Group Evaluation of Multimedia App Assignment- The Final Review

What is Prezi?

Prezi is a web-based application that allows users to work collaboratively to create a dynamic presentation. One of PC magazine’s top 100 websites and TIME’s top 50 websites, Prezi is adding “more than a million users a month” (Pack, 2014, p.38). Creating a Prezi is like creating a story for your students to read. In Shaadi Elswaifi’s article “On PowerPoints and Prezis”, he recommends thinking about “designing a movie” when creating a Prezi presentation. Instead of a typical PowerPoint where you go through slides linearly, the Prezi application allows you to present a bigger topic and then zoom in and out of different subtopics. This format is proven to make the content more memorable, which increases the retention of information (Prezi). It is also found to be “more organized, engaging, persuasive and effective than both PowerPoint and oral presentations” (Moulton et al., 2017, p. 31). With Prezi, you can present anywhere, online and offline. Prezi is also very user friendly with its clear instructions and how it offers multiple free Prezi templates. With Prezi the possibilities for creation are endless; you can show the life cycle of a salmon, the scale of the universe, or jazz up a math lesson!

Connections to Multimedia Learning Principles

As collaboration principle 2 states “multimedia should stimulate the effective and efficient distribution of thoughts and cognitive processes while members carry out tasks” (Kirschner et al., 2005, p. 553). Prezi allows multiple people to be working on different tasks in order to allow the concept of a presentation to be constructed collaboratively. It allows educators to use the personalization principle noting “people learn better when the words of a multimedia presentation are in conversational style rather than formal style” (Mayer, 2014). The learning through Prezi can be personal and presented as a conversation with the class over reading directly from slides. Additionally, the guided discovery principle states that “people learn better when guidance is incorporated into discovery-based multimedia environments” (Mayer, 2014). Prezi supports students getting started and offers multiple free templates to choose from.

For more connections to the Multimedia Learning Principles (such as the modality principle, signalling principle and redundancy principle) check out Erin Fletcher’s original evaluation on Prezi on her blog.

Why Choose Prezi?

Prezi is a great application to create a presentation because it includes many multimedia principles that are essential for student engagement and will enhance the overall presentation. Prezi offers a free option that gives you 100MB of storage space; “enough for a few Prezi’s” (Prezi). With the free option, all of your Prezi’s will be public. Only by paying a monthly or yearly subscription fee will you be allowed to create private Prezi’s. There are student/teacher discounts offered for as low as US$3/month. This subscription allows you to use premium images and icons, have privacy controls, PDF export and even import PowerPoint slides into your Prezi (Prezi). 

While the classic PowerPoint uses a slide to slide linear model, “the major features of Prezi are an infinite canvas and a nonlinear presentation style” (Chou et al, p. 74). 

PowerPoint vs. Prezi youtube video

This being said, “the nonlinear presentation style precisely depicts the essence of elaboration theory (i.e. one of instructional design principles), which provides detailed guidance for instructional sequences” (p. 74). Students have even noted that Prezi is an effective learning tool that lets them dive deeper into their learning. There are even “innovative features emphasized in Prezi that may arouse the learning interests of students, leading them to pay additional attention to learning materials” (p. 82). 

Educators Experiences With Prezi

As an educator, you can create your educator account and easily teach your students to create student accounts. You can also add a Prezi video to Microsoft Teams, in order to keep students up to date.

Educator Erin Pomphery

To dive deeper into an educator’s experience with Prezi, we decided to interview Erin Pomphery, a TTOC with the Saanich School District. This interview by Ariana Kelly was very insightful and gave us lots to think about when exploring Prezi further. Below is the audio and a transcript to that interview.

Audio Interview with Erin Pomphery

Written Transcript of the Interview with Erin Pomphery

Here is a video called “Teachers Using Prezi: Prezi Review”. It breaks-down what is beneficial about using Prezi as a teacher, and how it can be used in the classroom. This is a great video to highlight all of the amazing tools that you can access when using Prezi.

This page reviews and describes what Prezi is, as well as looking at the pro’s and con’s of Prezi for education purposes. Overall it is a great resource to look at because it is well put together, and includes real reviews from educators online.

Lastly, we included a teacher blog post about Prezi explaining how to create a video lesson using the application. Paul Tueske does a great job simplifying the information, so you understand and follow along as you work through his post. The blog post further illustrates how to prepare a Prezi video, and how to develop more customized templates. This illuminating blog post features numerous tutorial videos, showing educators how to record and share videos. Paul’s blog post is recommended for teachers who are providing remote learning opportunities for students during this uncertain time of COVID-19. We felt as though adding this blog post was very worthwhile at this time because it centers around how to create a Prezi to teach in the time of COVID-19. As Paul Tueske points out, Prezi is a great alternative to continue that connection with students in an online space. 

