Learning and Teaching Has Drastically Term Paper

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While the importance of clear and lucid subject matter cannot be underestimated, it is equally important that sometimes the learners are presented with a problem (as a subject) so that their critical thinking and learning skills are not only exposed but also polished. Patricia Deubel (2003) writes, "Learning is organized around problem solving, rather than around subject matter. The teacher's role is to support students in their critical thinking skills, self-directed learning skills, and content knowledge in relation to problems. The teacher does not teach students what they should know or set a time for when they should know it (Patricia Deubel, 2003)."

From the above mentioned facts, it is clear that both behaviorist and cognitive methods of teaching are vital for appropriate development of skills and competencies. The multimedia instructional laboratory will employ the above tow models of teaching so that the students feel encouraged and are able to integrate the new multimedia tools in their learning process.

The most suitable multimedia instructional technologies

It is clear from the above mentioned facts that multimedia is an ever-growing and ever-developing field. New technologies are being invented and brought into the market. Getting accustomed to these technologies and assessing their advantages and drawbacks can become a very complicated process. Therefore, this multimedia laboratory will use the most common multimedia tools, having the least disadvantages. These two multimedia technologies are (1) Video-on-demand (2) Computer-assisted instruction (CAI).

Video-on-demand

The Video-on-demand technology is important as it paves way for many new multimedia functions over the Internet. It not only saves time but also benefits the learners as it is very individualized. Shousan Wang (2000) writes, "Instead of downloading the file in its entirety before playing it, streaming technology takes a different approach: it downloads the beginning of the files, forms a buffer of packets, and when an appropriate buffer is reached, the client player plays back the packets in a seamless stream. While the viewer is watching, it downloads the next portion, etc., until the entire file is played (Shousan Wang, 2000)."

Furthermore, one of the fundamental reasons underlying the growing interest in this technology is its capacity to allow multiple users to interact at the same time. Shousan Wang (2000) writes, "The system allows one digitally encoded video to be used concurrently by many instructors and students, solving the problem of limited viewing facilities. The flexibility of digital video also enables new ways of presenting comparative materials as well as providing more efficient ways to undertake typical student assignments. For example, it facilitates repetitions of a single scene for in-depth analysis"

Shousan Wang (2000) sums up the advantages of using the video-on-demand technology, "It allows a number of people to be able to view a particular video file from a server simultaneously, while fully retaining their other network functions; It provides a networked video communication and presentation system for the organization; It reduces dramatically the cost of multi-point video conferencing and it is able to use multimedia workstations linked by LAN or WAN providing computer-supported collaboration (Shousan Wang, 2000)."

Computer-assisted instruction (CAI)

In any form of learning, it is important that focus and concentration of the learners is completely directed towards the subject being studied. Since, computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is using both audio and visual senses of the learners, high probability of uninterrupted focus and concentration exists. As Shousan Wang (2000) writes, "The attention of students is gained by introducing rapid stimulus changes. Studies indicated that effective CAI programs use the capabilities of the computer to amplify information, by varying the use of features such as colors, print size, text display rate, and others (16) (Shousan Wang, 2000)."

It is important to note that this technology is ever-changing; therefore, the teachers should carefully plan out their objectives before using this technology. Furthermore, it is also important to note that computer-assisted instruction (CAI) will not replace the teacher, but will assist him/her in the learning process. Shousan Wang (2000) writes, "A well-designed program motivates the learner, informs the learner of the objectives of the lesson, reviews prerequisite skills required for the student to be successful in the lesson, presents well-organized instruction, evaluates progress frequently, provides adequate feedback, allows for adequate practice, and evaluates final performance of the student and of the lesson itself. Thus effective CAI is based on the principles of instructional design (Shousan Wang, 2000)."

From the abovementioned facts, it is clear that both Video-on-demand and Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) are important multimedia tools and are widely used in the educational field. Therefore, the aim of this instructional laboratory will be to employ both these multimedia tools in a way that enriches the learning experience of the learners and augments the teaching experience of the teachers in profound dimensions.

A layout of the laboratory

The layout of the multimedia instructional laboratory room is 12.65m X 5.5m. Since, the interaction between the learners will be through email and the word processing technology; and the interaction between the teacher and the student will be verbal, therefore, the seating arrangement will be horseshoe shaped. Not only will this seating arrangement allow the instructor to interact with the learners openly and candidly, but it will also encourage the class to view the demonstration with increased focus and concentration. This seating arrangement will not only allow adequate space for a number of extra curricular activities but also provide a clear view to the learners who will be using computers and videos during their learning experience; a clear view of not only the monitor but also the instructor and other multimedia tools being used in the laboratory.

The physical environment of the laboratory will not possess uneven floors, broken or shattered ceilings and will not be closed room possessing few or no windows. Rather, the instructional laboratory will possess smooth and leveled flooring and will also facilitate cross-ventilation so that the laboratory environment may positively influence the operations of the laboratory. The doors of the room should not be too hard to open so that the disabled (if any) persons do not find it difficult to open. Furthermore, at least 3-5% of the seats and tables should be prepared keeping in view the requirements of the handicaps.

Furthermore, the setting up of electrical and lighting equipment cannot be overlooked as they too may adversely influence the operations of the class. As far as the electronic equipment is concerned, it will be ensured that they are positioned in a way, which does not endanger the learners stumbling over the wires or the switch boards. The lighting system should be in control of the instructor as he may vary the light color and intensity according to the requirements of the lecture. Furthermore, florescent and incandescent lighting should be used indirectly so that a cool and relaxed atmosphere can be given to the teachers and learners.

The horseshoe seating arrangement will make the learners feel that the learning experience is more learner-centered because it will allow the students to interact with their instructor and at the same time get to see and hear the views of fellow learners. In fact, it will allow the student to be more active in the learning process by posing more questions and giving more replies paving way for multiple loops learning as they will be able to consider each others views. This process will encourage them to use their creative, analytical and critical thinking skills and will also allow them to quickly grasp the current activity before moving on to another one. The constant interaction between the instructor and the learners will also allow them to interact more freely and candidly, which will make them realize their mistakes and encourage them to quickly fix them and move on with others in the class.

Once the instructions are under way, it is imperative that the instructor spells out the users and the sub-users of the multimedia tools that are being used so that the equipment can be properly maintained and the users are aware of their responsibilities and limitations. A technician will be present throughout the use of the laboratory in order to maintain the flow of learning and ensuring that malfunction of all the hardware or software is avoided. The use of the laboratory will be limited to learners, instructors and technicians. Furthermore, each user will be given a specified username and password, which that user will use every time he logs on to his computer. The accounts of all users will be validated in a consistent basis and all users will be asked to log out of their computers, once their work is completed, for security purposes. While the instructor will maintain high-quality relations with the learners, he/she will… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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