Session 7 Media


“The best current evidence is that media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes change in nutrition- only content of the vehicle can influence achievement.”  Richard Clark “Reconsidering research on learning from media”.  Review of Educational Research.  Vol. 53, No. 4, 1983, pp. 445-459
1. Why is media selection important in eLearning?
Media selection in general allows teachers to try and create rich learning environments that replace f2f student/student, student/instructor, and student/content interaction.  Since students’ learning styles differ, just like in a f2f class, it’s important for online instructors to deliver information in multiple modes.  In addition, The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning states,
Humans possess separate channels for processing visual and auditory information-
2. Define “new media”?
New Media attributes-
  1. Ease of sharing (use, reuse, link, and comment)
  2. Availability of bandwidth
  3. Ease of production through digital media tools and cheap storage space
  4. Change in attitude and comfort with using and sharing new media
  5. Examples of new media:
New Media is a 21st Century catchall term used to define all that is related to the internet and the interplay between technology, images and sound. In fact, the definition of new media changes daily, and will continue to do so. New media evolves and morphs continuously (New Media Institute).
3. Choose a “new media” and explain it’s strengths and weaknesses for supporting eLearning.
Great source: An Instructional Media Selection Guide for Distance Learning-  AIMSGDL 2nd Ed._styled_010311
Some instructional issues that must be considered are:
·      Identification of knowledge and skill gaps
·      Effective assessment and measurement tools
·      Level of interaction (didactic versus dialectic)
·      Instructional strategies
·      Complexity of content
·      Rate of content change
·      Level and domain (cognitive, affective, psychomotor) of learning objectives
·      Delivery issues to consider are:
·      Audience size & distribution
·      Cost
o   In house vs. outsourcing
o   Availability of existing infrastructure
o   Delivery – hardware endpoints
My newest media tool- SoftChalk
Create-your-own digital lessons by combining your own materials with interactive learning content and rich media. The mixture of personalized content, embedded assessment, and interactivity will increase student engagement and improve learning outcomes.
Manage– Host your content in SoftChalk Cloud and link content items to multiple courses and learning management systems. When changes are needed, make your change once, in the Cloud, and all courses are simultaneously updated. Then, track student score results directly into your LMS gradebook or into SoftChalk’s ScoreCenter.
Share The SoftChalk Share repository provides thousands of free learning resources created by educators and shared online. Use your SoftChalk Cloud account to copy and customize shared resources for high-quality course content resulting in reduced time, effort and development costs.
Strengths:   The share repository is my favorite feature because it allows you to search for content created by other instructors (this can be as basic as vocab list to as complete as whole courses).  It can display large amounts of visual and aural information. It allows the use of full-motion video and high resolution graphics, and when supplemented with audio, allows users to employ the full spectrum of instructional strategies.  It allows teachers to access one site for a variety of tools rather than relying on a multitude of media.
Weaknesses:  There is cost to this product, and if your school already has a LMS, it may not be worth the price.  As far as I could tell, while the share section allows you to access and use material from other instructors, it doesn’t allow you to edit and make the materials your own.  Students cannot interact with the instructor by asking questions, so facilitation by the instructor is not available.
4. Explain the term “Mobile Learning” and discuss the importance of “Mobile Learning in the current eLearning environment and in future eLearning environments.
“Learning by means of wireless technologies that can be pocketed and utilized wherever the learner’s device is able to receive unbroken transmission signals.  Learning supported by mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and personal audio players” (
While I sit at my in my favorite chair at my laptop doing this online class, I recognize that my in-mobility is the exception and not the norm of online students.  Last year when my students told me that they had the ability to do online work from home, what they imagined was online access via smart phones, not computers.  It was of great frustration to all of us when we realized that the online software wouldn’t work on cells, or that Blackboard had significant limitations when access by mobile phone.  That’s one of the reasons I am excited to switch over to Canvas because they claim to be more mobile friendly. While it is tough for me to imagine doing school work on my cell, I recognize that this is what students expect.  As I have been designing my class, I have repeatedly viewed modules from the student view; however, not once have I looked at my course on my iphone- I guess I need to do that! 
5. Explain the term “Virtual Classroom”. Describe how a “Virtual Classroom” can be used in eLearning.
A virtual classroom is an online learning environment.  The environment can be web-based and accessed through a portal or software-based and require a downloadable executable file.  Just like in a real-world classroom, a student in a virtual classroom participates in synchronous instruction, which means that the teacher and students are logged into the virtual learning environment at the same time.
While I think Blackboard collaboration is a great tool for the occasional guest lecture or complex lecture that requires more interaction, I can’t imagine using it regularly.  The biggest issue has to do with scheduling a synchronous session and students’ availability.  I think it would be easier to schedule the class as a hybrid course, but then allow students to login for the “f2f” session.
6. Thinking about the class you have been designing, what are some ways you could potentially use some new media?
·      Youtube video-  I’ve been finding Blackboard user guides as well as content.  Question- I heard (was it this class) that if I add something to the URL of a video, it eliminates the advertising and added videos down the side.  It might have been at a Canvas presentation.  Does this exist for Blackboard?

·      TedTalks-  Great source of content and professionally recorded so high audio quality.  

·      Screencast-o-matic-  I’ve used this for introducing the CMS and how to navigate my course.  I’m also going to create one for peer review.

·      Blackboard Mobile App-  I require students to purchase this ($1.99 I think).  This allows them to receive the Announcements and a notification each time I add content to their course.  Clearly I need to start trying to play with my course to see how it functions.  Question- I’ve tried to put all of my content in pdf versions; is that the best option for mobile?







2 thoughts on “Session 7 Media

  1. Hi Christen,

    I like your selection of new media especially SoftChalk. This is very new to me.
    With the current trends of online learning, those course sites must be accessible using mobile devices.



  2. Interesting quote to begin this response! I’m not sure I fully agree but it does get one thinking! Your responses also provide plenty of topics to think about. Great job!


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