Walk Through of Prezi 

This video shows a walk through of a completed Prezi, and how it can look including many means of multimedia principles.

Screencapture created by Erin Fletcher representing a Prezi she created for a Leadership Forum on “Inclusivity and Barriers”

To learn more about Prezi check out the blog that they have on their website!

References

Chou, P., Chang, C., & Lu, P. (2015). Prezi versus PowerPoint: The effects of varied digital presentation tools on students’ learning performance. Computers & Education, 91, 73-82. https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/science/article/pii/S0360131515300695?via%3Dihub

Elswaifi, S.F. (2016, May 4). On powerpoints and prezis: a case for considering prezi as an alternate in medical education. Medical Science Educator, 26, 397-401.

Fletcher, E. (2020, June 24) Prezi Example. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXBehkOgZ_A

Kirschner, P. A., Kirschner, F., & Janssen, J., (2005). The collaboration principle in Multimedia Learning. In R. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology, pp. 547-575). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mayer, R. E. (2014). The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. Introduction to Multimedia Learning. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from https://doi-org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/10.1017/CBO9781139547369

Moulton, S. T., Selen Türkay, & Kosslyn, S. M. (2017). Does a presentation’s medium affect its message? PowerPoint, prezi, and oral presentations. PLoS One, 12(7), 1-39, doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/10.1371/journal.pone.0178774 

Pack, T. (2014, April). Create eye-catching presentations with prezi. Information Today, 31(3), 38. 

Pricing plans and options. (n.d.). Prezi. Retrieved June 25, 2020 from https://prezi.com/upgrade/edu/next/

Rogowski, M. (2019, June). Prezi Classic Review. Common Sense Education. https://www.commonsense.org/education/website/prezi-classic 

Teachers Things That Work (2017, October 25) Teachers using Prezi: Prezi review. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPO7e2or9fo 

Teske, P. (n.d.). How to create a video lesson on Prezi Video and prepare for next year. Prezi Blog. Retrieved June 24, 2020 from https://blog.prezi.com/first-prezi-video-lesson/?fbclid=IwAR2DfzR_lJk8cq3xY87Js88PGq1W8DvlQmbrZBpGIU1yiDvTVcdvBlWjRK4

Remix of Chapter 23- The Collaboration Principle

Written below is the remix of Chapter 23 “The Collaboration Principle in Multimedia Learning” in Mayer’s The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. This remix was written by Erin Fletcher, Ariana Kelly, Alyssa Lloyd and Maeve Poulin. 

Chapter 23 Remix

In this chapter, the collaboration principle was highlighted as a way of multimedia learning. There are three key points to consider to allow collaboration to be the most effective.

Retrieved from https://charterforcompassion.org/practicing-peace/the-core-principles-of-civic-engagement

First, tasks need to be cognitively demanding through group collaboration, while effectively using collective working memory. Secondly, cognitive processes and details needed for understanding must be productively shared among group members. Finally, multimedia surroundings must support and give the needed tools to allow communication regarding work, in order to collectively work together to complete tasks in the least amount of time. Therefore, as the authors of this chapter state, “The goal of multimedia in collaborative learning is the optimization of the relationship between transaction costs and distribution benefits” (Kirschner et al., 2014, p. 548). 

The Collaboration Principle 1

The Collaboration Principle 1 states “collaborative tasks in a multimedia learning environment should be cognitively demanding enough to necessitate working” (p. 548). As educators, we can not go “simply placing learners in a group and assigning them a task” (p. 549) and tasks need to be beneficial to group performance. Research shows having students work on tasks that are problem-solving as a group rather than recalling, lead to greater outcomes. Noted in an article, “three-person, four-person, and five-person groups had significantly fewer trials to solution… than the best of an equivalent number of individuals” (Laughlin et al. 2006, p. 649). Therefore, working in collaborative ways can allow learners to look past their own working memory and experience a collective working memory, in order to understand more. An implication of Principle 1 is the task may be too difficult for one learner, making them rely consistently on collaboration with others. It can also lead to students feeling they must become an expert in their part of group work in order to share with others. Educators need to see these implications and adapt learning environments to support all learners. 

The Collaboration Principle 2

The Collaboration Principle 2 states “multimedia should stimulate effective and efficient distribution of thoughts and cognitive processes while members carry out tasks” (Kirschner et al., 2014, p. 553). For this to be achieved, there are a few things needed to be considered and implemented when individuals work collaboratively.

