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Trend in the Development of Instructional Materials Integrating Symbols and Media


Bibliographic Information

Other Title
  • 情報とメディアを統合する教材開発の系譜


This paper aims to present basic viewpoints to understand the significance and problems of developing and utilyzing instructional materials which integrate different symbol systems and media through examining some typical examples of such production. As an introduction, the concept of "interactive video" is reviewed in terms of media's capability for interactivity. A typical classification has been the one which distinguished four stages of level zero, one, two, and three. The advancement of authoring software and emerging technology of computer, videodisc, and CD-ROM made it possible to produce interactive videos or interactive multimedia more easily. As a theoritical base, this paper discusses some cognitive aspects of juxtaposing different symbol systems for learning. It examines, in line with Dickson (1985)'s discussion, Salomon's empirical study on symbol systems, Olson's definition of intelligence, and Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, and also the significance of using some computer software which are designed to facilitate children's meta-cognitive thinking through an experience of transforming different symbol systems. Typical examples of integrated multimedia used in this paper are "Domesday" in Britain, "The Voyage of the MIMI" in the United States, and "The Bunkyo Museum of Literature" in Japan. Domesday integrated a videodisc and a computer and, by doing so, different expressive formats of pictures, graphs, letters, moving images, and sounds into a unified environment. It comprizes two discs, national and community, which then contain a wide variety of information about British land and people. Date for the community disc was collected by many students in the country. Students can use Domesday as a powerful inquiry tool especially in social studies and science. The Voyage of the MIMI is a multimedia package for use in science and mathematics education for students in grades 5-7. The materials include a 13-part dramatic TV series which portrays a scientific investigation of whaling on a ship called the MIMI, a 13-part documentary TV series, computer software, and print materials. The most significant aspect of this package is that scientific topics are embedded in a context from which students will find out questions with meaningful links to the situation. The Bunkyo Meseum of Literature is one of the first applications of HyperCard to instruction in Japan. Multiple contents and symbol systems were integrated to give learners access to a rich environment of a literary world. An existing 16mm film was used as a major component of the system, and it was incorporated into ten stacks of HyperCard in order to allow a flexible link to each other. Based on these examinations, two viewpoints were presented to understand the significance and problems of integrating multiple contents and symbol systems for learning and instruction. One is the cognitive contexts in which media are utilyzed for learning. The other is the relationship between symbol systems and cognition. The emergence of new technology for media integration invites us to conduct more fundamental research on human cognitive processes.



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