Multimedia positively has the prospective to increase the quantity and quality of information available to learners. More than long and lengthy texts, properly utilized and incorporated rich media assist learners to construct precise and efficient mental models.
However, the purpose of media in Instructional Design is not only to incorporate multiple media or to insert cool effects but to apply individual medium to its advantage in such a manner, that the potential learning becomes better and more effective than using a single element.
Unfortunately, I came across only a few websites that could demonstrate an example of effective use of media for learning. The others were a bunch of online encyclopedias that use an overload of media to educate the users about a single subject, for example –
- The webmaster/instructional designer’s have provided links to ‘You Tube’ videos, which again redirect the learner’s to many other non-related videos.
- They have provided links to the additional article of interests, links to other websites for the same information. This extra information’s are misleading for the learner.
By the time the learner settles down on a page to learn, he is so crowded with other topics that he might stop for a minute and ask, ‘why am I here again?’
The instructional web pages, online courses or call it elearning recognizes a massive prospective in the future. It is the duty of the instructional designers to select meticulously appropriate media that flawlessly support a learning requirement.
Examples of media overload or non-relevant items that impacts elearning.
In my opinion, these are a few non-relevant media overload that distracts from learning –
- Adding lengthy videos – The video content should be relevant with the topic and the particular industry.
- An appropriate medium to Video Blog sites – Instead of giving the direct links to ‘You Tube’ videos, the required video code may be embedded within the educative material. Extra informative links or videos can be added in separate page and not within the topic.
- Picture speaks thousand words – Utilize graphics that support the content and not as a decorative
- Avoid irrelevant text and audio.
In spite, of the demand for elearning, why do we come across such bad examples? As an instructional designer, are we forced to add extra elements just to make the tutorial beautiful?