When individuals work together effectively, they end up investing less cognitive effort than those working alone since they are able to divide information across “a larger reservoir of cognitive capacity” (p. 553). Working in a group allows cognitive processing to work on both the individual and group levels. On the individual level, one learns by internalizing their thoughts. On the group level, one learns by externalizing their thoughts and communicating with others. Without the externalizing of one’s thoughts, collaboration cannot take place. 

To collaborate most effectively, group members should have a common goal and focus, be aware of each other’s prior knowledge and ensure tasks are not divided among group members. Group members need to depend on each other to successfully complete a task. As Wageman states in her research, dividing tasks reduces interdependency and such groups “often run into disasters” (1995, p. 158). Educational Technology tools such as Personalized Annotation Management System (PAMS) and Knowledge Forum (KF) can also be used to help group members communicate and share resources with each other. 

The Collaboration Principle 3

To create an effective multimedia environment for collaboration, it must include tools all group members have access to in order to engage students with their interactions. The third collaboration principle states “multimedia should facilitate effective and efficient communication and regulation of actions” (Kirschner et al., 2014, p. 561). Successful collaboration requires learners to interact in two dialogical spaces: the content space and the relational space of collaboration. The content space is to further develop the task domain. The relational space of collaboration is establishing a shared understanding. Learners often face challenges with successfully collaborating in multimedia environments; however, these facilities can offer “opportunities to facilitate transactional activities” (p. 562), which can play a valuable role in learning outcomes and understanding. Collaborative multimedia learning can be split into two relationships. The first is a complementary relationship where people or media have significantly different functions or characteristics and can compensate for each other’s limitations. The other is a supplementary relationship where people or media have many things in common. For learners to engage in effective and efficient collaboration, they need to share their knowledge and opinions. Multimedia can support this through representational guidance and by participating in communicative activities that support shared understanding to limit group challenges, such as free-riding and social loafing. An implication of principle 3 would be to make sure there are opportunities for effective communication to foster discussion, as well as coordinating the group’s background knowledge to provide a holistic approach.

Cognitive Theory

Sketchnote by Alyssa Lloyd explaining what “Cognitive Theory” is. 

Research & Implications for Future Research

The limitations of current research and implications for future research regarding the collaboration principle in multimedia learning are extensive. The first limitation would be creating an ideal group size for collaborative learning. Expanding a group would increase the collective working memory of the group, which would be beneficial, but the cognitive load that goes along with social factors of collaborating with peers would also increase. Another limitation would be how to breakdown and study the cognitive perspective on collaborative learning in multimedia learning environments. The success of the learner and learners, in this case, depends on the interactions between cognitive, motivational, and social factors.

In Practice Connections 

Some of our favourite edtech applications for communicating and collaborating are google docs, google classroom and microsoft teams. Make sure if you are using a new application, you discuss it with your District Instructional Technology Coordinator first to ensure it has the proper privacy settings. 

A resource that we have also included to get a sense of collaboration in the classroom is a Grade 3 cross-curricular lesson plan involving English Language Arts and Drama.

In the article “Teacher Competencies for the Implementation of Collaborative Learning in the Classroom: a Framework and Research Review” by Kaendler et al., the authors state the effectiveness of collaboration is largely dependent on the “quality of student interaction” (2014, p. 505). As educators, to ensure collaboration among students is successful, it is important to plan student interaction, monitor it, support it, and consolidate it and then reflect on it (p.505). One way to do this is by fostering a positive classroom community from the beginning of the year. Activities such as the ones outlined in this website can achieve this. 

We highly recommend giving this article a read for more information on how to foster student interaction that is beneficial for learning. 

References

BookWidgets. (2020, March, 25). How to set up school communication from a distance- 9 communication apps for teachers. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK7pt4TD-dk

Kaendler, C., Wiedmann, M., Rummel, N., & Hans, S., (2014). Teacher competencies for the implementation of collaborative learning in the classroom: a framework and research review. Educational Psychology Review, 27(3), p. 505-536. doi: 10.1007/s10648-014-9288-9. 

Kirschner, P. A., Kirschner, F., & Janssen, J., (2005). The collaboration principle in Multimedia Learning. In R. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology, pp. 547-575). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511816819.022. 

Laughlin, P. R., Hatch, E. C., Silver, J. S., & Boh, L. (2006). Groups perform better than the best individuals on letters-to-numbers problems: Effects of group size. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(4), 644-651.

