The Great Media Debate

(a summary of the arguments)

Media will never influence learning:

–Instruction methods are different from the media

–It’s the instruction method not the media and it’s how effective the instruction is via the media NOT the media itself

–Media itself does not cause a difference in learning and one media can always be substituted by another


Media will influence learning:

–the connection has not be made between learning & media, (e.g., it does influence learning but we do not know how yet)

–the medium does matter-the wrong medium would give the wrong results (e.g., the right tool for the right job) & there are dynamic relationships between the learner and the media

–the medium should be taken in context of the goal

The winner: Media!


However, I do not see how it can be one OVER the other. Content is important. We’ve all seen a cool website of garbage. We’ve all seen a great CONTENT website that was boring, hard to read, navigate, etc. It has to be a balance.

The CONTENT must be relevant, at the proper audience level, engaging, well illustrated (graphically or through syntax), the writing must be clear, concise and well thought. Supporting documentation must be easy to find and use.

The MEDIA must be easy to use and enhance the learning experience through engaging the learner and providing interactive learning opportunities not available via a different medium.