Effect of Multimedia Instructional Materials in Open and Distance Learning

Academic Paper, 2019
15 Pages, Grade: 3


Table of Contents


1. Introduction
1.1 Printed Plain Instructional Materials
1.2 Audio Instructional Materials
1.3 Audio Visual Instructional Materials
1.4 Printed Multicolour Instructional Materials
1.5 Statement of the Problem
1.6 Objectives

2. Literature Review
2.1 The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia and Learning
2.1.1 The Limited Capacity Assumption
2.1.2 The Active Processing Assumption
2.1.3 The Dual Coding Assumption
2.2 Audio Visual Instructional Materials and Learning in ODL

3. Research Methodology

4. Data Analysis and Presentation
4.1 Pre and Post-Tests Results in Different Modes of Instruction
4.2 The Effect of Colour in Printed Instructional Materials

5. Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations
5.1 Summary
5.2 Conclusions
5.3 Recommendations



The study assessed the effectiveness of multimedia instructional materials on students’ academic performance. Between groups experimental design was used where threetreatment groups were given a variety of multimedia enrichedinstructional materials; 54 students were exposed to audio visual materials, 53 used printed multicolour, and 54 printed plains as a control group.

Pre and post tests were used to assess students’ knowledge of the given set of materials before and after the experimental treatments. Post test result scores and multimedia enrichment were used as dependent and independent variables respectively.

The audio visual group was found to perform significantlysuperior (56.76%)than the printed plain(p= 0.001);audio aided group performance was significantly higher (52.31%) than the printed plain (p=0.05); printed multicolour group performed higher (49.57%) than the printed plain group (45.54%).

The study recommends the use of multimedia technology in the preparation and use of ODL instructional materials. The study further recommends studies on teachers’ competence in developing, embedding and using multimedia enriched instructional materials. This article presents only the part of the major study

Keywords: Multimedia, Audio Visual, Printed Plain, Printed Multicolour

1. Introduction

The process of teaching and learning especially in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) system involves the use of different instructional materials to convey the necessary information between facilitators and learners. Instructional materials include any physical media via which instructions are communicated between learners and the respective facilitators while multimedia is used to describe a product that contains several types of media (Kessy, 2016). They include means of instructional delivery ranging from live instructor to textbooks, charts, magazines, newspapers, pictures, slides, transparencies, videos, electronic resources such as CD-ROMs, as well as online services (Dubey, 2014). Some of these instructional materials need to be transported to distant learners while others can simply be communicated through online systems.

Historically, there have been changes in the types of instructional materials used in ODL system. ODL involves generations from correspondence printed instructional materials to interactive radio instructions, and open learning by workbooks. Today we are working in a flexible learning model characterized by online and web-based technologies including multimedia instructional materials (Commonwealth of Learning, 2005). Many ODL institutions use hybrid combinations of delivery modes in distance education programs that include elements of face-to-face instruction. These new technologies are providing completely new ways of thinking about the preparation of instructional materials as well as delivery systems (Mitra, 2015).

There is a paradigm shift and rapid advancement in Information Communication Technology (ICT) from traditional institution led learning to own time self learning at a distance as well as a shift from teaching to self paced learning while slowly moving towards flexibilities and openness (Mitra, 2015). In ODL system instructional materials take the place of teachers, consequently, the materials have to be carefully designed. Additionally, since the materials deliver the content, it is the role of the tutor to make sure that students learn effectively. Again, the learners we teach are heterogeneous in nature, they learn differently using different types of media, some prefer printed materials, others audio visual, others practices while others only need audio information like listening to a lecturing instructor (Kessy, 2016). From this point of view, several forms of media (multimedia) need to be designed in order to enhance learning. Multimedia makes use of several learning modalities because such information is presented through different senses including seeing, hearing, and touching (Hasebrook, 2005). The present study employed several types of instructional materials including printed plain and printed multicolour, audio as well as audio visual instructional materials.

1.1 Printed Plain Instructional Materials

These are paper based instructional materials. They represent the traditional instructional materials used for conveying information in most education institutions. The font colour in such materials is black and principally the readability of the paper based material is low (Kessy, 2012). This type of media conveys information through the eyes of the reader. Research shows that printed texts can only be improved to enhance learning by highlighting with different colours or adding textual cues such as underlining, italics, and boldface (Armbruster, 2010).

