this critical context sample.
    We can assume that it’s better to avoid the individual reading activity (26% of CA less!!) maybe because it lacks of the needed isolation provided by the headset in order to exclude the classroom noise and pay attention to relevant information.
    EXP2
    to understand which is the best classroom setting for a game-based learning object we ran the 2nd exp, so we compared the results of the previous learning game played individually with a new group divided in pairs that played sharing one laptop and one headset and were strongly asked to negotiate game strategies and mutually check the comprehension levels of the mate.
  • We administered 5 tests but here I’m going to presents just the results of the transfer test. Which is the mean between a comprehension test and a problem solving test.
    As you can see in the chart, In Disagreement with our hypothesis, the step by step multimedia group with its strongly guided instructional strategy and minimal interactivity seems to outperform the other groups
    So the high interactivity levels of the learning game are not a plus for this critical context sample.
    We can assume that it’s better to avoid the individual reading activity (26% of CA less!!) maybe because it lacks of the needed isolation provided by the headset in order to exclude the classroom noise and pay attention to relevant information.
    EXP2
    to understand which is the best classroom setting for a game-based learning object we ran the 2nd exp, so we compared the results of the previous learning game played individually with a new group divided in pairs that played sharing one laptop and one headset and were strongly asked to negotiate game strategies and mutually check the comprehension levels of the mate.
  • We administered 5 tests but here I’m going to presents just the results of the transfer test. Which is the mean between a comprehension test and a problem solving test.
    As you can see in the chart, In Disagreement with our hypothesis, the step by step multimedia group with its strongly guided instructional strategy and minimal interactivity seems to outperform the other groups
    So the high interactivity levels of the learning game are not a plus for this critical context sample.
    We can assume that it’s better to avoid the individual reading activity (26% of CA less!!) maybe because it lacks of the needed isolation provided by the headset in order to exclude the classroom noise and pay attention to relevant information.
    EXP2
    to understand which is the best classroom setting for a game-based learning object we ran the 2nd exp, so we compared the results of the previous learning game played individually with a new group divided in pairs that played sharing one laptop and one headset and were strongly asked to negotiate game strategies and mutually check the comprehension levels of the mate.
  • We administered 5 tests but here I’m going to presents just the results of the transfer test. Which is the mean between a comprehension test and a problem solving test.
    As you can see in the chart, In Disagreement with our hypothesis, the step by step multimedia group with its strongly guided instructional strategy and minimal interactivity seems to outperform the other groups
    So the high interactivity levels of the learning game are not a plus for this critical context sample.
    We can assume that it’s better to avoid the individual reading activity (26% of CA less!!) maybe because it lacks of the needed isolation provided by the headset in order to exclude the classroom noise and pay attention to relevant information.
    EXP2
    to understand which is the best classroom setting for a game-based learning object we ran the 2nd exp, so we compared the results of the previous learning game played individually with a new group divided in pairs that played sharing one laptop and one headset and were strongly asked to negotiate game strategies and mutually check the comprehension levels of the mate.
  • Our third experiment
    LO’s effectiveness as a Teacher Instructional Aid for traditional lessons. So i trained 4 teachers to use a Ppt Presentation about the foodchain for a their live frontal lesson
    Here we can see a few inspiring results:
    The TRADITIONAL_LESSON Group
    performs very similar to the Larning Games Groups (individually or in pair)
    As seen before the PAPER_INFOGRAPHICS group is the worst condition, producing 15% of Correct Answers less than the teacher group
    But with our big surprise the step by step tutorial, with the virtual pedagogical agent prof.Haragan. Outperformed the teacher directed group producing 13,4% of CA more
  • Our third experiment
    LO’s effectiveness as a Teacher Instructional Aid for traditional lessons. So i trained 4 teachers to use a Ppt Presentation about the foodchain for a their live frontal lesson
    Here we can see a few inspiring results:
    The TRADITIONAL_LESSON Group
    performs very similar to the Larning Games Groups (individually or in pair)
    As seen before the PAPER_INFOGRAPHICS group is the worst condition, producing 15% of Correct Answers less than the teacher group
    But with our big surprise the step by step tutorial, with the virtual pedagogical agent prof.Haragan. Outperformed the teacher directed group producing 13,4% of CA more
  • Our third experiment
    LO’s effectiveness as a Teacher Instructional Aid for traditional lessons. So i trained 4 teachers to use a Ppt Presentation about the foodchain for a their live frontal lesson
    Here we can see a few inspiring results:
    The TRADITIONAL_LESSON Group
    performs very similar to the Larning Games Groups (individually or in pair)
    As seen before the PAPER_INFOGRAPHICS group is the worst condition, producing 15% of Correct Answers less than the teacher group
    But with our big surprise the step by step tutorial, with the virtual pedagogical agent prof.Haragan. Outperformed the teacher directed group producing 13,4% of CA more
  • Our third experiment
    LO’s effectiveness as a Teacher Instructional Aid for traditional lessons. So i trained 4 teachers to use a Ppt Presentation about the foodchain for a their live frontal lesson
    Here we can see a few inspiring results:
    The TRADITIONAL_LESSON Group
    performs very similar to the Larning Games Groups (individually or in pair)
    As seen before the PAPER_INFOGRAPHICS group is the worst condition, producing 15% of Correct Answers less than the teacher group
    But with our big surprise the step by step tutorial, with the virtual pedagogical agent prof.Haragan. Outperformed the teacher directed group producing 13,4% of CA more
  • So here they are our Further Investigations
    in a few months We would be able to say what is the best match between INST.FORMAT/L.SETTING/OBJECTIVE according to the adapted Content Performance matrix we derived by Merrill & clark
    We will elaborate User Experience questionnaires distributed after the experiments to find out a CORRELATION between learning PERFORMANCES and students ENGAGEMENT levels
    We are going to split the main sample in 2 AGE-GROUPS: 11-12 (preadolescents)/13-14(adolescents).
    At the end we are going to run the same experiments with an ITALIAN “DIGITAL_NATIVES” sample
  • “APPLYING THE MULTIMEDIA LEARNING THEORY IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL"

    1. 1. “APPLYING THE MULTIMEDIA LEARNING THEORY IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL. AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY ABOUT LEARNING SETTINGS USING DIGITAL SCIENCE CONTENTS” E-Learning & Multimedia Design fabio.serenelli@unimib.it PhD ICT applied to Knowledge Society and Learning Processes F.Serenelli – E.Ruggeri – A.MangiatordiF.Serenelli – E.Ruggeri – A.Mangiatordi
    2. 2. = 0.003207][Pr(>F)
    3. 3. = 0.003207][Pr(>F)
    4. 4. = 0.003207][Pr(>F)

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