Laureen Kodani | ePortfolio
There was an abundance of information this week and I found myself desperately trying to absorb knowledge. One of the main themes this week is the importance of designing online instruction with a multimodal approach which addresses the many different learning styles. Emerging technologies continue to pave the way for dynamic, engaging, interactive, and immersive instructional tools. Web 2.0 has evolved into a new concept called Collaboration 2.0 enabling new levels of human interactivity in the realm of social networking.  Two-way communication in a synchronous learning environment allows for real-time sharing of knowledge and immediate feedback. Communities of practice are formed amongst participants to facilitate the exchange of ideas and promote meaningful learning experiences. Newer studies no longer question whether these tools are being utilized. Instead, studies focus on what can create a more effective instructional strategy using multimodal methods in a Collaboration 2.0 setting. Here are a few key points to remember when producing media for instruction; present (deliver) information by incorporating images and text simultaneously with balance, use a layout design which enables easy viewing on the eyes, and augment delivery with verbal narration. To meet the social interaction component of instruction, complement media with Collaboration 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking which supports dialogue and learning.  

The reading is helpful because we need to remember that our brains work to traffic information in a bi-directional way. Different generational learners also mean different learning styles. In particular, millennial learners are digital natives and thrive in a multi-tasked environment. Without a doubt, learner characteristics vary and it is essential to design instruction with the 21st century learner in mind. Multimodal strategies activate different responses from different learners while knowledge acquisition occurs. If we consider a multimodal approach to instruction, we can position our learning environment to reach more learners. A learner can exercise flexibility to scaffold old and new knowledge in the learning process. This can be based upon individual preference, technical expertise, relevance, and cognitive skills.           

In my personal experience, multimodal environments improve my acquisition of knowledge because different senses (auditory, visual, and verbal) are interactively stimulated. Observing, participating, and reflecting actively converts information into knowledge. When possible, actual experience of the information becomes experiential knowledge. I feel that my comprehension, retention, and critical thinking skills are better and produce higher quality results. All of this can be applied in a personal, professional, and academic context.  

Whew! There is so much to learn and we are barely scratching the surface. 

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