Mayer and Moreno (2003) provide a methodology for reducing cognitive load in multimedia learning and the idea of segmenting the content into bite-size objects led to 12 Seasonal Tips; whereby we could present, to students, 12 days’ worth of themed content as short and engaging advice on how to approach various aspects of their academic and personal lives.
Considering the short development window, it was decided that the resource would be built within our VLE (Blackboard), and would utilise readily available tools so that the resource would also be an exemplar of what is possible.
Expertise from across the university was called-upon, e.g. Academic Advisers writing exam revision tips and Money Advisers offering money-saving ideas. The written tips were supplemented by a relevant image as a visual clue to the content (Gibson:1977) and a “funny” video, as the use of humour can help reduce anxiety within the learning setting (Garner:2006). Whilst this approach, of offering multiple media resources within a single space, could present a risk of “split attention effect” (Sweller:1999), by presenting the learning content as a separate object from the visual resource, this is largely avoided and allows the viewer to regard each item as a standalone element. Each days’ content was time-released and would then remain available in order that students could continue to refer to previous tips.
The site was designed, built and populated in time for the December 1st launch, and gained nearly 300 participants in the first few days.
And then #StormDesmond visited our main campus cities. One was under water and the other was powerless for nearly five days. Institutional Assessment deadlines were extended and changes were made to the 12 Seasonal Tips site to reflect the environmental challenges that were affecting our students. 12 Seasonal Tips continued to run, even managing to gain new subscribers.
427 individuals signed-up to the site, and 97% of respondents to the evaluation survey said they would engage with a similar future resource; leading to more of these themed “bite-sized courses” being planned.
The session will demonstrate the process of creating this appealing resource, look at how it worked in practice, highlight user engagement and discuss the learning we have taken from the experience.
Garner, R. L. (2006). Humor in pedagogy: How ha-ha can turn into aha! College Teaching, 4,177-180.
Gibson, J.J. (1977). The theory of affordances, In “Perceiving, Acting and Knowing”. Eds. Shaw, R.E. and Bransford, J.
Mayer, R.E. and Moreno, R. (2003). Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 43-52.
Sweller, J. (1999). Instructional design in technical areas. Camberwell, Australia: ACER Press.
Robert Reuter joined the session The Pen is Mightier than the Storm (#Desmond)  1 year, 1 month ago
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