Throughout this last month in our LRNT 526 course, I have been exploring the use of Lynda.com videos and tutorials as an online instructional supplement and/or substitute for in-house instructor-customized recordings on similar topics. What I have come to realize during my critical inquiry is that my eyes have been wide shut – not to be confused with the 1999 Stanley Kubrick film of that same name!
At the start of this critical inquiry, my focus was evaluating how the adoption of Lynda.com videos, or curated video libraries could be used to supplement online instruction; mostly for cost reduction purposes. I was sidetracked by the abundance of topics, polished video quality, video speed variations, and content chunking of Lynda videos…in other words, all the ‘bells and whistles’. Through the process of critical inquiry into the implications of using Lynda.com from a pedagogical and business perspective, I realized my focus was not on how this technology could support learning, which I alluded to in my previous blog post.
Shifting gears to concentrate on pedagogical perspectives, one of the areas I explored was Merrill’s (2002) First Principles of Instruction who outlined five principles of instruction for problem-centered instruction:
“Learning is promoted when…
- learners are engaged in solving real-world problems.
- existing knowledge is activated as a foundation for new knowledge.
- when new knowledge is demonstrated to the learner.
- when new knowledge is applied by the learner.
- when new knowledge is integrated into the learner’s world “ (pp. 44-45).
If we look at using Lynda.com or other curated video libraries through the lens of Merrill’s (2002) First Principles of Instruction then the technology in this instance is a tool and perhaps the broader question is if learning is afforded through the use of this tool (Lynda.com videos)? Offering up a cautionary line of thinking backed by research on the use of multimedia technology, Krippel, McKee, & Moody (2010) remind us that:
“The overriding conclusion would be that pedagogy must drive educational technology usage rather than the reverse. New technology is always accompanied by unrealistic expectations of its revolutionary advantages and universal applicability” (p. 6).
Although video-based learning is not a new phenomenon, Lynda.com has repackaged it into a rather convenient learning educational technology product. However, beyond its glitz and polished appeal, it is still one tool of many that can be used in combination of others within an appropriate context to support learning. I am hesitant to claim there is a depth and breadth of learning that takes place, especially without any means of assessment or feedback to learners who use it. Needless to say, my eyes are opening wider as a result of this critical inquiry.
Krippel, G., McKee, A.J., & Moody, J. (2010). Multimedia use in higher education: Promises and pitfalls. Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, 2, 1-8. Retrieved from Aabri manuscripts 09239 on February 3, 2015.
Kubrick, S. (Producer), & Kubrick, S. (Director). (1999). Eyes wide shut [Motion picture]. United States: Warner Bros.
Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 43-59.