Welcome to my Edtech learning log abode!

Featured imageThis is where the journey begins! The purpose of this learning log is to provide myself with a platform for documentation, reflection, and self-evaluation as I explore through the Master of Educational Technology (MET) program at Boise State University. I am hoping that it also serves as a valuable resource in helping learners reflect on their own personal development. I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and watch the magic happen! Please check back regularly for updates.

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Project #7: Worked Example Screencast


For this weeks project, I created a screencast video tutorial on how to create a SMART Lab Activity. In my current profession as a technology infrastructure manager and tech support specialist, I was already familiar with screencasting. I create how to video tutorials on the use of various software as well as performing specific tasks. I’ve used various screencasting software such as Monosnap, Screencast-O-Matic, Jing, and Camtasia Studio, but for this project, I used Camtasia Studio in tandem with iMovie.

The first thing I did was create a script, while also using the SMART Notebook Software as a guide. Once I finished the script I then rehearsed it while building a SMART Lab Activity. Once I had all the timing down, I used Camtasia Studio to create and record the screencast. The first screencast I set up was a worked example; then I worked on a second screencast, which was a faded worked example. I then used iMovie to merge the two screencasts to form one video. I could have easily done one video to start with, but I felt it was easier to create two separate videos, which helped me better understand the concepts of a worked and faded worked example.

I enjoyed learning about worked examples and faded work examples that applied the segmenting and pretraining principles. I feel it’s constructive because it allows for more efficient learning by breaking down complex lessons such as the creation of this SMART Lab Activity tutorial into smaller segments, which makes it easier for students to learn. I also feel a worked example provides students with the background information and foundation they need to help prepare them for success.

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Project #6: Digital Storytelling

Here’s my Digital Story!


This week we learned about the Personalization Principle, which states that by using conversational rather than formal language, learning is improved. I learned that expressing information in conversational style can also be a way to prime appropriate cognitive processing in the learner.

I was tasked with applying this principle to this week’s digital story assignment. The challenge for me was finding a topic for my digital story. After a couple of hours of trying to figure out the best story to tell, I finally decided to go with a short documentary and chose to do it on the Black Death of the 14th Century. It was an event that had a huge impact in our history, and I felt it was a story worth telling.

I used google docs to create a script, and then I used a voice recorder on my computer to narrate the entire script into one recording. I then created a folder to place all the images and audio that I would be using to tell this story. I used iMovie to create this multimedia movie to bring it all together. I’ve used iMovie on several occasions because it’s a great video editing software, so there was no learning curve. Once I completed the presentation I uploaded the video to my YouTube account and shared it. I also used Captioning for the first time, which was cool. I thought it was very intuitive that I could just copy my script to the video and it would transcribe it all automatically.

During the creation process of the video, I was able to apply the personalization principle by using a conversational style in my videos introduction. I believe there are benefits and improvements in learning when the speech is in conversational style rather than formal style. According to Clark and Mayer, the feeling of social presence causes the learner to engage in deeper cognitive process during learning, which results in a better learning outcome.


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-Learning and the science of instruction: proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.


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Project #5: Coherence Analysis

This week I had to compose a brief analysis of the Coherence Principle, answering the following questions:

  1. What is the Coherence Principle and its most important constraints/criteria?
  2. Describe and/or include one example of successful and one example of unsuccessful attempts to apply the Coherence Principle in actual instruction and training you have experienced, especially as it might be implemented in PowerPoint-based instruction and training.
  3. Have you ever seen this principle violated or abused? Identify the violations, including citations as needed from your textbook.
  4. Discuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to other Multimedia Learning Principles examined thus far in your readings.
  5. Discuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to fundamental theories of psychology as described by Clark & Mayer in your textbook.
  6. What do you personally like or dislike about this principle? Present a coherent, informed opinion and explain why you hold this opinion.
  7. Are there any limitations or qualifications of the principle (caveats) which the authors did not consider and, if so, what are they?

