The Effects of Multimedia and Social Collaboration on Language and Learning

By:
Terry Hallett,
Dr Nikki Wingerson,
Dr Nikki Wingerson
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Research suggests two facts about human beings: they engage in highly complex activity as they strive to understand their environment, and they are innately social. Two theories of learning support these concepts: constructivism and social constructivism. This study compared the two schools of thought. We asked whether students would glean more information and use more complex language during self reflection (constructivism) or during social collaboration.

This study examined the effects of multimedia and social collaboration on language and learning. The following questions were addressed: Was there a significant difference in 1) learning; and 2) language complexity following the multimedia presentation or following social collaboration? and; 3) If the multimedia or social condition provided additional insights, how did students account for this change?

Forty-one graduate students at The University of Akron, Ohio (25 in speech pathology and 16 in social work), observed a twenty-minute multimedia based presentation on schizophrenia. The multimedia consisted of audio, video, text, animation, graphics, and special effects. Following the multimedia presentation, students were asked to write as much as they could about the topic before, and then again after group discussion concerning the presentation.

Following completion of the written summaries, students responded to three questions: 1) Was the multimedia presentation effective? If so, why?; 2) Was the social collaboration effective? If so, why?; and, 3) How did the multimedia condition differ from the social collaboration?

A significant improvement was revealed for the social collaboration condition as evidenced by an increase in the mean number of topics recalled (learning), and by an increase in the mean number of words, different words, complex clauses, sentences, and morphemes produced (language complexity). More importantly, the students' personal comments reflected enthusiastic responses to both the multimedia presentation and the social collaboration. The students were explicit about how each contributed to their learning.


Keywords: Scholarship of Teaching, Multimedia Technology, Computer Aided Learning, Social Collaboration
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Effects of Multimedia and Social Collaboration on Language and Learning, The


Terry Hallett

Assistant Professor, School of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, The University of Akron
USA

Terry Hallett holds a Ph.D. from Penn State. She is an assistant professor at The University of Akron where she conducts research in multimedia applications, language and literacy, and neurolinguistics. She has conducted numerous national presentations on computer applications in education. Dr Hallett incorporates multimedia materials into teaching strategies for both campus and distance learning environments. As an inquiry into the learning process, Dr Hallett has engaged in several collaborative research projects to test the efficacy of teaching techniques across disciplines. One study, "Teaching with Multimedia: Do Bells and Whistles Help Students Learn?" compared 30 undergraduate social work and speech pathology students' recall of material presented through advanced multimedia versus traditional lecture. Quantitative and qualitative results indicated that multimedia presentations had a positive effect on both language and learning.


Dr Nikki Wingerson

Associate Professor, School of Social Work, The University of Akron
USA

Nikki Wingerson holds a PhD from The University of Kansas, USA. She is an associate professor at The University of Akron where she conducts research in social work and counselling applications. She has conducted numerous national presentations on social work practices in education. Dr. Wingerson incorporates distance learning materials into teaching strategies for both campus and online learning classes.

Dr Nikki Wingerson

Associate Professor, School of Social Work, The University of Akron
USA

Nikki Wingerson holds a PhD from The University of Kansas, USA. She is an associate professor at The University of Akron where she conducts research in social work and counselling applications. She has conducted numerous national presentations on social work practices in education. Dr. Wingerson incorporates distance learning materials into teaching strategies for both campus and online learning classes.

Ref: T05P0166