Monday, April 8, 2013Do different media affect the effectiveness of teaching and learning
Here is some thirty-year-old research that still seems relevant today:
Richard E. Clark, 1983, "Reconsidering Research on Learning from Media", Review of Educational Research, Vol. 53, No. 4 (Winter, 1983), pp. 445-459.
This paper reviews the the seemingly endless research trying to ask whether teaching using Media X inherrently more effective than the same instruction in Media Y. Given the age of the paper, you will not suprised to learn that the research cited covers media like Radio for education (hot research topic in the 1950s), Television (1960s) and early computer-assessted assessment (1970s). Clark's earliest citation, however, is "since Thorndike (1912) recommended pictures as a labor saving device in instruction." Images as novel educational technology! Well, they were once. The point is that basically the same reserach was done for each new media to come along, and it was all equally inconclusive.
Here are some choice quotes that nicely summarise the article:
Based on this consistent evidence, it seems reasonable to advise strongly against future media comparison research. Five decades of research suggest that there are no learning benefits to be gained from employing different media in instruction, regardless of their obviously attractive features or advertised superiority.
Where learning benefits are at issue, therefore, it is the method, aptitude, and task variables of instruction that should be investigated.
The best current evidence is that media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in our nutrition
Clark does not miss out on the fact that effectiveness of the learning is the only problem in education:
Of course there are instructional problems other than learning that may be influenced by media (e.g., costs,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document