What impact does technology and multimedia have on online learning environments?
Technology plays a critical role in online learning environments because they allow learners to collaborate and work in groups to create knowledge and use a constructivism learning approach to build their knowledge. For example, technology tools such as wikis and blogs are user generated content tools that allow learners to collaborate, create content, and post comments (Laureate Education, 2010).
Multimedia enhances the learning experience y allowing learners access content in a more dynamic way with videos, audio files, simulations, games, and other interactive tools. Dr. Mayer (2007) documented several principles of multimedia learning after doing an extensive research on the benefits multimedia elements have to promote deep learning.
What are the most important considerations an online instructor should make before implementing technology?
Boettcher and Conrad (2010) indicated that “technology should serve pedagogy” (p. 63). This means that before considering the technology tools for the online learning environment, instructors have to go through a learning design process where the starting point is to identify the learning outcomes or goals that must be achieved. Once those learning outcomes are determined, then learning experiences are designed to ensure those goals will be achieved.
What implications do usability and accessibility of technology tools have for online teaching?
Betts, Riccobono, and Welsh (2013) mentioned “many individuals with disabilities enroll in online learning because it may provide easier access for them due to their disabilities” (p.4). Because of this, and also because one of the main purpose of online learning is inclusion of different types of learners, it is necessary that the technology tools of the learning environment to apply accessibility standards to accommodate students with disabilities.
What technology tools are most appealing to you for online teaching as you move forward in your career in instructional design?
The Web 2.0 technologies where learners create content and can comment in the work of their peers. Technologies that can incorporate tools such as Youtube, wikis, and blogs.
Also Articulate Storyline is a very powerful tool to create engaging online courses.
What is the significance of knowing the technology available to you?
Instructors in the online environment have to get the familiar with the technology that is going to be used during the online course because before the launching of the course they have to configure the learning environment with the content and the tools that learners will be using. Digital technology tools help learners achieve the learning goals in the online environment (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010) because they facilitate communication among students and with the instructor, and because they also allow instructors to include resources in different formats such as multimedia, games, and simulations; therefore the importance for instructors and learners to get familiar with the technology.
Betts, K., Riccobono, M. & Welsh, B. (2013). Introduction to the special section on integrating accessibility into online learning. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17, 1-5.
Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The Online Teaching Survival Guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2010). Enhancing the online experience [Video file].
Mayer, R. E. (2007). Five features of effective multimedia messages: An evidence-based approach. In Fiore, S. M., & Salas, E. (Eds.). Toward a science of distributed learning (pp. 171–184). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.