Increasing Student Engagement and Retention using Multimedia Technologies: Video Annotation, Multimedia Applications, Videoconferencing and Transmedia Storytelling: Volume 6 Part F


Table of contents

(18 chapters)

The chapters in this book focus on using different types of multimodal, multimedia, and transmedia technologies to create technology-rich learning environments that have the potential to enable higher levels of academic motivation, participation, and engagement. Developments in relatively low cost and abundant digital technologies, coupled with the improvements in contemporary learning theories and pedagogical practices, are quickly enhancing and transforming the way we teach and learn in the 21st century and changing our understanding of what it means to teach and learn in a highly web-based multimedia world. At the individual, group, and institutional levels, these technologies are being used in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes. In teaching and learning, they offer promising and innovative ways to create more interesting and enjoyable academic environments and offer more meaningful and authentic ways to better engage the senses of learners. Mayer (1997) states that multimedia-based teaching and learning offers many benefits to educators (e.g., a variety of instructional options, more effective learning, and more efficient use of instructor time especially for very large classes). This is based on the core multimedia principle posited by Mayer (2005): people tend to learn more deeply with both words and images than from words alone.

Educators have always blended technology and pedagogy. With written, aural, and visual methods of sharing information optimized over time, the college and university classroom experience became a planned presentation of explicit knowledge through the revelation of course content. A respectable academic space emerged across disciplines where “the sage on the stage” could require textbooks and normalize assessment outcomes because content was decidedly controllable. There is a pedagogical crisis looming in higher education, however, the epicenter of which is student access to educational content that is useful and reliable without the major investment of a four-year degree. This crisis challenges higher education instruction to be less the medium of explicit knowledge (as it has been for decades) and more the dynamic and interactive medium whose mission is improving the thinking capacity of students through sharing and creating explicit and tacit knowledge. This chapter accordingly suggests that a seismic shift toward collaborative, problem-based approaches to learning is in order so that higher education instruction can redefine itself.

As educational institutions continue to call for greater accountability and learning outcomes take center stage, faculty, administrators, and institutions alike must assume a broader, more holistic approach to teaching and learning. As outlined in this chapter, technology and virtual spaces, when utilized well, can radically shift how graduate faculty can help doctoral students become critical and reflective thinkers, to develop or refine a professional identity, and help them to transform their assumptions about their knowledge and about themselves, a process that Kegan (1994) and Baxter Magolda (1999) call self-authorship. Using digital narratives as part of a technology-mediated classroom that is built around learning partnerships and principles of self-authorship is one way to accomplish this. Such an approach can lead to innovative practices in the classroom, deeper, more reflective learning for students, and greater overall success for our institutions. By combining multimedia tools and technology with an adult learning-centered pedagogy built around self-authoring practices of student development, faculty can more effectively organize doctoral education to engage and involve students in the process and to truly cultivate a new generation of doctoral students as scholars, researchers, and practitioners.

Transmedia – a single experience that spans across multiple forms of media – is still a new media in the educational landscape and therefore may pose a challenge to educators wanting to create opportunities for interactive media communications in their classrooms. In this chapter, we share an instance in which a university professor introduced transmedia to support graduate student learning to encourage inquiry, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, contemplation, and critical discourses. Further, we examine how two of the graduate students took their learning a step further by designing and creating a model transmedia lesson tailored for the 6th grade Social Studies classroom. This chapter provides a theoretical framework within which transmedia may be used: Learning and teaching as communicative actions theory – LTCA.

Two different types of technology-enabled stories that can help expand the notion of narratives are discussed in this chapter. The narratives found in digital storytelling and video games offer new possibilities and advantages for language learners and instructors. They are multimodal, immersive, and authentic; they offer significant motivational benefits and allow for agentive, situated, and participatory learning. Both forms, DST and video games, exemplify new modes of relating meaningful narratives. Media creation and sharing as well as gaming are familiar domains for today's learners. Thus, if these authentic practices are part of the learner's everyday experiences, it makes sense to utilize their potential for educational purposes. As the review of some applications in this chapter indicates, there is an area of convergence that is of particular interest for language learning purposes and may lead us to contemplate a redefinition of these narrative forms. In addition to more traditional narratives, these new and emergent forms can and should be represented in language learning curricula.

