English Education Program
Faculty of Teachers Training and Education
Bogor Ibn Khaldun University
Alhamdulillah, In the name of Allah, the Beneficent and The Merciful. Thank to Allah the Almighty lord of the world who has given the writer mercy, blessing, and health until nowadays.
Shalawat and Salam to our Prophet Muhammad SAW, who has brought us to the lightness.
This paper submitted to fulfill one of the requirements for final examination of English education program of Fkip Bogor, which the writer has brought into accomplishment for the formal study.
The writer realizes that paper is far from being perfect, it is because of her limited ability of knowledge, so she would welcome any idea, comments and criticism for sporting this paper. Although this paper is still less perfect, the writer hopes that it will be useful for those who read this paper.
Bogor, 21 Juni 2011
Special education for children with learning disabilities is individually planned, intensive and specialized instruction that is goal-oriented in order to help these children maximize their potential to achieve self-sufficiency. A competent special education teacher is train to develop appropriate lessons that incorporate curriculum and instructional strategies with individualized education goals. However, in reality, teachers rarely do have time to personally give for individual students all the practice and reinforcement that they need. One of the most promising ways in which instruction can be individualize is by multimedia technology (Lee, 2003). For typically developing children, the results have been very promising (Mayer, 2001). For children with special needs, the positive effects of technology have been even clearer and much more positive than for the general school-age population (Belson, 2003).
Multimedia software and multimedia learning environments can be more effective in helping children with disabilities to develop skills in domains as varied as academic domains of literacy and numeric, life skills and social interaction. Lee and Zabedah (2005) developed multimedia reading lessons based on a phonics method of instruction to teach word recognition skills to children with reading disabilities. They found that their intervention using multimedia-based phonics lessons were effective in helping these children with learning disabilities to master the foundational skills of word recognition. Azmi and Lee (2004) explored the use of available multimedia resources to teach reading to students with learning disabilities in a special education class. They reported that the use of multimedia enhanced the literacy skills of these children. Multimedia technology can define in many ways.
Generally, multimedia involves the computer presentation of multiple media formats (e.g. text, pictures, sounds, video etc.) to convey information in a linear or nonlinear format. There is a good match between multimedia technology and the learning needs of children with learning disabilities. Presentation of information in both verbal and pictorial forms allows children with learning disabilities to process information via two channels. With twice as much exposure to the same information, a more meaningful connection can made between the visual and verbal presentations. As children with learning disabilities are usually limited by print reading, presenting print information through additional formats of oral presentation (enhanced with pictorial prompts) will allow children with learning disabilities to create a deeper understanding of the information presented than from either words or pictures alone.
In addition to the cognitive benefits of multimedia learning for children with learning disabilities, the use of multiple media also helps to increase motivation. More often than not, children with learning disabilities lack intrinsic motivation to finish learning tasks. Multimedia technology has the potential to provide extrinsic motivation for task completion. Generally, children have a longer attention span when interacting with the computer than when interacting with everyday print materials. This is especially so when the information is presented in a games format, whereby children are reinforced periodically over the span of playing.
1.1 Background of study
As new knowledge on how people learn is center on the constructivist paradigm and learners are now consider as active agents who engage in their own construction of knowledge through interactions with the environment, it follows that preserves special educators be given the opportunity to experience authentic technology supported constructivist learning environments in their teacher education programmer.
A constructivist-learning environment in teacher education should involve the process of problem-solving tasks found in authentic settings, which closely related to work in the real world. Technology has found to be one of the most promising tools to integrate constructivist principles in teacher education (Nanjappa & Grant, 2003). Technology should integrate into students' coursework in order to provide them with opportunities to explore creative uses of technology. The goal of training preserves special educators in the use of multimedia technology for children with special needs was incorporate into the Technology in Special Education course curriculum. As mentioned earlier, most software developers are not keen to develop programs for children with special needs due to its limited marketability. Thus at the present moment, the onus of realizing the potential of multimedia learning for children with learning disabilities will have to fall on the shoulders of the special educators themselves.
In line with this reality, it was consider essential to equip preserves special education teachers with skills and knowledge in developing basic multimedia. Their task in this course was constructivist-based, which was to design, develop and evaluate multimedia learning resources for a child with learning disabilities. The course requirement was design to provide them with an authentic task in special education, which they have to problem-solve with the creative use of multimedia technology.
Theoretical of Background
Interactivity is mutual action between the learner, the learning system, and the learning material. An interactive communication between computer and human can be made engaging through optimal learner-controlled events like active participation in a simulation or an educational game, providing feedback, building on current knowledge and experience, learner control of pace and sequence, with the conclusion that (Sims, 1998) "effective learning requires interaction which stimulates new thinking" (Fenrich, 1997 in Sims, 1998). These interactive characteristics concur with the constructivist view of learning, which encourage the learner as an active participant to construct knowledge in making sense of their real-world experiences. The presence of interactions and interactivity in technology-based instructional materials has become synonymous with enhanced learning.
