The emergence of multimedia technologies has been set against a background of increasing student numbers and decreasing resources, increased administrative burdens for teachers, and increased demands for research output. Using multimedia courseware and thereby reducing the amount of teacher-student contact time appears to offer the scope for significant efficiency savings.
It is often claimed that multimedia technology offers a more stimulating and motivating learning environment than that associated with traditional teaching methods. The validity of this claim is examined in relation to some established motivation theories.
The motivation to learn is an important aspect of effective teaching. Vroom (Vroom V.H (1964)) demonstrated that increased motivation is directly translated into increased performance. This expectancy theory of motivation states that a person’s motivation is based on an interaction between the person’s expectation of being able to successfully complete a task and the value of that task to the person.
On the other hand, distinguishes between factors which act as positive motivating influences and hygiene factors. The presence of hygiene factors does not provide a motivating force, but their absence demotivates.
There is a temptation to overplay the motivational capability of multimedia. Multimedia packages are not necessarily more stimulating methods of learning. Indeed, the so-called page-turning multimedia products, which are little more than textbooks plus flashing lights, can be particularly tedious and dull. We must, therefore, specify how multimedia can be used to motivate students to learn.
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