Multimodal Learning in Digital Training

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It is more common in digital training studies to include a wide range of various concepts, locations, procedures, and teaching methodologies when choosing a broad outlook on developing the teaching and learning process. Multimodal learning proposes the use of many mediums to train for improving the educational process and boost engagement.  When designing an eLearning curriculum, it is indeed a great idea to include multimodal learning strategies.

In most schools, the student population is varied, including learners with a variety of learning styles. Some individuals prefer a verbal explanation of how one can complete a task, whereas others favor a visual presentation. Students subjected to multiple learning styles and multimodality learn faster, better, and retain more information. Hence, multimodal learning styles has proven to be beneficial for learners, even online.

What Is Multimodal Learning?

Before we get into how multimodal learning styles are effective and beneficial, we will discuss the definition of multimodal learning. Visual, writing, reading, auditory, and kinesthetic approaches are all used to teach an idea in multimodal learning strategies. Its goal is to increase the quality of teaching by tailoring information delivery to student’s preferred learning styles.

Multimodal learning uses numerous media to engage the brain in many teaching strategies at the same time. According to multimodal learning styles, when our visual, aural, and tactile senses engage while learning, we learn and remember more. Students acquire training in a number of ways when these multimodalities are combined. This results in a diversified educational experience.

Unimodality Vs. Multimodality

Unimodality is a teaching method in which learners are solely exposed to one medium of information, such as a visual flowchart or a speech, or even using a blackboard.

Within a multimodal learning environment, the teacher can use a graphic to complement the lecture or build a multimedia presentation to support and complement the lesson. Often, students have different learning styles. This interactive teaching method adds variety to the classroom so there’s something for everyone. It also reinforces overall learning.

What Are the Benefits of Including Multimodal Learning in Your Training?

Although it may be simpler to teach in a single medium, including multiple learning strategies has numerous advantages for students. The main advantage is that it allows students with different learning styles to gain the same advantage from a lesson.

Not all students respond well to the same learning style, which is why it makes sense to support multimodal learning. It offers each learner the same advantage to grasp a concept and understand a lecture through whichever diverse learning style suits them best.

In addition, the benefits of incorporating multiple learning styles include the potential to absorb knowledge more rapidly and at a profound level, allowing for better recall later.

Using different learning styles boosts attention span as well. Knowing how to recognize multiple learning styles will only help your students study more productively. When a student’s understanding of reading relevant data is weak, a graphical representation can often help the student understand the content.

Providing different learning formats provides learners with a more engaging and all-encompassing educational setting. They aren’t compelled to learn in a manner that doesn’t fit their particular learning style. This boosts their interest in the material.

Even children can benefit from multimodal learning and increase their talents. According to research conducted at Cisco, pupils who had been given a mix of text and pictures learn more effectively than those who simply received text input. Combining learning modes works better than the more rigid unimodal education models that come to mind when it comes to traditional classroom settings.

Instructors can also utilize math puzzles to help teach the subject instead of using the standard lecture-style mathematics lectures. The puzzle could be a type of multimodal text with interactive and visual elements.

4 Types of Multimodal Learning

Visual, auditory, reading or writing, and kinesthetic – supported by the VARK model – are the four basic techniques in multimodal strategies. Some specialists feel that students prefer one over the other; for instance, they favor visual learning, but there is little data to justify this.

The VARK model, on the other hand, is still a useful paradigm for creating different learning content that will captivate your students.

1. Visual Learning

Visual learners have a considerable affinity for visuals and video, and they learn best by watching.

Charts, graphics, caricatures and pictures, movies, artwork, visualizations, and diagrams – anything and everything that primarily engages your students’ eyes – are all examples of visual learning. Visual learning also includes color-coding material, employing multiple font styles, and marking crucial information with stickers.

Visual learners process knowledge better when it is portrayed to them as a whole rather than fragmented when they are provided with summarizing charts and graphs rather than successive slides of data. In such cases, they are more likely to see positive learning outcomes.

2. Auditory Learning

Auditory learners tend to use their ears rather than their eyes to study; lectures, presentations, and podcasts are more suitable for them. They can often read aloud their reading material to process information.

What we listen to is the most important aspect of auditory learning. This can be in the form of a webcast, seminar, webinar, podcast, audiobook, or a course instructor talking to individuals face-to-face for a training program. Auditory learning might include meetings, debates, or discussions on the subjects covered.

3. Reading and Writing

Reading learners study by taking notes, and they perform better if they can regulate how new knowledge is acquired and retain it by using the methods they fully grasp.

We’re all comfortable with reading and writing as methods of acquiring education.  Text-based lectures, PDFs, papers, books, and eBooks are frequently used in this setting. Numerous written tests, coursework, or assignments, such as true-false or multiple-choice questions, fall into this category as well.

4. Kinesthetic Learning

These types of learners perform best by doing; they are given an example that they can use to perform the relevant job quickly. A kinesthetic learner is typically referred to as a hands-on learner, and their tactile senses, such as direct contact, play an important role in their learning abilities.

