Applying multimedia learning theories to the redesign of Residence Life online training modules
Licinia Barrueco Kaliher, University of Delaware, United States
University of Delaware . Awarded
The purpose of this Executive Position Paper (EPP) is to develop a model for improving the online training modules utilized by a mid-Atlantic Residence Life department. The complexity of the Residence Life staff positions, coupled with demands from other university departments and the need to provide as much information as possible, resulted in an increase in the use of online training modules. The WebCT evaluation conducted in Fall 2008 revealed several problems with the current online training module approach. This 2008 WebCT evaluation indicated the need to explore learning theories and multimedia learning literature and apply them to a new online training design. As such, a literature review was conducted and four learning and instructional theories were selected to guide the design process of the pilot online training module: Gagné’s Conditions of Learning (1985), Constructivism (in particular Situated Learning), Cognitive Load Theory, and the Cognitive theory of multimedia learning (Mayer, 2001). Informed by the Fall 2008 WebCT module evaluation and literature review, a pilot online training model was designed. A module delivering the content area of room inspections was then developed based on the pilot online training model. A mixed-method approach using quantitative and qualitative techniques was utilized to examine the effectiveness of the pilot online training module in its ability to impact learning. New and returning Residence Life paraprofessionals were recruited to participate in this study (n = 34). Qualitative results from a pre- and post-test indicated significant differences in content knowledge gained by participants. Qualitative data also demonstrated the level of impact the pilot online training module had on content learning. The following themes emerged: (1) RA role defined, (2) Prior knowledge, (3) Application of knowledge, (4) Interactivity, (5) Knowledge retention, (6) Metacognitive processes, and (7) Module effectiveness. The data analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data showed a positive correlation between the pilot online training module and content knowledge retention and application. The results of this EPP confirmed that an online training module that is theory-based and technologically-advanced will actively engage and teach staff members, improve their knowledge base, and facilitate the application of this knowledge to their work with students. Recommendations, additional areas for research, and the limitations of the study are presented.
Kaliher, L.B. Applying multimedia learning theories to the redesign of Residence Life online training modules. Ph.D. thesis, University of Delaware.
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