Multimodal design for hybrid course materials : developing and evaluating a new paradigm for course delivery

Sankey, Michael David (2007) Multimodal design for hybrid course materials : developing and evaluating a new paradigm for course delivery. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


In early 2003, in a major shift in policy, the University of Southern Queensland

(USQ) announced that its learning materials would progressively move from a

predominantly print-based mode of delivery to a new 'hybrid' mode of delivery

across all discipline areas. Central to this delivery would be a resource-rich CDROM

containing all study materials, supported with a range of multimedia based

enhancements, online support and selective print materials.

As this represented a fundamentally new approach to the delivery of materials

at USQ, it was essential to ascertain a clear understanding of about the implications

of this change for student learning. In implementing this policy it was necessary to

establish a range of pedagogically sound, cost effective delivery guidelines, for the

development of the course materials and the multimedia based enhancements. In

response to this need, this study has developed a set of 10 multimodal design

heuristics used to guide the development of these materials. In establishing these

guidelines, this thesis contextualises important issues associated with hybrid delivery

and considers how catering for a multiliterate clientele by using a combination of

multimedia based enhancements in an electronic environment may improve the

learning opportunities for students.

Two Faculty of Business courses delivered in 2004, ECO2000

'Macroeconomics for Business and Government' and MGT2004 'People

Development', were chosen to pilot the new hybrid mode of delivery. The

combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches was used to investigate how

students have utilised this new environment. This approach rendered a clear

indication of student views about the CD based delivery and, more particularly, an appreciation of how they utilised the multimedia based enhancements to augment

their studies.

Analysis of the research data indicated a strong acceptance of the CD based

learning environment. This was particularly true for off-campus and international

students. On the whole, students reported a preference for a CD based resource,

though this acceptance was moderated by a desire to still receive some print-based

materials. Importantly, from this analysis it was possible to add a further four

multimodal design heuristics to the original set of ten which informed the design of

the multimedia based enhancements for each course.

This study demonstrates that higher levels of student engagement are possible

when integrating a range of multimedia based enhancements to cater for a range of

student learning modalities, whilst also maintaining a balanced environment for more

traditional learners1.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16363
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Burnett, Bruce & Lloyd, Margaret
Keywords: multimodal design, multimedia, distance education, hyperlinking, design heuristics
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Department: Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Michael David Sankey
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:01
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:46

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