1.2 Audio Instructional Materials

Audio is an electrical or other representation of sound. Such materials are primarily for hearing and include spoken words, audio cassette tapes, audio compact discs (CDs), and the machines on which they are played. These materials are frequently used in ODL to present music, stories, poetry readings, and speeches. Lectures can be recorded for later uses.

1.3 Audio Visual Instructional Materials

These are the materials designed for both seeing and hearing. They include motion pictures, television, and videotape. There is more integration of several forms of media hence the term “multimedia” (Mayer, 2008). Multimedia takes the advantage of both the auditory (ears) and visual (eyes) channels in working memory to deliver content most effectively (Paivio, 1986; Sternberg, 2003). A good example is video conferencing an effective ODL teaching where a single facilitator can teach several classrooms at the same time (Hovenga, 2011).

1.4 Printed Multicolour Instructional Materials

In the present study, these types of instructional materials resembled the printed plain materials in one way because they were also prepared in paper materials with black fonts. The difference between the two types of instructional materials was the presence of illustrations in the later.

1.5 Statement of the Problem

Learners differ in their learning styles. While some students learn better by reading, others prefer looking at illustrations, others would like to do practices and others rely on group discussions (Kessy, 2016). Studies show that such differences are caused by differences in brain dominance among people. For example, a study by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) reveals that left-brained students learn better when information is presented in a very logical sequence like in numbered lists. They also prefer printed directions. Furthermore, students, who are right brained, prefer visual concepts such as pictures, drawings, and manipulating objects. Such students process information quickly as images (NINDS, 2007; Sperry, 1981; Rogers, 2013).

Hence, multimedia is the best technique because it addresses more than one sense simultaneously. Multimedia provide different stimuli in their presentations which include texts, spoken words, sound & music, graphics, animations and still pictures (Aloraini, 2012). Indeed, multimedia is becoming indispensable in ODL system. Additionally, multimedia allows teachers to display more information, helps them save time and energy, it allows for more attention to be paid to the course content, different drawings & pictures supports the clarification of ideas and communication of information, and also, using different presentations like video clips along with maps or other kinds of presentations help to get the information closer to reality (Jaya & Rajesh, 2011). The addition of sounds makes the idea clearer, attracts the attention of the learners, enhanced attention, and interaction between students and the content (Alfar, 2009).

Given the benefits obtained from multimedia instructional materials the study sought to find out the best style for combining multimedia materials to enhance learning. The researcher considers it necessary to explore whether the process of comprehending the content of the subject in printed black and white instructional materials differs from the ones enriched with multimedia enriched technology. In view of these concerns the present study assessed the differential effectiveness of combined multimedia on learning that involved printed plain, printed multicolour as well as audio visual instructional materials

1.6 Objectives

The purpose of this study was to assess the differential effectiveness of multimedia instructional media on learning. The following objectives guided the study:

1. To determine learning effectiveness in printed plain instructional materials
2. To determine learning effectiveness in audio visual instructional materials
3. To compare the differences in effectiveness between printed plain, printed multicolour and audio visual instructional materials

2. Literature Review

This section provides an overview of the theoretical framework that illuminate the study and the related literature to the study.

2.1 The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia and Learning

The study was guided by the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML) a theory that was created by Richard Mayer at Santa Barbra University. The central point of CTML is that humans learn better from word (spoken or written) and graphics (video or images) than words alone (Mayer, 2008). Mayer’s CTML incorporates three principles on how people learn including: limited capacity working memory, active processing, information transfer and dual-coding theory.

2.1.1 The Limited Capacity Assumption

This is a proposition that humans are limited in the amount of information that can be processed in the mental systems at one time. When an illustration or animation is presented, the learner is able to hold only a few images in the working memory at any one time. This conception of limited capacity gives a way to measure someone's cognitive capacity through a memory span test. Literature shows that, in a digit span test, one can read a list of digits at the rate of one digit per second (e.g., 8-7-5-3-9-6-4). The longest list one can recite without making an error is his/her memory span for digits (Miller, 1956; Simon, 1980).

2.1.2 The Active Processing Assumption

Active learning occurs when a learner applies cognitive processes to incoming material. Thus, according to Mayer & Moreno (2003), for meaningful learning to occur, the learner must engage in five cognitive processes namely: selecting relevant words for processing in the verbal working memory; selecting relevant images for processing in the visual working memory; organizing selected words into a verbal model; organizing selected images into a pictorial model; and lastly, integrating the verbal and pictorial representations with each other and with prior knowledge.

