Continuing the discussion from Readings: The Media Debate:
The Media Debate
How does the instructional medium influence instruction? Some say that it doesn’t matter what kind of truck delivers your cans of beans to the grocery store. I suggest that refrigerated trucks allow us to eat seafood in the summer.
This 27 page 2007 article, sums up the debate fairly well. The take-home message is that doing a study that compares delivering the "same" instruction in one medium (e.g., a face-to-face lecture) with another (e.g., a MOOC) is a waste of time. If the instruction really is the same, there will be no difference. If there is a difference, it is because the instruction was different. Instead, design instruction to take advantage of the affordances of the medium. (If you do not know what an affordance is, you should click the link and read the definition on Wikipedia and see also this short piece, and mention that in your response so that I can know whether to make a bigger deal about affordances in the future.)
Warnick, Bryan R. & Burbules, Nicholas C. (2007) Media Comparison Studies: Problems and Possibilities Teachers College Record. 109(11) p2483-2510 http://www.tcrecord.org/library/content.asp?contentid=14566
NOTE: If the above link will not work even when redirecting through the proxy server, you may need to search for the article through your library’s database. This link might work for USA affiliates, but I also have made the PDF available here.
Though the entirety of this decades-old debate is beyond the scope of interest for many readers, I include it here for those who may be interested. If you are pursuing a PhD, these references might be worth taking note of. This exchange, though from long ago, is still frequently cited. I especially like Kozma’s response.
- Reconsidering Research on Learning from Media (Clark, 1983) DOI:10.3102/00346543053004445
- Learning with Media (R. Kozma, 1991) DOI:10.3102/00346543061002179
- Delivery Trucks or Groceries? More Food for Thought on Whether Media (Will, May Can’t) Influence Learning (Ross, 1994) DOI:10.1007/BF02299086
- Will Media Influence Learning? Reframing the Debate (R. B. Kozma, 1994) DOI:10.1007/BF02299087
- Media Will Never Influence Learning (Clark, 1994) DOI:10.1007/BF02299088
- Learning with Media: Restructuring the Debate (D. H. Jonassen, Camp- bell, & Davidson, 1994) DOI:10.1007/BF02299089
- Clark’s Invitation to the Dance: An Instructional Designer’s Response (Reiser, 1994) DOI:10.1007/BF02299091
What to do
- Read Warnick & Burbules (2007).
- Reply (not reply-as-linked-topic) to this message with a 200-500 word response by Thursday
- Reply to at least 2 people’s responses. At least one reply must be after Thursday