The interactions in Multimedia can present in a continuum as shown in Fig. 1 (Oliver, 2008).
Fig. 1 Interactivity in Educational Multimedia
From Oliver Ron (2008)
A. Learner activities at low cognition level
The multimedia components as cognitive tools, involved in low-order learning are text, graphics, animation, text window response and feedback prompts. Learner activities include reading information, looking at static diagrams or animations of phenomena reminding learners of mundane events experienced, observing effects on the experiment, re-observing the animations, referring to previous information, or advancing to next set of information.
B. Learner activities at medium cognition level
The multimedia components, as cognitive tools, involved in medium-order learning are text, graphics, animation, drag and drop objects and text window response and feedback prompts.
C. Learner activities at high cognition level
The multimedia components involved in the high-order learning are text, graphics, animations, self-conducted on-screen simulations, response and feedback. A high degree of interactivity is involved in which the learner controls the experimental area in designing the electric circuits to test their new knowledge.
A major feature of well-designed multimedia courseware is user interactivity. Researchers (Sims, 1998; Harper & Hedberg, 1997, Shinde, 2003) have shown that an interactive learning environment can generate effective instruction and learning. There is empirical evidence that multimedia can enhance the learning of, at least, certain kinds of information. A review by various researchers of studies that have investigated the effectiveness of multimedia in learning information suggested that the people who used computer-based multimedia instruction performed better in terms of test scores, compared to those who received instruction through traditional classroom lectures. Topics of interests in the studies ranged from languages, chemistry, and biology, to the procedures for the operation of devices. Equally, the context of the studies varied from primary school education, higher education, and industry, to the military. This may imply that the property of multimedia to enhance learning performance is irrespective of subject area or context. Why computer-based multimedia may enhance learning performance? One explanation is that using the computer to present information tends to impose the necessity to structure the information (Najjar, 1996), and this, in turn, facilitates learning, since structure and organization facilitate information processing in humans (Leahey & Harris, 1989). Interactivity during learning has been note by many (Bosco, 1986; Fletcher, 1989) to have a strong enhancing-influence on learning by improving retention (Stafford as cited in Najjar, 1996) and the speed of learning (Bosco, 1986; Fletcher, 1989). Novelty, also, has been associated with why multimedia may be effective for learning.
Comprehension strategies are conscious plans — sets of steps that good readers use to make sense of text. Comprehension strategy instruction helps students become purposeful, active readers who are in control of their own reading comprehension. The seven strategies here appear to have a firm scientific basis for improving text comprehension:
1. Monitoring comprehension
Students who are good at monitoring their comprehension knows when they understand what they read and when they do not. They have strategies to "fix" problems in their understanding as the problems arise. Research shows that instruction, even in the early grades, can help students become better at monitoring their comprehension.
Comprehension monitoring instruction teaches students to:
- Be aware of what they do understand
- Identify what they do not understand
- Use appropriate strategies to resolve problems in comprehension
Metacognition defines as "thinking about thinking." Good readers use metacognitive strategies to think about and have control over their reading. Before reading, they might clarify their purpose for reading and preview the text. During reading, they might monitor their understanding, adjusting their reading speed to fit the difficulty of the text and "fixing" any comprehension problems they have. After reading, they check their understanding of what they read.
3. Graphic and semantic organizers
Graphic organizers illustrate concepts and relationships between concepts in a text or using diagrams. A graphic organizer is know by different names, such as maps, webs, graphs, charts, frames, or clusters. Regardless of the label, graphic organizers can help readers focus on concepts and how they are relating to other concepts. Graphic organizers help students read and understand textbooks and picture books.
Graphic organizers can:
- Help students focus on text structure "differences between fiction and nonfiction" as they read.
- Provide students with tools they can use to examine and show relationships in a text.
- Help students write well-organized summaries of a text.
4. Answering questions
Questions can be effective because they:
- Give students a purpose for reading
- Focus students' attention on what they are to learn
- Help students to think actively as they read
- Encourage students to monitor their comprehension
- Help students to review content and relate what they have learned to what they already know
The Question-Answer Relationship strategy (QAR) encourages students to learn how to answer questions better. Students are asked to indicate whether the information they used to answer questions about the text was textually explicit information (information that was directly stated in the text), textually implicit information (information that was implied in the text), or information entirely from the student's own background knowledge.
5. Generating questions
By generating questions, students become aware of whether they can answer the questions and if they understand what they are reading. Students learn to ask themselves questions that require them to combine information from different segments of text. For example, students can teach to ask main idea questions that relate to important information in a text.
6. Recognizing story structure
In story structure instruction, students learn to identify the categories of content (characters, setting, events, problem, and resolution). Often, students learn to recognize story structure using story maps. Instruction in story structure improves students' comprehension.
