Reflections on Why Media Comparison Studies Continue To Be Conducted--with Suggested Alternatives
This paper discusses media comparison studies and reasons that research of this nature is pursued, especially in the area of computer-based interactive video (CBIV). Three scenarios are presented to demonstrate instances in which the knowledge of the relative effectiveness of CBIV is important and useful: (1) the case of the administrator who requires data to help make an informed decision about major budget expenditure, i.e., macro media acquisition decisions; (2) the well designed research results that are misrepresented, very often because of ignorance on the part of the researchers; and (3) student studies that are loosely conceptualized, with a resulting proliferation of trivialized media comparison studies. It is postulated that for the main question posed in each of these scenarios, i.e., whether CBIV is effective, there are two underlying questions integral to the scenarios, whether interactive video is effective, and whether CBIV is cost-effective. It is suggested that additional studies should be conducted to compare media from an economic standpoint, and to emphasize to administrators that they actually need data on the cost of CBIV in order to determine its effectiveness. In addition, factors that enable or prohibit the medium from reaching its potential for delivering effective instruction are identified and divided into two categories, non-media-related and media-related. Finally, three important interrelated areas of study described as the new points of emphasis in considering media effectiveness are examined: instructional and motivational strategies research; message design research; and intra-medium studies. (7 references) (CGD)
Grabowski, B.L. Reflections on Why Media Comparison Studies Continue To Be Conducted--with Suggested Alternatives.