Posted: June 20th, 2021
Multimedia, which is in essence a presentation of information that includes multiples media, is becoming a very important medium in learning. Multimedia learning materials have soared since the growth of internet. Yet its effective must rely on the design was tailored to cater specific audiences.
The purpose of this document is to present the most important considerations when designing a multimedia material for adult learners. This document also further explains these considerations.
Overview of Considerations
When designing multimedia materials for adult learners, the following important considerations should be taken into account (Lieb, 1991):
1) Adults are autonomous and self-directed.
2) Adults have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge that may include work-related activities, family responsibilities, and previous education. Generally these are established values, beliefs, and opinions.
3) Adults are goal oriented
4) Adults are relevance oriented and practical
5) Adults should be respected
Other minor factors which are not very common to all includes, low level literacy, lacking in confidence and displaying a higher level of anxiety towards academic tasks, limited problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and little or no computer-related skills.
Autonomous and Self-directed
Adult learners tend to be autonomous and self-directed. Thus a multimedia learning material should have the alternatives that may fit the interest of adult learners. It should not be limiting in options but rather acts as guide or facilitating control. Adults can direct themselves to specific areas of interest at a time to achieve the most efficient learning.
Established Values, Beliefs, Knowledge and Opinions
Adult learners experience in life has formed established values, beliefs, and opinions. Thus a multimedia learning material should take into account that new ideas and principles should be explained carefully and explicitly. The explanation should connect these ideas and principles to the established values, beliefs and opinions in order for them to understand. Otherwise they might misunderstood it and think that these are not in accordance with their previous knowledge.
Adults are goal oriented so that they should have a purpose in every module or chapter. The multimedia learning material should clear the objective at the start. Without a goal, adult learners tend to loose their interest because to them life experience has taught them that life is all about goals. The multimedia learning material should provide them an organized layout of the content at the start.
Relevance oriented and Practical
Adult learners seek relevance of studies in their daily lives. They need to understand the practical purpose of these lessons. Thus multimedia learning materials should relate the ideas to real world scenarios where they offer a certain level of use.
The most important to all of this is respect. Multimedia learning materials should not try to break the respect by overdoing with jokes to ignite interest.
Multimedia products should take into consideration the that adult learners are autonomous, have establish values and opinions, goal oriented, relevance oriented, practical and needs respect in order for these products to be effective.
Lieb, S (1991). Principles of Adult Learning. Retrieved from the BALS website: http://balsontheweb.wikispaces.com/Adult+Learning?responseToken=a02492aded209b11678103756fc3f32b ,
January 17, 2007
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