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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 7, No. 3 (2011) open journal systems 


The impact of multiple representations of content using multimedia on learning outcomes across learning styles and modal preferences

Michael D Sankey, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
Dawn Birch, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
Michael W Gardiner, University of Southern Queensland, Australia


Abstract
The innovative use of educational technologies provides valuable opportunities for educators to design an enhanced, interactive, more inclusive and engaging curriculum. Key pedagogical motivations for utilising educational technologies include the desire to improve learning performance and student engagement. In particular access to multimedia has provided an opportunity to present multiple representations of key content areas using a combination of text, video, aural and interaction to cater more effectively for different learning styles and modal preferences. This paper presents the findings of an experiment to measure the impact of multiple representations on learning outcomes, including student learning performance and engagement. While in this pilot study multiple representations of content did not lead to a significant improvement in learning performance (although it did improve slightly), students reported very favourably on their use of the multimodal learning elements and perceived that these had assisted comprehension and retention of the material. Implications for educators, limitations of the experimental methodology and directions for future research are also presented.


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556