Students View Multimedia Presentations as an Effective Teaching Tool

Teachers who are looking for new, effective ways to reach students should consider going high-tech in the classroom. It seems the “MTV generation” prefers multimedia presentations over traditional chalkboard instructions, a new Pace University survey shows.

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NEW YORK — Teachers who are looking for new, effective ways to reach students should consider going high-tech in the classroom. It seems the “MTV generation” prefers multimedia presentations over traditional chalkboard instructions, a new Pace University survey shows.

Nearly 82 percent of the students surveyed felt that multimedia presentations increased their interest in the material and improved student-teacher interaction, said Psychology Professor Richard Velayo, who conducted the survey. Nearly 64 percent of the students felt that the multimedia format increased their understanding of the subject and helped them organize and take notes.

“Using multimedia presentations is an attempt to engage the students,” said Dr. Velayo, who incorporates computer-generated demonstrations with his lectures and class discussions. Dr. Velayo added that it is important to get students to actively interact with the material presented so they have a sense of control over their learning. He uses a laptop computer, CD-ROM, large-screen televisions, sound, pictures and, occasionally, films and videos to enhance his lectures.

Dr. Velayo surveyed 83 undergraduate and graduate students in his psychology courses on the use of multimedia technology in the classroom. A majority of the students say the computerized presentations enhance the lectures, but a few say it is more difficult to take notes and understand the material.

“Most students like this technology given its novelty,” Dr. Velayo said. “But if they perceive the material to be more interesting as well as promoting increased interaction, it will have a positive affect on their learning.” However, Dr. Velayo warned, this medium can be detrimental if students become passive observers in the process, as if watching television. The educational and social implications of this study’s findings certainly must be explored further, Dr. Velayo said.

Pace is a comprehensive, independent University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. Nearly 14,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, School of Law and Lienhard School of Nursing.

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