2.1.3 The Dual Coding Assumption

The dual processing cognitive theory (DCT) suggests that verbal and visual stimuli are processed separately but simultaneously in the working memory. This assumption proposes that, there are two mental systems in cognition, verbal and non verbal (Paivio, 1971). For example, one can think of a house by thinking of the word "house", or by forming a mental image of a house The verbal and image systems are connected and related, for one can think of the mental image of the house and then describe it in words. This is further illustrated in Figure 1.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning- Dual Learning Assumption

Source: Paivio (1971).

Sensory memory allows us to sense sounds and images. Working memory is where we process information sensed by the sensory memory. As shown in Figure 1 words and pictures are processed separately (dual channel theory) but in the end, they and prior knowledge mix in working memory. Moreover, long term memory stores knowledge (Sweller, 2005). If too much is put in sensory memory, working memory cannot process, this explains limited capacity assumption. Overloading the sensory memory does not result more learning (Mayer, 2008).

2.2 Audio Visual Instructional Materials and Learning in ODL

Learners in an (ODL) environment typically face several challenges during their studies. Learners are, most of the time, physically separated from the instructor. In addition, most of the learners tend to be older with several years of work experience; they hold full-time jobs, have families to look after and are often found to be struggling with time as they try to cope with their studies and various other commitments (Zoraini et al, 2007)

Many studies have been done on learning in multimedia context. For example, Zoraini et al, (2007) performed a study that aimed to assess the effectiveness of a simulated laboratory experiment, screen interface design as well as the technical aspects of multimedia courseware. The courseware was developed to complement the print modules and was distributed to learners enrolled in the Bachelor of Education program at the Open University of Malaysia. In particular, the study looks at the effectiveness of a simulated laboratory experiment, screen interface design as well as the technical aspects of the courseware. The findings from the survey suggest that, the interactive multimedia courseware was an effective and useful learning material and had complemented the print modules provided to the learners (Zoraini et al, 2007).

Again, Jyotsna, Suresh, and Santosh (2013) conducted a study on the Pedagogic Effectiveness of Print, Interactive Multimedia, and Online Resources. The study aimed at assessing the pedagogic effectiveness of the three modes of learning including: a self-instructional unit print, face-to-face tutorial support, interactive multimedia CD-ROM, and interactive multimedia on the web with online support. The results from this study revealed that, instructional content provided through interactive multimedia CD-ROM for self-learning was more effective and resulted to higher academic achievement than the printed model (Jyotsna, Suresh, & Santosh, 2013).

Additionally, Adam (2012) studied The Impact of Multimedia and Redundancy Theories on the Efficiency of History Presentations. The Multimedia Principle assumes that, people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone, while the Redundancy Principle believes that people learn better from graphics and narration than from graphics only, narration only, and text only. Quasi experimental post test control group design was used to determine if more learning occurs during a presentation that incorporates multimedia, two-tailed independent sample t -test was used for data analysis. Results indicated that, when compared to a control group, the inclusion of the multimedia showed a statistically significant improvement (Adam, 2012).

Petitt (1994) compared learning information that was presented in a traditional classroom lecture, where little text is written on the board, to learning the same information presented via computerized multimedia instruction. The information learned included biology, chemistry, foreign languages, and electronic equipment operation. The control group learned the information via traditional classroom lecture, while the comparison groups learned the information via computer-based multimedia. The researcher measured learning using achievement tests. It was found that learning was higher when the information was presented via computer-based multimedia systems than traditional classroom lectures (Petitt, 1994)

Consequently, multimedia empowers teachers to structure lessons that reach all students’ ability, a situation not met in the traditional classroom. Multimedia empowers students to take an active role in their own learning. Hence, teachers must recognize these implications and adapt their instruction to meet the individual needs of all learners.


Excerpt out of 15 pages


Effect of Multimedia Instructional Materials in Open and Distance Learning
Psychology Department
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
multimedia, instructional, materials, open, distance, learning, audio visual, printed multicolour, printed plain, experimental design
Quote paper
Dr. Hyasinta Kessy (Author), 2019, Effect of Multimedia Instructional Materials in Open and Distance Learning, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/511529


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