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This chapter describes a set of principles to be considered in the design of animation for use in multimedia learning resources. It then presents examples of some applications of these principles. The animation principles are grounded in research on perception, cognition and instruction, culminating in an account of the Animation Processing Model (APM). Animation in multimedia learning environments has multiple facets and can serve multiple functions. Dynamic perceptual schemata play a crucial role in the recognition of movement. The APM characterizes learning from animation in terms of five main phases in which bottom-up and top-down processes interact during the construction of a mental model that internally represents the referent subject matter. Learning from animation in multimedia learning environments raises important questions for cognitive theory with respect to visualization because it requires special attention to the interface between perception and cognition. The chapter also discusses implications for instructional design.
One of the greatest challenges of assessment in the professions is the higher consequence of errors. In classrooms, there is a consequence to the individual learner if assessment errors are made, but the impact of such errors may not have large-scale consequences. However, when we certify trainees – be they in the military, in medicine, or professions in general – there can be consequences if the measures of proficiency are inadequate. Valid measures take on new meaning when the risks of improper; assessments could endanger people's well-being. This paper will address the techniques used in the design and evaluation of Sherlock, an avionics tutor used by the U.S. Air Force to train technicians to troubleshoot problems pertinent to the F-15 aircraft (Lajoie & Lesgold, 1992a; Lesgold, Lajoie, Bunzo, & Eggan, 1992; Lesgold, Lajoie, Logan & Eggan, 1990). Sherlock presented airmen with realistic fault-isolation problems, similar to those they encounter when troubleshooting avionics equipment. The Sherlock trainees demonstrated improvements in their troubleshooting skills on a variety of measures, taken by Sherlock as training proceeded and via a post-training performance test (Lesgold et al., 1990 Lesgold et al., 1992 Nichols, Pokorny, Jones, & Gott, et al., in press). An analysis of Sherlock will be provided in terms of “what worked” or “lessons learned.” Applications of these methods and extensions to these techniques are also provided for another domain, medical problem solving (Lajoie, 2007).
Examples of multimedia learning situations using technology are described from the perspective of enhancing cognition. Implications for instructional designers are provided along with some future directions for this field of research. We see a need for multimedia research to foster higher degrees of interactivity with more varied types of media. More importantly, such research requires the inclusion of more scaffolding of learners, more attention to assisting learners in self-regulation, and perhaps media that serves in a pedagogical manner through coaching, pedagogical agents, and realistic environments that may include virtual reality dimensions. This new generation of multimedia will focus more on active knowledge construction through performing or doing some task with guidance.
Introduction to Multimedia Learning of Cognitive Skills
In examining the mores of today's society one cannot help but notice that higher demands are placed on an individuals' processing capability. In fact, daily expectations exist for people to attend and respond to multiple forms of information efficiently. Multimedia learning refers to the ability to learn from multiple representations, in particular, verbal and visual representations that are used to present an instructional message (Mayer, 2003). Verbal representations are defined as text, spoken or written, and visual representations as pictures, static or dynamic. Other researchers have extended this definition to include descriptions of the different functions multiple representations play in learning, that is, complementing or constraining learning, or helping learners to construct new knowledge (Ainsworth, 1999).
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