Summarizing requires students to determine what is important in what they are reading and to put it into their own words. Instruction in summarizing helps students:
- Identify or generate main ideas
- Connect the main or central ideas
- Eliminate unnecessary information
- Remember what they read
Research shows that explicit teaching techniques are particularly effective for comprehension strategy instruction. In explicit instruction, teachers tell readers why and when they should use strategies, what strategies to use, and how to apply them. The steps of explicit instruction typically include direct explanation, teacher modeling ("thinking aloud"), guided practice, and application.
- Direct explanation
The teacher explains to students why the strategy helps comprehension and when to apply the strategy.
The teacher models, or demonstrates, how to apply the strategy, usually by "thinking aloud" while reading the text that the students are using.
- Guided practice
The teacher guides and assists students as they learn how and when to apply the strategy.
The teacher helps students practice the strategy until they can apply it independently.
Effective comprehension strategy instruction can be accomplish through cooperative learning, which involves students working together as partners or in small groups on clearly defined tasks. Cooperative learning instruction has been use successfully to teach comprehension strategies. Students work together to understand texts, helping each other learns and apply comprehension strategies. Teacher’s help students learn to work in groups. Teachers also provide modeling of the comprehension strategies.
“One way to bring about a change of emphasis in teaching, from the teacher directed approach to a facilitated approach, is to change the medium of instruction” (Kearsley, 2000). Interactive multimedia offers an alternative medium of instruction to the current learning process. One way, multimedia can give low ability students extensive learning time before moving forward. Alternatively, high ability students can branch out to random sequencing through the module and not confined by linearity or a much slower pace. This aspect of multimedia learning supports student-centered strategy whereby learners take responsibility in their own learning process. The liberty to proceed or recede allows self-pacing, an important facet to enable learners to learn according to their individual pace.
It is fascinating to watch the ease with which very young students learn to operate and control new multimedia packages. As students gain experience with different packages, there is a high degree of transfer of skills and knowledge from previous activities and experiences. Students have a sense of what forms of response to expect from different actions. Once students have had a degree of experience and in some cases a degree of training in specific functions of packages, we find little evidence of students experiencing any subsequent difficulties with interface control or operation. This leads us to assert that with time, use of the many of the interactive elements of multimedia programs will become automatic to users and of marginal bearing on what is learned.
The students’ perceptions on the use of multimedia and interactivity were very positive. Students said that learning with interactivity and multimedia was interesting and engaging; they also found this method of learning useful and favorable. Some expressed their desire to learn whole curriculum through Interactive Multimedia packages. It was surprising to note that students learned on their own that how to navigate through the module.
Instantly they were exploring, experimenting with the package. New technology is not seeing as a problem. The students shared their joy of learning at their own pace. Many students commented that the navigation helped them to go back and forth whenever they wanted. That gave them the control of the whole process of learning. They were not dependent on the teacher for the pace of learning and the content as they selected what they wanted to learn (probably first time in their education life). For some, this feature was exceptionally helpful, as they do not have to catch up with other students or the teacher in order to sustain personal learning and understanding. The use of graphic visualizations and multimedia for presentation of information and interacting with it received encouraging responses. Learners found the graphics very interesting and visually sound. The graphics creating lasting impact (images of various communication modes, plants and animals, houses etc. was a treat to the learners.)
The effectiveness of multimedia and interactivity as a learning medium clearly promotes engagement in learning, which surpasses its status quo of a mere tool of delivery. Many students reported high interests resulting from enriching multimedia experience hence harnessing ownership in self-learning. The most appreciated aspect of the package was Interactivity. The learners just loved to do things during learning (which is a rarity in the classroom learning, as the teacher does most of the talking). Many students expressed their happiness in working on challenging activities and get positive feedback. Some expressed their appreciation for interactivity as they said there was no reprimand for wrong answer. There was no one to see that they gave wrong answer. They became careful in learning the new content as they did not want to go wrong, they were fascinated by the awards and wanted to get more of them (though this is extrinsic in nature, it was useful in developing interest in learning and sustaining it).
In conclusion, the objective of the course is achieve as the preserves teachers had demonstrated knowledge and skills in developing and evaluating multimedia learning resources for children with learning disabilities. The multimedia learning resources developed by the preserves teachers showed promise that those resources can be effective in teaching children with learning disabilities especially in the area of functional academics. It also showed promise as a reusable tool for individualizing instruction. More research on the effectiveness of using multimedia to teach children with learning disabilities is required.
Azmi Abu Bakar & Lee Lay Wah. (2004). Penilaian aplikasi multimedia untuk mengajar kemahiran membaca kepada pelajar bermasalah pembelajaran. Proceedings from Seminar Kebangsaan Pendidikan Khas 2004 (pp. 165-182). Bangi: UKM.