Evidence-based Training: No Yellow Brick Road

Conference Archive

DevLearn 2012 Conference & Expo - October 31, 2012

Ruth Clark

Clark Training & Consulting

Do graphics improve learning? Are animations more effective than stills? Are games a useful training strategy? Are learning styles important individual differences to consider? Instructional practitioners have many questions about what works best in eLearning and turn to research evidence for guidance. And while there are some guidelines, they are not always as straightforward.

In this session you will review current research on graphics, animations, and games as examples of what you can and cannot learn from current instructional research evidence. In particular, you will look at evidence comparing learning from still vs. animated graphics; decorative vs. explanatory graphics; simple vs. realistic graphics; graphics for visual learners; and unembellished learning content presented on slides compared to learning the same content in the context of an adventure game. Based on the evidence to date, you will find that best practices depend on the implementation of the method, the background of the learner, and the intended instructional outcome.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to interpret evidence on graphic effectiveness as a function of the type of graphic, learner background, and instructional goal
  • How to apply the five best practices to maximize benefits from animations
  • To reconsider claims about the effectiveness of games in multimedia learning
  • The features of graphics that make them effective

Professionals interested in meaningful guidance for evidence-based training. No prior knowledge is needed other than familiarity with current issues in multimedia learning.


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