These students may prefer a faster-paced environment for learning with instructors who are good at keeping things moving in the class at a quicker pace. Demonstrations in class and field activities apart from the lecture are also important aspects of effective learning.

Kinesthetic learning requires getting students to participate in activities such as site visits, demos, case studies, and multimedia presentations.  The multiple techniques of multimodal learning don’t function independently, rather they overlap with each other. For instance, making a film includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic knowledge.

Examples Of Multimodal Learning

A multimodal learning strategy combines several learning styles. A teacher might, for instance, deliver a lecture on a topic, illustrate it to the learners, and then encourage them to present an example. The consequent coursework may then include video and graphics, followed by a task to write a brief overview of what they learned.

The above examples use aural, visual, reading, writing, and kinesthetic approaches. There are many ways course instructors can include multimodality in their lectures which include:

  • Pictures
  • Gestures
  • Illustrations
  • Speech
  • Audio
  • Writing and Print
  • Music
  • Colors
  • Movement
  • Facial expressions

As mentioned above, strategic use of the modes can create a curriculum and course design that is effective in the multimodality learning style. They frequently interact with one another, resulting in a lively learning environment. An instructional film, for example, can incorporate speech, visuals, music, and content, all of which might help a learner acquire knowledge more easily.

CGScholar is an LMS that veterinary medical students use to study case files and modules that help them with critical thinking and peer review. It offers online interaction tools and workshop sessions that enhance communication and understanding.

How To Incorporate A Multimodal Approach In eLearning

Using eLearning to implement a multimodal learning strategy necessitates the use of a variety of media. Video and images, as well as lectures and study guides, are all included. This is fairly straightforward with eLearning, particularly if the eLearning is handled via a Learning Management System (LMS).

Using an LMS allows you to quickly create and alter an online program for learners. You can quickly develop resource materials and study guides to support your lectures. Then, a dashboard lets you track your student’s progress to ensure that they are retaining critical information and developing the relevant skills.

Certain e-learning streaming services provide access to the resource materials used in the videos by the course instructor. Students are able to download the relevant files and complete the tasks in the same way as the instructor. However, in such cases, students merely mimic the instructor’s technique. This does little to improve learning.

If we believe that students gain knowledge best when a variety of multi modalities are used, then eLearning classes should involve far more than video lectures and presentations. eLearning courses should also motivate learners to evaluate theories on their own. They can connect and debate with others and employ their own significant experiences through a multimodal deep learning design.

With modern technology, not only is this achievable, but it also creates an interactive learning environment. Hence, it is wiser for course instructors to use an LMS that has the appropriate media tools and features to effectively construct a multimodal learning approach. Some of the ways you can integrate multimodal techniques into your online courses are through the following methods:

Virtualization

eLearning and virtual classes are becoming the norm, and virtualization offers more opportunities for learners to take advantage of multimodal learning styles. You can construct your course to let students complete labs, test learned concepts, and use their knowledge in practical situations.

Virtualization allows for more technical training programs to be provided online, and the courses are often quite engaging and enjoyable. With just a few fundamental technical prerequisites, learners nowadays can access their virtual lab environment from just about anywhere.

Online Conferences

Web conferencing allows students to collaborate in real-time, even if they are perusing a virtual course. It is not a foreign concept to include discussion as part of online education. Almost everyone has taken an online course where they finish an assignment and then post their comments on a discussion board. This structure lets students think about the topics on their own before expanding their knowledge by reading what their classmates have to say.

The difficulty with discussion boards is in generating genuine and engaging debates. Since students contribute at separate times, the forums appear to be inefficient, and learners remain disengaged from each other. Furthermore, the posts frequently get redundant, and the debate becomes boring due to the difficulties of trying to keep up with what someone else has said.

Gamification

Gamification is the process of incorporating gaming elements into a training course or any other technical course. Course creators can use this technique to restructure learning by incorporating components that make it more challenging, interactive, and enriching for students.

Using Multimodality with Caution

Just because learners can excel in various learning styles does not suggest you should expose them to more than one regularly. The modern media environment has made multimodal learning more accessible than ever before. Current research suggests using caution and attention when incorporating multimedia teaching strategies into the classroom.

Learners can start to overlook the broader point of the lesson if it gets too technical and stimulating. Overload occurs when a lesson is clogged with too many mediums or modalities at the same time.

Every medium should work in tandem to create a presentation in which text, visuals, and multimedia all serve a function at the appropriate time in the lecture. Within the class, auditory and visual indicators dispersed by too much space or time will lose their power. Multimodal teachings engage memory and foster a better cognition process when properly organized and focused.

Conclusion

Multimodal learning offers innovation, diversity, and effective learning. Virtualization, video conferencing, gamification, and other advancements are forcing us to rethink how we construct eLearning so that students are completely engaged across many modalities. Multimodal deep learning is being recognized as a useful resource in numerous educational facilities.

For most students, multimodal learning strategies are a positive step since they allow them to become more active participants in selecting their learning methods, which may lead to a stronger motivation to study new information. Blending learning modes can also create a more comprehensive solution to reading and studying, which leads to improved understanding, recollection, and comprehension.

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