This article explores an exemplar of a Type 2 (Research to Improve Implementation Strategies) study. As the introductory article in this series described (Roblyer, 2005), our increasing reliance on technology-based communications has put many technology-based strategies into common use. These have often become strategies of choice not necessarily because they result in higher achievement or savings of time (for which there are few Type 1 studies to confirm), but because they use technologies that have become the automobiles to replace yesterday’s horses and carriages. Because implementations of these technology-based strategies vary widely and situations in which they are used have infinite permutations, we need many studies that examine thoroughly why certain implementations of a given technology can work well while others do not. While we cannot answer all questions about all possible implementations, we can discover trends that yield guidelines for how technologies should be implemented for maximum impact in many or most environments. The published study reviewed in this article offers such guidelines for the design and use of multimedia materials.
Three studies investigated whether and under what conditions the addition of on-screen text would facilitate the learning of a narrated scientific multimedia explanation. Students were presented with an explanation about the process of lightning formation in the auditory alone (nonredundant) or auditory and visual (redundant) modalities. In Experiment 1, the effects of preceding the nonredundant or redundant explanation with a corresponding animation were examined. In Experiment 2, the effects of presenting the nonredundant or redundant explanation with a simultaneous or a preceding animation were compared. In Experiment 3, environmental sounds were added to the nonredundant or redundant explanation. Learning was measured by retention, transfer, and matching tests. Students better comprehended the explanation when the words were presented auditorily and visually rather than auditorily only, provided there was no other concurrent visual material. The overall pattern of results can be explained by a dual-processing model of working memory, which has implications for the design of multimedia instruction.
The selection of a seminal piece on intercultural issues in technology and teacher education was challenging. Researchers interested in the field come from numerous fields of study, including education, anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, business, international relations, and communication. The two essays by Cliffort Gertz (1973a, b) discussed in this paper come from the anthropological field to challenge readers with important questions about what it really means to appreciate and model intercultural education. Gertz’s essays established the terms deep play and webs of significance. Two illustrations are provided of how technology can be used in teacher education to address these issues: Reading Classroom Explorer, which is a tool that can be used to promote intercultural appreciation of pedagogical and student diversity; and K-12/university professional development communities. The paper ends with a discussion about culture, teacher education, and educational technology that recognizes the challenges of multiple cultures and the role of thick description to get at such cultures. When this mature intercultural view of educational technology is realized, it is easier to see that the concept of a digital divide is often oversimplified and should be related to processes of adoption and diffusion of innovations (Rogers, 1995) through multiple cultures and intercultures.