Downs, Edward, Boyson, Aaron R., Alley, Hannah and Bloom, Nikki R. (2011). iPedagogy: using multimedia learning theory to iDentify best practices for MP3 player use in higher education. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 39: 2, Retrieved May 11, 2011 DOI: / URL: Article
Study Objective “To test how manipulating the affordance of modality on an MP3 player might differentially impact learning”
Hypotheses H1: Multiple modes = better for information processing H2: Audio/video = best combination of modes RQ1: Does size of screen impact learning? RQ2: Does size of screen influence evaluation of instructor? H3: Student perception of iPod = intent to take courses that use the technology
Theoretical Framework: 2 Theories Dual-modality: Learning occurs through two distinct channels – verbal and visual. Referential Processing: Learning is maximized when channels are used simultaneously. Multimedia Principle: Learning occurs best words and images are combined. Modality Principle: Certain combinations improve performance. Dual-coding TheoryMultimedia Learning Theory
Participants and Procedure 119 undergraduate students 66 female; 52 male; 1 non-responder Average age = 19.5 96% owned at least one MP3 player Voluntary study for course credit Recruited from a class in communication Assessed in a 3-Part measure: control factors (ACT scores and previous experience), perceptions of iPods, retention of information
Method (3x2 Factorial Experiment)
Findings H1: Supported Dual modalities better than single modality H2: Supported Audio only: 56% accuracy Audio/text: 60% accuracy Audio/video: 71% accuracy RQ1and RQ2: Form factor (size of screen) does not matter H3: Supported Perceptions influence technology acceptance
Implications Modality matters. Two are better than one. Findings are consistent with Multimedia Learning Theory. Mode matters. Pairing of audio and video showed the best outcome Podcast vs. Vodcast? Podcast = most common Vodcast = most effective
Limitations and Future Research Simulated learning environment What happens in the real day-to-day classroom? What happens when other theoretical principals are tested? Students What happens when learners are more diverse? Single modality How do visual and aural text differ as a single modality (eBook vs. audio book)? Long-term effects What are the effects of iPod use over time?
Conclusions “Both the modality and mode through which information is disseminated should be considered carefully when designing instructional materials for use inside or outside the classroom.” Learning improves when two sensory channels are used, and students scored best with the combination of audio and video; therefore, the use of vodcasts are more valuable than podcasts. Form factor does not matter. iPods and computers are both effective content-dissemination tools.