513 – Worked Example Screencast

The following is a demonstration of a sequential approach to poetry analysis. The video was created using Camtasia.


513 – Digital Story

The following is a digital story/documentary produced for Edtech 513 Mulitmedia. I have two sons, one 4 years old and the other 20. In this story I question what goes on in the mind of a child and how the events and images of childhood influence who they are in adulthood.

513 – Coherence Analysis

  1. What is the Coherence Principle and its most important constraints/criteria?

The coherence principle in multimedia learning suggests that presentations must contain elements that are logical and consistent with the objectives of the presentation and that extraneous images, audio, or animation detracts from learning. “In short, according to the coherence principle, you should avoid adding any material that does not support the instructional goals.”(Clark & Mayer, 2008) The theory is that unnecessary audio or visual material may overload cognitive channels and decrease comprehension by the learner. Although, “Mayer listed positive results for eliminating extraneous materials in thirteen out of fourteen experiments…”(Clark & Mayer, 2008), it is still unclear how the coherence principle effects learners with extensive prior knowledge on a subject or learners within a long term instructional program. It is within this context that the Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer Enhanced learning recommends educators should “…identify techniques for presentation of verbal and visual information that minimizes working memory load and promotes meaningful learning.”(Moreno & Mayer, 1999)

  1. Describe and/or include one example of successful and one example of unsuccessful attempts to apply the Coherence Principle in actual instruction and training you have experienced, especially as it might be implemented in PowerPoint-based instruction and training. Have you ever seen this principle violated or abused? Identify the violations, including citations as needed from your textbook.

Many times, in an effort to increase interest or emotional arousal in a presentation, instructional designers will introduce extraneous multimedia elements in order to increase perceived level of excitement or engagement. Arousal theory is “the idea that entertaining and interesting embedded effects cause learners to become more emotionally aroused and therefore work harder to learn the material.”(Clark & Mayer, 2008) Unconsciously, this is the principle I have seen applied many times by students in my Media Arts classes who, after creating a presentation rich with interesting visuals and informative content, resort to overlaying the latest hip-hop hit that is appealing to the group, but irrelevant to the project. Student developers are hoping to appeal to the viewer’s musical aesthetic in order to engage their interest in the presentation, thereby reducing the likelihood of any meaningful learning. Alternatively, I have seen many examples of Media Arts students adhering to the coherence principle in the creation of nonverbal narratives, which use music to support the story through establishing the mood and atmosphere of the conflict and the emotional elements of character. Through the careful selection of music one can enhance the visual impact of the narrative and the overall impact of the presentation.

  1. Discuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to other Multimedia Learning Principles examined thus far in your readings.

Cognitive, Redundancy, and Modality Principles are related to each other and the Coherence Principle through their relationship to how people learn and the limitations of human perception. All of the theories revolve around the limitations of cognitive input and deal with sight, sound, and our ability to synthesize a finite amount of information at any given time. The above principles all relate to the organization of learning materials in such a way as to avoid overloading cognitive channels and designing educational materials to manipulate and maximize sensory input for learning.

  1. Discuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to fundamental theories of psychology as described by Clark & Mayer in your textbook.

As far back as 1913 John Dewey wrote in his paper Internet and effort in education, that “…interest cannot be added to an otherwise boring lesson like some kind of seasoning.”(Dewey, 1913). If the lesson is uninteresting, one must look to the material itself and in fact the introduction of unnecessary visuals or sound will have the opposite effect, distracting the learner and interfering with their ability to make sense of the given material. These negative learning results are amplified for students who have trouble processing information. Psychologically, it is suggested that learning materials that are streamlined to present in a coherent, uncluttered, and simplified manner, without the addition of supplemental material, are more likely to be understood and retained because the learning process stems from the students cognitive efforts to “fill in the gaps” and make sense of the material. Students given too much information on a topic, especially if it delivered in simultaneous cognitive channels, will not retain the information due to cognitive overload.


  1. What do you personally like or dislike about this principle? Present a coherent, informed opinion and explain why you hold this opinion. Are there any limitations or qualifications of the principle (caveats) which the authors did not consider and, if so, what are they?

It could be argued that the coherence principle simplifies the learning process and does not consider the cognitive capabilities of the advanced student. It is clear that there are limitations to cognitive input no matter how much previous knowledge a student has, however does the inclusion of examples that involve the application of the learning principles in real life situations qualify as extraneous? The text suggests that adding extraneous words to add technical depth to information such as providing extended examples of the learning principle at work may distract from the learning objectives. This may be applied to the learner who is new to the material, but can this be true with experienced students of the material? I would contest that providing real life applications of the learning material within a presentation would assist with the cognitive process of “making sense” of the material. In my experience providing contextual examples of concepts reinforces understanding and increases retention.



1. Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2008). E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.