The Coherence Principle essentially states that you should avoid embellishing lessons with unnecessary words, graphics, or sounds that do not support the instructional outcomes of the lesson. There are evidence and research that supports excluding extraneous information rather than including it to keep the lesson uncluttered. A central challenge facing designers of multimedia instruction is the potential for cognitive overload, in which the learner’s intended cognitive processing exceeds the learner’s available cognitive capacity (Mayer & Moreno, 2003). According to Clark and Mayer (2016), when learners use their limited processing capacity on extraneous material, less capacity is available for making sense of the essential content. It’s also worth noting the constraints of the coherence principle and the fact that there’s not much known about how individual characteristics of learners play a role in the effectiveness of the coherence principle and research is still needed to determine for whom the principle applies.

The successful and unsuccessful attempts at using the coherence principle that I’ve experienced were during training presentations for my Cisco networking certification. The subject matter of computer networking can be rather complicated, and the instructor did a great job of incorporating sound design principles and keeping the presentation slides simple with limited on-screen text and free of unnecessary clutter. Graphics were integrated into the slides, but they were simple and relevant to the instructional topic at hand. The lesson was further enhanced by the narration of the presentation.

An unsuccessful attempt to apply the principle was during a work seminar for professional development titled Positive Psychology: A Focus on Character Strengths and Strong Relationships. There were pictures on several slides of the presentation that were distracting and disruptive. The graphics should have been omitted because they weren’t relevant nor needed to achieve the objectives of the lesson. There was also a lot of extraneous on-screen words added that were narrated as well, which I feel caused cognitive overload and loss of focus. This overload could’ve been avoided by reducing the amount of text on the slide.

The coherence principle recommends that you avoid extraneous words to lessons so that you can avoid poorer learning. I’ve seen the coherence principle violated, and it’s usually when people create powerpoint presentations that are completely covered with paragraphs of text. They copy and paste data directly to their slide show presentation, create bullets, and narrate the text word for word as they present it. Nagmoti (2017) states that although PPT provides a scope for the usage of illustration, animations, etc., instead of exploring its full potential, it is mostly used in the ‘default mode’ (bulleted text template) which is known to cause boredom, fatigue, information overload and confusion, a phenomenon described as ‘Death by Power Point’.

Many of the multimedia learning principles expressed in the readings support the coherence principle by discouraging extraneous material. According to The Multimedia Principle, people learn better from words and graphics than from words alone. It avoids extraneous on-screen text by replacing it with graphics. The Modality principle states that people learn better if words are presented as narration rather than on-screen text. This principle avoids extraneous on-screen text by replacing with its narration. The redundancy principle states that people learn better from animation and narration alone than from animation, narration, and on-screen text. It avoids extraneous on-screen text by replacing it with narration and animation.

Clark and Mayer (2016) state that according to the cognitive theory of multimedia learning the learner is actively seeking to make sense of the presented material. If the learner is successful in building a coherent mental representation of the presented material, the learner experiences enjoyment. However, adding extraneous pictures can interfere with the process of sense-making because learners have a limited cognitive capacity for processing incoming material. In relations to this, the coherence principle states that adding interesting but unnecessary material such as words, pictures, or audio to e-learning can harm the learning process by preventing the learner from processing the essential material. So based on the cognitive theories of how people learn one of the primary instructional goals are to minimize extraneous processing and the coherence principle sets out to do this by minimizing cognitive processing that’s unrelated to the instructional goal.

I like Richard Mayer’s Coherence Principle because it addresses and offers various ways of dealing with extraneous materials that interfere with learning. Extraneous material diverts the learners’ attention away from the instructional goal, and I feel that this principle provides informative evidence-based guidelines to follow, that help improve learning and the effectiveness of the lesson by adding less to the instructional content. Extraneous material can be a distraction; it can disrupt the learner’s organization of information into their coherent mental model and activate irrelevant prior knowledge. Adding unnecessary material can detract from learning, so I agree with the adage for this principle that less is more.

In conclusion, I feel that learner engagement plays a significant role in the learning experience and there’s plenty of evidence that supports that, as well as the notion that students learn better when they are interested in the material. The challenge for instructional professionals is to stimulate interest without adding extraneous material that distracts from the cognitive objective of the lesson (Clark & Mayer, 2016). I feel that there are ways to add interesting text, audio, and images that support the instructional goal as well as promote interest. Research in this area is still needed to better understand instructional effectiveness.

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-Learning and the science of instruction: proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 43-52.