We describe an educational intervention pioneered by Te Kawa a Māui (TKaM), the School of Māori Studies at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), which was designed to improve the attraction and retention of (particularly) Māori students, by involving them in a school-wide research publication – in this case a digital cultural atlas of Māori Studies. We present and describe the work of 250 students from 10 different Māori Studies courses, who have trialled and submitted map-based assessment for the Te Kawa a Māui Atlas (TeKaMA). We argue that the quality and variety of student work is itself an indication of engagement. We then discuss how digital aspects of the work facilitated engagement, using data from course and assignment evaluations, interviews, informal feedback and an online survey. In line with other findings in the literature, digital aspects of our project had to be carefully managed and balanced, so that they did not disengage students from learning. However, our TeKaMA exercises provided multiple ways by which students could engage, with cultural mapping engaging all students, not just Māori. Our chapter discusses how this was facilitated by digital technology.

Lately, multimedia information and communication technologies are acting as catalyzing media that open up increasing opportunities for all with access to such technologies. Digital technology also offers potential to increase access to interactive as well as intercultural experience that develops cross-cultural competencies, while learning content may be further enhanced through collaborative learning in various areas. Kadir Has University in Istanbul undertook a challenging project with the initiative of the College of Staten Island (CSI) − CUNY (City University of New York) and became the international partner of a distant learning course through video conference between 2004 and 2009. The conceptual model behind this project is called the Global Experience Through Technology Project (GETT) initiated by CSI with the goal of using internet technology to bring university students of different cultures together in a virtual classroom.

This chapter introduces an emerging innovative technology known as MAT (Media Annotation Tool). MAT is an online tool that allows students to annotate video, thus improving student engagement and reflection. This chapter outlines the history of the development of this tool and provides analysis of data provided from a range of course integrations. From idea inception the goal was to render video active and collaborative for learning rather than traditional passive learning. In the multiple-case study it was found that students reported higher engagement/satisfaction with MAT in cases where there was learner-to-learner collaboration, teacher feedback and assessment linkage. This chapter focuses on the undergraduate cases of the study, from the disciplines of teacher education, medical radiation and chiropractic, and also references a postgraduate case from the discipline of law. The data from these cases points to the success of MAT as dependent on two key factors: learning design and the technical effectiveness of the MAT technology.

Advances in geospatial technology, web map interfaces, and other Web 2.0 tools provide new opportunities for educators to engage students in critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaborative skills. Although little attention has been given to learning from maps in higher education, knowledge of space is critical to attitudes and decision making as global citizens. Additionally, the ability to easily create multimedia maps offers new educational affordances for students at a distance and has the potential to link geographic and cultural understanding within the context of a variety of disciplines. We discuss the development of a mapping and blogging interactive learning environment, MapBlog, as a visual platform for representing information spatially. In this chapter, the MapBlog will be discussed as an interactive learning environment and as a visual platform for representing information spatially. We present and discuss four MapBlog categories: external content, student-created content, static content, and thematic.

The chapter presents findings from five qualitative reports from educators within the compulsory education sector who have partnered with a United Nations-recognized, nongovernmental organization (NGO), Global Education Motivators (GEM), in order to either introduce or expand curricular support for their students or to engage in professional dialogue with fellow educators facilitated through international videoconferencing programs. Through a long-standing collaboration between these educators, GEM has jointly developed programming which educates students on the United Nations and global issues including sustainability, human rights, child labor, poverty, and peace and conflict studies. Using an email-based survey questionnaire, the reported cases aim to explore the educators’ motivations to introduce and expand their students’ global engagement through the media of videoconferencing. The chapter highlights the potential outcomes of international videoconferencing for educators as a classroom tool or a professional development resource, as well as detailing a case study of an NGO–college partnership in which the NGO provides expertise, student internships, and noncredit professional development opportunities to its campus community and beyond.

Peter Adds is Associate Professor and the current Head of School for Te Kawa a Māui (the School of Māori Studies), Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has worked in Māori Studies at Victoria since 1984 following on from attaining a Master's degree in anthropology and archaeology, and he teaches Māori and Polynesian history and Māori customary concepts. He is on the executive committee of the Māori Association of Social Science. He is of Te Atiawa ki Taranaki descent and is in their Claim Negotiation team, having led the Waitangi Tribunal research for the Taranaki land claim. He is currently engaged in negotiations with the Crown seeking a Treaty settlement for his tribe. A former Ministerial appointment to the Board of the NZ Historic Places Trust and a member of the Maori Heritage Council, Peter has a strong background in heritage issues and was the keynote speaker at the NZ Archaeological Conference in 2010. He is an internationally recognized researcher and scholar and has extensive consultancy and training experience in areas relating to the Treaty of Waitangi.

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Cutting-Edge Technologies in Higher Education
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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