EDGE903 Spring 2013
Multimedia and Interface Design
Explore ideas and post your reflection to the discussion forum
reading the initial set of readings provided write a brief reflection on how the
ideas presented relate to the educational context(s) in which you've studied or
1. In your reflection you should introduce
yourself, explaining your interest in education and settings in which your have
2. Explain how the ideas you have read about
are relevant (or not) and identify an idea or aspect that you would like to
particularly explore as part of your work in this subject.
This is intended to be an open - ended task,
so don't feel that there are any right or wrong answers. Its purpose is to get
you thinking about the ways multimedia are used to represent ideas and how
interface can facilitate the ways we use digital technologies for learning. Post
your reflection on the discussion forum to share with your fellow students
I am a primary school teacher and ICT leader
at a state public school in Kwinana Western Australia. Kwinana is a bustling
industrial area first colonised by British Petroleum through the running of
Western Australia’s only oil refinery. Further industrial partners are located
in Kwinana including Alcoa, CBH and port handling facilities carriers. Despite
Kwinana’s relatively large area (118 square kilometres) and industrial heritage,
the school I work at has a very low socio-economic index (SEI). One area of
educational functionality for me focuses on the cultural aspects of the school
and surrounding school catchment area. These cultural aspects include students
who are indigenous, refuges, immigrants and poverty laden students.
When discussing and vocalising culture and
cultural, the terms of reference for me have at times presented logistical
language perspectives and dialogue. There are many different definitions of
“culture”. One quite useful definition of culture is “an integrated pattern of
human behaviour that includes thoughts, communications, actions, customs,
beliefs, values, and institutions of a racial, ethnic, religious, or social
group” (Queensland-Government 2010). As an educator I must be culturally
relevant. In my class, I see culture as not just simply a collection of
immigrants, indigenous or refugee students. Culture can also include students
who have single parents, single wage earners, property owners and renters, as
well as students who fit into the poverty descriptor culture group.
Unlike Byram (2013), I do think that the
research is relevant. Jagne et al (2006) makes a valid point with, “rather than
relying on samples which have similar cultural background information, we
suggest researchers and designers should engage with the cultures directly,
in-order to get a better understanding of the indigenous people.” Directly, the
research by Jagne et al (Jagne 2006) is not appropriate to my teaching status,
but the theories and models contained within it do and can be transferred to my
On the surface, my class appears like any
homogenised westernised one. When I plan I am constantly aware of the
multi-cultured students (MCS) in my class. As I alternate between the different
MCS in an educational situation, I have to code switch and flit between the
differing groups. Each group has its own set of rules, and as such, the students
need to be able to code switch. That is, being able to make decisions regarding
the use of the rules and codes of the dominant culture (Perso 2012). As an
educator, we must model the rules and codes needed to succeed in the educational
forum. This is further built upon by Burridge et al (Burridge, Buchanan and
Chodkiewicz 2009) when they highlight the need to support schools and teachers
in their endeavours to acknowledge and address cultural difference in positive
ways and to build more culturally responsive classrooms. Much like “the way
culture is currently being integrated into interface design is not working”
(Jagne 2006), Jordan (Jordan 2004) when talking about the culture of poverty,
suggests that individuals create, sustain, and transmit to future generations a
culture that reinforces the various social and behavioural deficiencies. Jagne
et al (2006) and Jordan (2004) compliment each other’s argument. The rules and
cultural guidelines can be difficult to graduate from, and continue to
perpetuate thinking and creative standpoint (Jagne 2006). They both agree that
design and culture has its deficiencies and detractors, and that the stakeholder
needs to take control. Small et al (Small, Harding and Lamont 2010) commented
that sustained poverty generated a set of cultural attitudes, beliefs, values,
and practices and that this culture of poverty would tend to perpetuate itself
over time. In discussing Cross-Cultural Interface Design Strategy (Jagne 2006) I
have unconsciously used aspects of this model. Due to my school’s diverse cohort
intake, our school has a comprehensive on entry procedure/policy (Investigation
(Jagne 2006)). This investigation helps shape and guide direct teaching
practises in order to build up a holistic picture of our cohort, and to subtract
the preconceptions that can often cloud the overall culture or cultural aspects
of a student or school.
