Multimodal Learning

Educators are in constant search for more efficient and effective ways to advance student learning.  Thus it is no surprise that educators have been interested in the often-quoted saying that:

We remember…

  • 10% of what we read
  • 20% of what we hear
  • 30% of what we see
  • 50% of what we see and hear
  • 70% of what we say
  • 90% of what we say and do

Unfortunately, these oft-quoted statistics are unsubstantiated.  This article: Multimodal-Learning-Through-Media breaks the myth of the “cone of learning” where people only remember 10% of what they read.

A few highlights:

“As it turns out, doing is not always more efficient than seeing, and seeing is not always more effective than reading.”

“Learning is optimized when students can see where new concepts build on prior knowledge.”

“Students learn more when the concepts are personally meaningful to them.”

“Students engaged in learning that incorporates multimodal designs, on average, outperform students who learn using traditional approaches with single modes.”

Putting this in the context of our class: build risk and crisis messages on prior knowledge of the audience; make it meaningful; and remember VARK.  VARK stands for Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic — engage as many as you can. 

So if I wanted to teach building a disaster kit and resources/time were not a concern, I would setup a display where I would demonstrate by talking and showing what goes in a kit.  Each item would be marked.  Then I would ask each student to select items from a pile and tell me why they would put them in the kit.  The pile would have both good and bad items; like choices between candles and flashlights.

The article came from: http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/docs/education/Multimodal-Learning-Through-Media.pdf