Nagmoti, J. M. (2017). Departing from PowerPoint Default Mode: Applying Mayer’s Multimedia Principles for Enhanced Learning of Parasitology. Indian Journal Of Medical Microbiology, 35(2), 199-203. doi:10.4103/ijmm.IJMM_16_251

Here is the link to my Coherence Analysis in GoogleDocs.

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Project #4: Narrated Presentation

This week in Edtech 513 I was tasked with creating a narration presentation on my choice of chapter 6 or 7 of our e-Learning and the Science of Instruction text. Chapter 6 focused on applying the Modality Principle and Chapter 7 was on applying the Redundancy Principle. I decided to do my presentation on the Modality Principle, which presents words as speech rather than on-screen text. Research studies also showed that students learned better from images and narration than from images and on-screen text.

In designing this presentation I used PowerPoint 2016 and GoogleDocs to create my script. After reading the chapter I wrote a script for each PowerPoint slide I was going to create. The difficult part was finding the graphics that would accommodate the script for each section of the presentation. The graphics that I used were all under the creative commons license. PowerPoint offers a feature to search for online pictures and it can filter by creative commons, which proved to be very helpful. Once I had my slides and scripts in order I then recorded and inserted the narration for each slide. I was then able to save the presentation and export it to a video .mp4 file.

Link to Modality Principle Narrated Presentation

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Project #3: Haiku Deck



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Project #2: Static Multimedia Instruction

Learning Objectives:

After viewing this Tutorial, learners will be able to:

  1. Sign in and out of Office 365.
  2. Use Office 365 to compose an email.

To create this tutorial, I downloaded a trial software called Clarify-it. Clarify-it is a screenshot software that combines image capture, image editing, and text authoring. I was left very impressed with this tool because it was intuitive and straightforward. The learning curve was almost nonexistent, and I was able to navigate the software with no need for a tour or introduction video. I attribute it to my experience with other screenshot and screencast software such as Camtasia Studio, Snagit, and the Windows Snipping Tool.

Personally, I use Office 365 at my workplace as well as all the faculty and staff. I figured this would be an excellent opportunity to create a brief tutorial on how to sign in and out of Office 365 and compose an email. I felt that I would be able to add this to our knowledge base for all employees to use as a reference.

I used Google Docs to create the notes for all the necessary steps in this instruction. I have an ultra-wide monitor and was able to walk-through the multiple steps of signing into Office 365 and composing an email on one side of the screen while I took notes of the steps I walked through in Google Docs on the other end of the screen. Once all of the steps were documented, I then launched Clarify-it and took screenshots of every step in the process. I then copied and pasted the steps I had written in Google Docs into Clarify-it. From there I was able to add steps and annotations to the screenshots, and I completed the tutorial by exporting it to PDF.

This instruction demonstrates the multimedia and contiguity principle because it includes both words and graphics and it aligns the words to corresponding graphics. It aligns the screenshots with the annotations.



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Edtech 513: Sketchnote

Edtech 513 SketchnoteThis week I was tasked with the assignment of creating a sketchnote. A sketchnote is visual note taking and a creative way to take notes by doodling, using pictures, and typography with marker and paper or stylus and tablet. The sketchnote was created about a topic in Chapter 4 of our textbook and addressed “Multimedia Principle” and how I’d use graphics to teach content types.

At first, I downloaded two apps onto my iPad from the App Store. One was called Tayasui Sketches, and the other was called Paper by FiftyThree. They were both apps that allowed users to capture and create notes, photos, and sketches. I fooled around with both of them and found there to be a slight learning curve. It was also difficult for me to create sketches due to the lack of a stylus, specifically a fine point stylus that would allow me to have more precision with my sketches. I found that using my finger to doodle took too much real estate on the iPad screen and I found it difficult to create the sketches the way I visualized them, so for the sake of time and lack of stylus I used gel pens and paper. I learned that sketchnoting brought out some creativity that I never knew I had and it also helped me focus. I found it easier to recall the information in the chapter regarding this topic a lot better once I created the sketchnote.

I feel that the most appropriate AECT Standard that aligned with this project was 3.1 Creating. It says candidates create instructional design products based on learning principles and research-based best practices. I feel that the sketchnote I created was an instructional design product based on the learning principles of “Multimedia Principles” and making mental connections through the use of words and pictures.

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