Plans, P. (n.d.) 5 ways to build classroom community. The Secondary English Coffee Shop. Retrieved from https://secondaryenglishcoffeeshop.blogspot.com/2017/02/building-classroom-community.html

Wageman, R. (1995). Interdependence and group effectiveness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(1), 145–180. doi: 10.2307/2393703.

Group Evaluation of Multimedia App Assignment- The Big Decision

In our group, we looked at the apps “Flipgrid”, “Google Docs”, “Duolingo” and “Prezi”. After having a discussion on which app we wanted to research deeper, we chose Prezi. Prezi is an app that is not only accessible for teachers to use but also for students of all ages. It allows for a variety of ways to be both presented and created. It’s user friendly and allows for presentations to be 3D and interactive with the addition of pictures, words and videos. 

Although Flipgrid is a great classroom tool, we decided against it because Prezi has more interesting elements that we can focus on. Since the group evaluation of the selected multimedia app assignment makes up such a large component of our final grade, we wanted to ensure that we had enough content to cover for the evaluation. 

Another application we evaluated was Google Docs. As a whole, Google Docs is appealing because students can connect and collaborate on a platform with the ability for teachers to provide support throughout their learning. Although it’s a great application to use for students to collaborate with peers, it didn’t connect well with the multimedia principles without a set of criteria given by the teacher. For this reason, we chose Prezi because students are able to use this application more in-depth, and as a teacher, the design can connect many more principles than Google Docs.

The third Multimedia application we reviewed was Duolingo. As a whole, this application provides an engaging and interactive opportunity where information has been presented through a gamification method. However, we didn’t choose to spotlight it for our final evaluation of a Multimedia App. This platform is limiting because it’s solely for learning another language. It’s user-friendly but lacks the ability to allow users to interact with each other beyond a score. An educator can review statistics of how their students are doing but they cannot provide descriptive feedback via the application or share additional resources. A successful Multimedia App should touch upon most or all of the principles, however, Duolingo lacks prosperous cooperation of most of Multimedia Learning Principles.


Prezi touches on several Multimedia Learning principles. Some of these principles include modality, redundancy, signalling and collaboration. These principles were noted on the first app review blog post but will be explored more in our final detailed review of Prezi next week.

An example of a Prezi by Erin Fletcher on Leadership. Retrieved from https://prezi.com/vygzi06w3a4m/life-mapping-and-leadership/?present=1

Multimedia Learning

What is it?

Multimedia learning is as simple as it sounds. All it means is that students use words and pictures (or multiple forms of media) to learn new content! Educators are most likely already using multimedia instruction in their lesson plans without even realizing it. For example, whenever you use a video, an application, or a diagram, you are giving your students a multimedia learning experience.

A diagram is a perfect example of multimedia learning since students can use both the pictures & the text to build comprehension. Retrieved from https://biologywise.com/rough-endoplasmic-reticulum

Research on multimedia learning has primarily been conducted by Richard E. Mayer and published in The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first of 34 chapters in the second edition of his handbook. I especially liked the analogy that Mayer used to describe the importance of multimedia learning. First, Mayer explained how a bicycle tire pump works with just words. When asked a retention question, one could easily remember words from the definition they just heard, but they would most likely struggle to comprehend or apply the information they just learned. However, once pictures are added to the verbal explanation, one would find it much easier to comprehend exactly how a bicycle tire pump functions.

As well, Mayer perfectly explains why multimedia learning is effective since “presenting both [text and pictures] is like presenting the material twice – giving the learner twice as much exposure to the explanation” (2014). When I just read text, I find it difficult to fully understand a concept. Likewise, when I see a picture, if I don’t know the correct words to describe it I need a verbal explanation to help me understand. Presenting students with multiple ways to understand a topic just gives them more of a chance to succeed- and isn’t that all educators want?

Ways to Use Multimedia Learning in the Classroom

There are many ways to easily incorporate multimedia learning into your classroom. For example, one of my favourite methods is to use sketchnote! Sketchnoting is a form of note taking where students use words, sketches and other visuals to condense the information they are trying to retain. As explained on verbaltovisual.com, adding sketches to your notes “taps into parts of your brain that would lie dormant if you only use words to explore ideas” (Neill, 2017). I found sketchnoting very helpful when teaching a second language, such as French! Students could write out the vocabulary word in French, and then sketch a quick drawing of the word to understand its meaning in English.

For more information on sketch-noting, check out my blog post about it.

References

Mayer, R. E. (2014). The cambridge handbook of multimedia learning: 2nd edition. Santa Barbara, CA: Cambridge University Press.

Neill, D. (2017, August 21) What is sketchnoting? Verbal to Visual. https://www.verbaltovisual.com/what-is-sketchnoting/