Saturday, May 31, 2008

Week Five

I've been working through the next batch of Flash lessons.

Here's a great Youtube explanation of animating on a path.
I also found an good example of how to use the mask feature.
Here's another on importing audio files.

Chapter 13 talks about nesting animations: here's a tutorial on creating movie clips.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Week Three - Follow-up

Week 3 – EDUC 892 -Notes from class - Things we talked about...

Multimedia Learning Theory
(3 premises)
1. 2 channels
2. Limited working memory
3. Knowledge construction


Dual Coding – Paivio (verbal & image – cross links)
Linked, but stored differently - illustrated by the experience of peopl who develop aphasia.

What about the blind? How does this verbal/visual connection work with people who have no vision? (And who never had vision in the first place.)

What about kinesthetic aspects to learning? Dancer, athlete, ASL "speaker"? Is this comparable to the visual and verbal channels?
(See: embodied cognition - here's an article from the Boston Globe on this concept.)


Alan Baddeley (Wikipedia entry)
3 pieces + central executive


Mayer: (what we do when we process info)
  • Words, images (select them)
  • Words, images (organize them)
  • Integrate the 2

John mentioned Kintsch and his text model. (Author of "Comprehension: A Paradigm for Cognition.")
Here’s a quote I found:
Van Dijk and Kintsch (1983) developed one of the most influential theories on reading comprehension. Their theory describes the whole reading process, from recognising individual words all the way through to representing the meaning of a whole text. According to their model, the process of comprehension has three phases: a verbatim representation, a semantic representation, and a situational representation. (link)

Paul Neufeld –SFU- text literacy


John spoke about the Flint effect? What is this? (Natalie Flindt?)


G – human processing ability.
(I couldn't find anything on this concept)


Tom mentioned Edward Tufte – powerpoint rules – Here's an article from Wired: "Powerpoint is Evil". After reading it, I think Tufte may not understand the way PPT should/could be used by students. Here's a more effective article on "Powerpointlessness" on the site. (And here's another!)


JAWS screen reader (Some info about this app)
Kurzweil site.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Week Three - Theory of Multimedia Learning

Working through lessons 4, 5, and 6 of the Flash manual, I feel like I am getting a handle on many of the basic features of this program. Even my very simple practice exercises impress me!
It's a shame that the book doesn't come with a DVD to walk the reader through the steps. I continue to come across sites that reinforce the manual. ( This one has a review of the basic drawing tools, but I think it's for an older version. Here's another.)

There's also a Wordpress blog with a number of great short video tutorials. Here's a beginner tutorial that I found a good review of the drawing tools and techniques.
Ken has also created some very useful tutorials (see side bar Flash Links)

The Readings:
This week, all the readings are from our text.
  • 1. Introduction to Multimedia Learning (Mayer, 1-16) : I agree with the "learner centered approach". It is important not to climb on the "tech-for-tech's-sake" bandwagon. As Meyer points out, the latter approach has a "100 year history of failure."(p. 9) The focus is not on learning as response strengthening, or information acquisition. Rather, it is meant to foster knowledge construction. ("Meaningful learning" vs "factoids", cognitive activity vs behavioral activity.)
  • 2. Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer, 31-48): What was intriguing in this article was that everything that Mayer explains in reference to "Multimedia Learning" seems to apply to all learning in general. My question is: when is learning ever via one channel only? Even if I am reading in a text, I visualize portions of the text, and if I am watching a purely visual teaching tool (silent movie? flash cards? ASL?) then my interior dialog is providing a second channel for me to process. Perhaps we should be talking about a "Cognitive Theory of All Learning." (CTAL) BTW, I found this useful PDF summary of CTML. (For a good primer, check out the Wikipedia article on this topic.)
  • 3. Implications of Cognitive Load Theory for Multimedia Learning (Sweller, 19-30) Sweller talks about Long-Term Memory, Working Memory (7 items, 20 seconds), and how they interact. He also looks at extraneous, intrinsic and germane cognitive load.

Re: the third reading by Sweller - I found this interesting paper at, and embedded a viewer to see what this would look like on the blog. (The viewer uses Flash, btw!) Clicking on the top right hand corner of the viewer will load a full-sized version of the article.

Bonus: Learning Objects Explained (using a learning object!) (Click on Learning Object Presentation)

Check out Ken's musings at Cognitive Zoo.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Week 2: Instructional Design

After working my way through the readings for Week 2, I found some additional support materials...

A link that summarizes Jeroen van Merriƫnboer's 4C/ID approach:

Merril's papers on Instructional Design

First Principles of Instruction explained (Merril)

I also came across his "Pebble in the Pond" model.

LORI PDF manual (comes with a 1 page evaluation template)

The eLera network has a number of Learning Objects that have been reviewed using LORI.

Anderson and Knowledge Compiling (PDF link)

I also came across an interesting link for e-texts: