TRANSFORMING CURRICULA FOR ONLINE DELIVERY
Covid-19 has accelerated academia's relationship with online provision. That relationship has initially been driven more by necessity, imperative and expediency than pedagogy and practice, but we are learning fast. In many ways, it is the second great transformation in teaching and learning we've faced in as many decades. The onset of the digital era gave us new software tools like PowerPoint, and there's an important lesson to learn from how we used. By continuing to privilege monomedia content (mainly text) as we have done for centuries, we ignored both digital and cognitive capacity and potential. We commonly drive old analogue monomedia content though new digital multimedia platforms, when those platforms are perfect for multimedia content that is proven to better engage our students' minds. Moving online now should not make that same mistake. We should take full advantage of everything digital capacity has to offer in the sphere of student intellectual engagement - without ever forgetting that teaching and learning is above all else a social relationship.
We see an opportunity to draw together two great forces that can transform how students experience academic content, and ensure that geographic distance does not diminish academic engagement. First, cognitive neuroscience has shown for the last half century that our brains universally have two cognitive channels though which information is absorbed. When we teach using both (instead of privileging only one for text), our teaching is aligned with how our brains are biologically constructed. Second, the movement online relies on and reinforces digital infrastructures ideally suited for multimedia operations. Integrating digital multimedia methods ensures that this move supports cognitive engagement and learning as well as practical expediency.
This is no whim or coincidence. Multimedia Learning methods are supported by half a century of cognitive psychology. They work regardless of culture, gender or locale because they are universally rooted in and mirror our cognitive neurological architecture. We are at a socio-digital nexus: the converging of the most visual era of human existence with the scientifically-established recognition that we learn better from images and words than words alone.
We made a TEDx video that outlines the nature of MML pedagogy and demonstrates the ease with which it can be integrated into online provision.
We have been working with MML methods for 5 years. In that time we have conducted and published longitudinal randomized control group trials across UK HE. This research leaves no doubt about increases in student engagement, active learning and inclusivity when we balance pedagogic delivery between audio-textual and visual content. There's a section below with publications where you can see for yourself.
Images are natively-compatible with online provision, and HE has the digital platforms in place that can exploit that synergy. We can show you how to convert conventional analogue and digital content into engaging online provision that will engage, activate and include across the disciplinary spectrum.
Dyslexia is the most common reported disability in HE, and more dyslexic learners join us each year. Dyslexia nearly universally involves issues with working memory, which is part of the cognitive architecture overwhelmed by excessive text. Integrating imagery into curricula has been shown in longitudinal research to dramatically increase dyslexic learner engagement by between 80% and 100%, something that will become vital as we migrate content online.
Multimedia Briefing, in Multimedia Format
"HAVING THIS POWERPOINT APPROACH DEMONSTRATED LIVE WAS VERY COMPELLING"
'Terrific presenter, very useful and inspiring'
REFRESHING APPROACH TO PRESENTATIONS, FEELING ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THIS APPROACH... HE WAS A VERY GOOD SPEAKER... ENGAGING AND RECEPTIVE TO THE AUDIENCE AND WHAT THEY WANTED
Most engaging and kept attention. Aware of our reality in the classroom... The idea seemed almost obvious after he had pointed it out... Really liked that he was so open to engage in a critical discussion of what he was presenting... I found the session very helpful and interesting. The slides were captivating and immediately drew my attention... to the power of using images... David’s presenting style was very easy to follow and engage with... The presentation was very interesting and forward thinking. It gave me confidence to be braver.
"ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING LECTURER, FANTASTIC TO LISTEN TO"
The way he produces his lectures is phenomenal. He's probably the best lecturer I've ever had
OUR TIME WITH DAVID HAS BEEN A BIG HELP, AND ALREADY I FIND
MYSELF THINKING ABOUT AND APPEALING TO STUDENTS' VISUAL SENSE TO HELP THEM LEARN.
David is a gem!
LIKE AN OASIS IN THE DESERT
Looking forward to more
Really enjoyed it.. lots of things to think about. Many thanks :)
HIGHER EDUCATION ACADEMY
Dr. Roberts' development of enquiry-based and active approaches to visual communication provides a genuine innovation in this area of teaching and learning that is advancing pedagogic research and practice. The scope of Dr. Roberts' research and practice demonstrate its capacity to reach across disciplines and a wide range of university settings in the UK and beyond. Specifically, the HEA's support for Dr. Roberts... in this area recognizes the innovative approach to the physiological match between how we learn and understand, on the one hand, and on the other, how we teach and communicate. The reach of Dr. Roberts' work is also readily applicable to the commercial and private sector as an antidote to 'Death by PowerPoint'. The method is shown in the peer0reviewed press to increase audience engagement and to strengthen active learning practices where normally they are diminished.
Brilliant to see this progressing so well
Having been at one of the presentations he did, I've definitely increased the number of images I use in slides. I even did an entire presentation at a Summer School... Loved it and I think the audience did too!
Participants gave us really positive feedback on the session and... they are going to make... changes for maximum impact.
It was superb and really helped colleagues see ways in which visual pedagogies can... create more meaningful and engaging lectures. It was very much appreciated by the audience, as was the more technical discussion that you led in response to the later questions.
Thank you for the session. I really enjoyed it and will use some of the ideas to kick off some discussion when I run my session on using digital technology and accessibility
SEDA CPD event, BIrmingham 2018
'I now have the theoretical knowledge to back up the use of imagery, and to help develop the use of it in teaching to support learning'
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