2. Dewey, J. (1913). Internet and effort in education. Cambridge, MA: Houghton Mifflin.


3. Mayer, R.E.,  & Moreno, R. (2000). A Learner-Centered Approach to Multimedia Explanations: Deriving Instructional Design Principles from Cognitive Theory. Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer-Enhanced Learning. Wake Forest University.

513 – Podcast

My podcast series will provide adult learners with weekly lessons on how to play the saxophone. The concept I have in mind would be targeting adults who always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, but don’t have time to take private lessons. The series start with an historical introduction to the instrument and the basics of putting it together, where to place the fingers and how to form the embouchure. With the podcast learners would be able to listen, pause, and playback segments with the goal of familiarizing the student and allowing them to produce a sound after the first episode. The podcast format will allow me to provide examples of what it should sound like for the learner to use as reference.

Subsequent episodes of the podcast would teach and demonstrate specific techniques of how to play the instrument, how and what to practice, and provide suggestions for artists and recordings to go to that demonstrate great technique and sound.

I have worked with music files and recording a great deal in the past, but had no idea you could create a podcast, host it in dropbox and have it subscribe-able in itunes. This technique has some real potential for my classroom instruction. Currently I have students create podcasts on a variety of topics but we were uploading them to their student website; this way we can collect and maintain a class set of podcasts hosted on itunes that we can all subscribe to…awesome!

513- Multimedia Instruction

For several semesters in my Photography class I have included a unit which features the use of photo sensitive paper, photo enlargers and simple objects to create images. This process was pioneered my an American artist/photographer named Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitsky) in the 1920’s. The process allows photo students to create some very interesting pieces while learning some of the basic dark room procedures needed for subsequent photo enlargement projects. The process requires careful attention to detail in the design and creation of the images and I have always used a combination of text and demonstration delivery to teach the procedure. Through the use of this multimedia presentation students will be able to review each step of the process at any time to solidify concepts before embarking on each phase of the unit, as well as link to an external website on the life of the artist.

The presentation uses multimedia and contiguity principals in many ways such as its consistent colour and structure design and the sparing use of text on each slide. The opening slide for this assignment was to have been a list of instructional objectives, however I found that the list created a text dominated slide which would be overloading to the learner, therefore I broke it up into three separate slides. I used consistent spacing and alignment for images and text and highlighted key elements of the images with arrows and numbers.I first created this presentation using Power Point and then uploaded the slides to Google Presentation. It is a good way to use some of the flexibility of PPT, however there were some textual elements I had to adjust after the PPT document was uploaded.After several attempts to embed the Google Presentation into this wordpress blog, I chose to upload the presentation to Slideshare which embedded without difficulty.
I used a combination of images labeled for reuse, drawings, and photographs I took to illustrate the process from rough design to mounting and labeling.

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Here is the link to the Google presentation that includes the speaker notes to this presentation.

Creating My Learning Log – 513

Create a new post, calling it “Creating My Learning Log,” discussing how you used a blogging platform to create a website. Include information on how this activity aligns with the AECT Standard(s) you included on the post label.

This learning log was created in my first semester of study at Boise State University as a way to keeping track of, and reflect on the learning activities within the course work. I have posted comments and displayed work here from each course I have taken over the past year. The use of the wordpress blogging platform is an easily accessible strategy for students to create content, generate discussion, gather feedback and display their work to the world. Through the use of tags and categories students can keep track of posts and access material quickly. By using an RSS feeds students can also keep track of posts from classmates and access those posts to reply. WordPress offers many free templates for users to customize the look and feel of their site, with new templates developed by users being offered continually. Of course, the biggest advantage to the use of a blogging platform to set up a website is that there is no cost and students do not need coding knowledge or a subscription to a web hosting service. Students can use the many widgets available to customize their site and embed images, audio, and video material directly on their site.

With the ease and convenience of a blog platform to develop a website students and teachers will address many of the AECT standards in learning. Teachers and students can use the the website to design and develop engaging, interactive instruction and multimedia responses that demonstrate learning. The management standard is addressed as students and teachers organize and manage information that is used on their web page to organize project material and deliver content in an easily accessible manner.

2.3 Computer-Based Technologies
Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources.

AECT Standards

Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to design conditions for learning by applying principles of instructional systems design, message design, instructional strategies, and learner characteristics.

Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to develop instructional materials and experiences using print, audiovisual, computer-based, and integrated technologies.

Candidates demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to use processes and resources for learning by applying principles and theories of media utilization, diffusion, implementation, and policy-making.

Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to plan, organize, coordinate, and supervise instructional technology by applying principles of project, resource, delivery system, and information management.

Candidates demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to evaluate the adequacy of instruction and learning by applying principles of problem analysis, criterion-referenced measurement, formative and summative evaluation, and long-range planning.