[ IIMS 92 contents ]
An instructional model for multimedia language learning: A case study
Senior Lecturer, Instructional Design, Educational Media Centre
Curtin University of Technology
Lecturer, Japanese Language Specialist, Japanese IV Project
Western Australian Distance Education Consortium
These notes are designed to accompany the HyperCard presentation of a prototype instructional model for an interactive language videodisc. The presentation will describe how the considerations listed below influenced the development of the instructional model. The presenters will also discuss the possibilities of using this model to develop other multimedia language programs.
Considerations that influenced the development of the instructional model
Figure 1 outlines the main instructional pathways prototyped on HyperCard.
- To develop materials which were learner centred rather than 'technology centred'. We focussed first on the needs of our target students and later considered whether the technology was appropriate.
- To give students an opportunity to move freely within the program. However, we recognised that in beginner foreign language acquisition, there are basic skills that need to be taught and learnt. We wanted students to follow a structured sequence; we wanted to encourage but not compel students to progress from early units of study to the later ones. The aim was to grade language included in the video clips, and related exercises and activities.
- To keep the program as simple as possible; the aim being that users should learn the content not the system. We saw a need to develop a simple framework which would generate all instructional materials. This framework was to be used for all Units of study within the program and therefore students would only need to have minimal understanding of the system and technology.
- To keep the navigation through the program simple and clear. We assumed that most learners would have little or no experience of computers, so we wanted to ensure that all controls were standardised, simple and made easily recognisable. An audit trail was also considered essential as this would enable students and teachers to see where they had gone within the system and how well they had done. For the project manager and instructional design team, seeing where students had gone would provide useful guidelines for improving pathways and for use in formative evaluation.
- To ensure flexibility: the program had to be designed for classroom use as well as use by independent learners. The aims were to build in a flexibility which would: allow teachers to switch off parts of the program options to prevent, for example, students viewing video sequences with English subtitles; allow teachers to add their own mark to the program, for example, by enabling teachers to include extra activities, tests and assessment tasks; and finally to ensure a flexibility which would enable independent users to interrupt the program in order to go back or forward and to move to other parts of the program.
- To keep the amount and intensity of interaction between the user and the program materials as high as possible.
- To ensure that users gained satisfaction from working with the program and would therefore wish to return to it. The aims were to provide enjoyable, as well as pedagogically sound user interactivity, feedback on users learning progress and simplicity of navigation through the program.
- To use short bursts of running video vignettes before providing stops in the program for user interaction. A more detailed description of the rationale behind using short video clips appears elsewhere in the IMM symposium proceedings (Temple et al. 1992).
- To identify and exploit the potential of the technology for language learning noting that interactive videodisc is most suited to listening, comprehension and speaking with reading and writing given lower priority (Looms 1990).
- To develop materials around a methodology that was immediately accessible to language teachers using the program in the classroom and which would also cater for the needs of the independent language learner. The method chosen was the same as that used by Simon Fraser University's interactive learning system to teach French as a second language, namely a language functions approach (Kirchner 1988). Details on the language approach chosen for the program is outlined in Pinfold (1991). The appeal of this approach lay not only in its compatibility with user needs but also with the capabilities of interactive videodisc for providing extensive listening and oral practice.
- To take into account the standard stages of language teaching and learning: the presentation of target language within meaningful realistic contexts, followed by the practice of the target language through a variety of activities, drilling, repetition etc. and finally the production of the target language by the learner through role plays, simulations and games.
Figure 1: Main instructional pathways protyped on Hypercard
Kirchner, G. (1988). Simon Fraser University's new interactive learning system to teach French as a second language. Optical Information Systems, January/February.
Looms, P. O. (1990). The use of interactive media in foreign language learning. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 6(1), 11-19.
Pinfold, C. (1991). The interactive videodisc: Language Partner - Japanese 1. In Proceedings from the Japanese Studies Association of Australia 7th Biennial Conference, ANU, Canberra.
Temple, A., Pinfold, C., Latchem, C. & Fox, R. (1992). Language Partner - Japanese 1: A case study in cooperative multimedia courseware development. In Promaco Conventions (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Interactive Multimedia Symposium, 157-167. Perth, Western Australia, 27-31 January. Promaco Conventions.
|Authors: Mr Robert Fox, BEd (Hons) (Lond), RSA Dip TEFL, MA (Educ) (Lond), has taught and conducted consultancies in Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Singapore and Australia. Currently Senior Lecturer in Instructional Design in the Educational Media Centre at Curtin University, his research interests relate to applications of technology for on and off campus teaching and learning.
Ms Christy Pinfold, BA DipEd, has been involved in foreign language education in tertiary institutions in both Japan and Australia. She has twice been the recipient of Japanese Government Ministry of Education Scholarships and currently is involved with resource development as Japanese language teaching specialist for the WA Distance Education Consortium.
Please cite as: Fox, R. and Pinfold, C. (1992). An instructional model for multimedia language learning: A case study. In Promaco Conventions (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Interactive Multimedia Symposium, 71-74. Perth, Western Australia, 27-31 January. Promaco Conventions.
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