Multimedia Learning & Cognitive Load
I have always found the aspects of Multimedia
Learning (ML), that is learning from words and pictures (Mayer and Moreno 2003)
and Multimedia Instruction (MI), as presenting words and pictures that are
intended to foster learning (Mayer and Moreno 2003) to be highly motivating for
my students and myself as an educator. My earliest memory as a child of ML was
watching an episode of Open University on BBC 2. Although the content was quite
complex for my naďve brain, I found the mixture of typed words and static
pictures intermixed with stock footage and overdubbed vocals, liberating and
fascinating. This coupled with historical documentaries and drama documentaries
opened up a lifetime fondness and appreciation for MI/ML educational delivery.
Fast forward a couple of decades and I found myself at university about to start
a teaching degree.
From my earliest days of university in the
90s, the internet and Netscape Navigator was a secret buried in the basement
computer room on campus. Prior to university, I had never heard of the internet.
But what possibilities lay untapped. My renewed interest in MI/ML began in my
first year. Unknown locations in the world stored whole directories of
scientific and educational animations, recordings (audio/video) and images. By
the end of university, the days of physical chalk and talk were fast becoming
irrelevant for me as a neophyte primary school teacher.
In the article, Mayer and Moreno (2003)
describe a central challenge facing designers of multimedia instruction is the
potential for cognitive overload—in which the learner’s intended cognitive
processing exceeds the learner’s available cognitive capacity. For me, the Load
Reduction Methods (Mayer and Moreno 2003) listed together with their effect size
highlighted colossal mistakes I made in the early days of teaching using MI/ML.
My development as an instructor has over the years, paid close attention to Type
1 (Essential processing in visual channel > cognitive capacity of visual
channel) (Mayer and Moreno 2003) to such an extent, that I have been able to
utilise technology and software techniques now that addressed the deficiencies
of my content delivery. Something as simple as adding an overlayed audio track
to a video file instead of adding subtitles increased the retention of
information by the learner.
Educators are used to delivering content in a
measured, bite-sized and scaffolded manner. Type 2 describes Segmenting. That is
allowing time between successive bite-size segments (Mayer and Moreno 2003).
There have been many times where my MI/ML education delivery has been
deliberately divided up so that content is intermixed with regular pause/share
amongst the learners. Breaking the task into smaller chunks highlighted the need
for the learners to reaffirm their understanding of the content, and vocalise
their thoughts to another learner. This in turn led to the learners
demonstrating bite sized retention of the content.
I find the Cognitive Load research interesting
and confusing. As part of a new strategy in my classroom, I have been
experimenting using computers games and tablet apps as a resource. Initial
observations indicate that my cultural group of gamers seem to have a high
capacity for Cognitive Load usage. It would appear some of the students are able
to break the rules for Types 1 to 5 for the overload scenarios (Mayer and Moreno
2003). Simply put, their cognitive load doesn’t appear to suffer any information
retention depletion or recall during and after game play/use. It almost
contradicts what they shouldn’t be able to do. I found myself asking the
Why is their information retention higher than
a non gamer?
Can this skill from gaming be transferred to
non game audio/visual MI/ML?
Is this age dependant?
Byram, O. (2013). Exploring and reflecting on
ideas relative to multimedia and interface design. Assignment 1 EDGE903. UOW
Burridge, N., Buchanan, J. and Chodkiewicz, A.
(2009). "Dealing with Difference: Building
Culturally Responsive Classrooms."
Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal; Vol 1, No 3 (2009).
Jagne, J., Smith, S., Duncker, E., Curzon, P.
(2006). "Cross-cultural interface design strategy." Universal Access in the
Information Society 5(3): 299-305.
Jordan, G. (2004). "The Causes of Poverty
Cultural vs. Structural: Can There Be a Synthesis?" Perspectives in Public
Mayer, R. E. and Moreno, R. (2003). "Nine Ways
to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning." Educational Psychologist 38(1):
Perso, T. F. (2012). Cultural Responsiveness
and School Education With Particular Focus On Australia’s First Peoples: A
Review & Synthesis of the Literature. Darwin, Northern
Territory, Menzies School of Health Research,
Centre for Child Development and Education.
Queensland-Government (2010). Working with
people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Queensland
Small, M. L., Harding, D. J. and Lamont, M.
(2010). "Reconsidering Culture and Poverty." The ANNALS of the American Academy
of Political and Social Science 629(1): 6-27.