Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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After you have logged on to the Wiki, you will see "discussion" tab at the top of this page. Please "click" on the "Discussion" tab read and reply to one or more of the posted messages. Information will be drawn from the posted messages to address "Question #1."

Study #1: analysis of the illustrations found within the curricular materials most frequently used within K-12 Deaf Education

Question #1: What are the curricular materials that are most commonly used within hte K-12 education of students who are d/hh?

Students who are d/hh commonly perform at an academic level that is significantly less than their learning potential. Problems associated with hearing loss are cited as the root cause of this discrepancy between potential and performance. While the presence of a hearing loss, and the related problems, unquestionably impacts academic performance, additional factors must also be considered.

During the past twenty years there has been a tremendous increase in educators' use of computer based, internet linked technologies. This increase has been driven both by technological developments and the belief that the instructional use use of computers, LCD projectors, document cameras, Web sites, etc. serves to enhance student learning by making instructional material more visual and engaging. Unfortunately, the link between technology use and student performance has been difficult to establish. Research by Richard Mayer and others has established that simply using technology in a way that appears to be innovative and engaging is insufficient to enhance the quality of student learning (how much a student remembers and how well the student can apply that learning). Mayer's research has concentrated upon the systematic identification and investigation of what he refers to as the "principles of multimedia learning." These principles establish how multimedia presentations, i.e., both print and computer based, should be designed to support instruction so that it matches how individuals learn. When such a "match" is established, Mayer's research has documented that the quality of student learning is significantly enhanced. As a result, student learning can be enhanced through not simply the use of technologies, but the effective design of multimedia instruction. Unfortunately, while the use of these principles have been extensively examined in relation to learners who are hearing, the principles have not been tested in relation to students who are d/hh. As a result, it is not known if the use of Mayer's principles of multimedia learning could serve to decrease the difference between potential and performance demonstrated by many of students who are d/hh.

A first step in the use of Mayer's principles would be an analysis of the illustrations used within the curricular materials that are most commonly used within the K-12 education of students who are d/hh. Information within chapter 12 of Mayer's text (see below) could be used to guide such an analysis. The purpose of such an analysis would be to determine the degree to which the illustrations provided students with type of information that Mayer found to facilitate multimedia learning. This information, in turn, could then be used to carry out subsequent studies to determine relative ability of students who are d/hh to cirrecty draw information from illustration with a high, vs a low, degree of complicance with Mayer's principles of multimedia learning. Such studies would constitute an examination of the degree to which Mayer's "multimedia principle" (see below) applied to students who are d/hh. Before the investigations can begin, one question must be answered, i.e.,

Question #1: What are the curricular materials that are most commonly used within hte K-12 education of students who are d/hh?

Note: Please use the "Discussion" section of this page to provide your reply to this question. In addition, please feel free to post additional questions, comments, and suggestions concerning the proposed research in the "Discussion" section of this page.

If you need any technical assistance in using this wiki, please contact Mrs. Sherry Ernsberger/Project Assistant (

Mayer, R. 2009 - Ch. 12 Multimedia Principle:

p. 223
Multimedia Principle = "People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone."

p. 223
"When words and pictures are both presented, learners have an opportunity to construct verbal and visual mental models and to build connections between them."

p. 228
"The instructor's job is not only to present material but also to help guide the learner's cognitive processing of the presented material."

p. 229
"...the act of building connections between verbal and pictorial mental models is an important step in conceptual understanding..."

p. 236
Categorization of text illustrations...
[possible model for the possible analysis of curricular material used with students who are d/hh]

p. 236
"...categorized each illustration as belonging to one of the following categories:

decorative = illustrations that are intended to interest or entertain the reader but that do not enhance the message of the passage, such as a picture of a group of children playing in a park for a lesson on physics principles;

representational = illustrations that portray a single element, such as a picture of the space shuttle with a heading, 'The Space Shuttle';

organizational = illustrations that depict relations along elements, such as a map or chart showing the main parts of the heart;

explanative = illustrations that explain how a system works, such as the frames explaining how pumps work in Figure 12.2.

The results were that the overwhelming majority of illustrations served no important instructional purpose; 23 percent were decorational and 62 percent were representational. By contrast, only a small minority of the illustrations enhanced the instructional message; 5 percent were organizational, and 10 percent were explanative. From this kind of analysis, we can conclude that the potential power of graphics is not being met."

p. 238
"Overall, research on illustrations in text yields two important results relevant to the multimedia effect: (a) textbook authors who add illustrations to their text often fail to take full advantage of the potential power of graphics as an aid to understanding, and (b) adding a carefully designed graphic advance organizer to a text passage can greatly enhance student understanding."

p. 240
Implications for Multimedia Instruction = "The multimedia principle is perhaps the most fundamental principle of multimedia design: Present words and pictures rather than words alone."