What impact does technology and multimedia have on online learning environments?
Technology and multimedia, if used correctly, can turn a learning environment into an authentic way for students to get real world applications. “Research literature throughout the past decade has shown that technology can enhance literacy development, impact language acquisition, provide greater access to information, support learning, motivate students, and enhance their self-esteem.Indeed, researchers have affirmed that computer technology provides abundant opportunities for students to build or modify their personal knowledge through the rich experiences that technology affords” (O’hara & Pritchard, 2014). Technology and multimedia in a learning environment offers ways to meet the needs of different learning styles while creating hands learning opportunities.
What are the most important considerations an online instructor should make before implementing technology?
One of the biggest concerns to take into consideration prior to implementing technology in an online learning environment is the comfort level of the instructor. “The effect of technology on students’ access to knowledge is determined by the pedagogical knowledge and skill of teachers. Technology enables teachers with well-developed working theories of student learning to extend the reach and power of those theories; in the absence of these powerful theories, technology enables mediocrity” (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 2005). It is extremely important for the instructor to be comfortable and knowledgable using the technology that is being provided to the learners. It is also important for the instructor to know the level of comfort amongst the learners as well as their background knowledge. Technology should also be value added in terms of meeting goals and objectives in the learning environment. There should be a reason that it is being used other than to just use it. The technology and multimedia should add to learning environment opposed to just being there because it is available or fun.
What implications do usability and accessibility of technology tools have for online teaching?
As I mentioned in my previous comments, the instructor needs to ensure that every learner has access and knowledge of the technology tools that are part of the learning environment. A survey at the beginning of a course or class should be sent out in order to determine that every student has access to the technology that is needed to take part in the activities and assignments as well as the knowledge and experience needed in order to use the technology.
What technology tools are most appealing to you for online teaching as you move forward in your career in instructional design?
There are so many options for instructional designers in terms of technology and multimedia. A few of my favorites are dreamweaver, moodle, filemaker and voice thread. As an instructional designer, it is important to consider the instructional models to determine the best fit.
I found a five step model that helps to ensure the best technology and multimedia is being used in order to meet the needs of the learners and the goals and objectives of the learning environment.
- “Consider – will this application/tool enhance, improve instruction or motivate learners? What similar applications/tools are there to consider?
- Review/revisit the learning objectives for the course or lesson
- Identify the content student needs to learn – review, augment and/or update content with web site, text-book, video lecture, PDF articles or other
- Assess the ed-tech application/tool – will it encourage students to apply the content and learn the material, construct knowledge and promote critical thinking?
- Select and implement the best application. Create concise instructions of how-to use tool. Allow time for learning of tool and learning of course content” (The Twenty Eleven Theme, 2012).