The influence of educational technologies on a short-term recall and recognition task
Mary Christina Birbaum, University of Cincinnati, United States
University of Cincinnati . Awarded
Educational technologies and the World Wide Web possess the potential to revolutionize the educational system. During the last decade, advances in computers have increased access to educational technology in colleges nationally. The Campus Computing Project (2001) reported that college faculty used multimedia technology in a fifth of their courses and Internet in a third of their classes. However, despite the proliferation of educational technology at the college level, there is a paucity of empirical data on what constitutes effective pedagogy. Without an understanding of the effects of Web-based instruction and learning, there is the danger that college courses employing educational technology will become prematurely driven by technology rather than pedagogy.
The purpose of this investigation was to explore the influence of computer enhanced lecture formats (i.e., slideshow presentations), Virtual Learning Environments (VLE), and traditional lecture formats on short-term recall and recognition at the postsecondary level. Specifically, the aims of this project were to (1) explore which of three conditions: Traditional Lecture, Slideshow Enhanced, or VLE would demonstrate the greatest recall; (2) determine whether individual information processing preferences would influence recall, and; (3) investigate which condition would be perceived as the most mentally taxing.
Participants in the Slideshow Enhanced and the VLE conditions showed higher recall than participants in the Traditional Lecture conditions. We were unable to fully explore the influence of information processing style on recall due to the overwhelming number of visual processors found in the sample. Our sample likely reflected the presence of the newest generation of students entering college: the Millennial Generation. Relative to earlier generations, Millennials appears to possess a unique level of familiarity with computers and educational technology. The higher recall found in the Slideshow Enhanced and VLE conditions may be due to the Millennials familiarity with visual presentation and technology. However, despite their familiarity, participants in the study reported being more frustrated with the VLE than participants in the other conditions. Their increased frustration may have stemmed from the goal-directed nature of the experimental task, which required them to be active information seekers. A teacher may serve to mediate this experience by providing direction.
Birbaum, M.C. The influence of educational technologies on a short-term recall and recognition task. Ph.D. thesis, University of Cincinnati.
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