What Is Multimodal Learning and How To Use It in Online Courses!

Kwiga
Reading time: 10 minutes

Have you ever had the feeling that you are explaining something, but you are not understood? These things happen for a straightforward reason: the wrong approach. The same is true for online learning. Not every online school considers different learning options or chooses a suitable method for their topic. Let's look at one of the ways to make the learning process easier and more precise - multimodal learning.

What Is the Multimodal Learning

Educational experts also call this method "deep learning." It is a strategy based on various tools for learning and perception of information. A learning management system (LMS) often helps with this. The multimodal learning system uses text or voice and other types of content (videos, pictures, audio, and practical tasks). All this increases the effectiveness of learning.

Theory of Multimodality

Multimodality is based on three concepts that must be considered when developing an electronic course.

1. Multiple approach

Using the principles of multimodality in e-learning will show students that you are using the full potential of multimedia. Picture, sound, and visual graphics are just a few tools for creating a course. The theory of multimodal learning also analyzes various types of multimedia in e-learning and their organization in a virtual environment.

2. Cultural formation

According to the theory of multimodality, all the resources used and the means of transmitting information are formed under the cultural influence. Over time, they acquire a specific meaning, constantly changing as social norms and values adjust.

Here is a basic example: people from different countries or communities perceive the same information differently, depending on the socio-cultural code. Therefore, experts recommend considering the features of the target audience's culture when creating an electronic course. As people use the learning resources, they will become more elaborate and comprehensive.

3. Personal meaning

Let's move on to the third and most crucial point. People give their meaning to various online learning resources, and it is expressed in selecting, configuring, and organizing an e-course through a learning management system. The beliefs and norms of society also influence your students. Moreover, some motivational factors have weight (e.g., the interest of relatives and friends in electronic courses). Therefore, the personal preferences of the target audience are one of the most challenging aspects of working on e-learning. After all, you must understand how potential students understand and accept your product.

The VARK Framework

This is a unique framework that is used to categorize teaching methods. It was first proposed by a teacher from New Zealand, Neil Fleming. According to the framework, there are 4 most common online learning methods with high demand. Let's consider them in more detail.

V - Visual

A person perceives the vast majority of information through vision. Therefore, visual aids are essential in online learning. Colorful images, exciting infographics, and other visual forms are assimilated much better than other types of content, and they provide the main effect of electronic courses.

No matter how logical it may sound, it is vital to make sure that you use high-quality visual content (images, design, visual effects, etc.). The same applies to the educational platform: it should be as convenient and attractive as possible for students.

A - Auditory

It includes learning through audio content such as books, podcasts, and other recordings. You can listen to them at any time - during a trip in transport, at lunchtime and before going to bed. This approach is also suitable for learning new knowledge or improving existing skills.

R - Reading / writing

People don't always follow trends blindly. Many students continue to read books and take notes by hand. Therefore, you can refer to paper books during the lessons.

This approach is used to study the most critical points. And its effectiveness is impressive. Scientists have proven that reading books and writing by hand improve information memorization.

K - Kinesthetic

Learning by doing is much more helpful than learning theory. When people have gained knowledge and begin to apply it, they increase their level of work efficiency. At the same time, people gain valuable experience and better understand the content of the information received recently. Therefore, it is imperative to apply the practical strategy in teaching.

The owner of an online school must necessarily understand that students who attend their courses are well-intentioned. They aim to improve and achieve new heights in life, and it can only be achieved when the learning strategy matches their thinking and learning style.

Why You Should Add Elements of Multimodal Learning to Your E-course

Yes, applying one proven tool might be easier for you. However, using multiple approaches at once makes your eLearning more effective. The reason is simple: people with different learning styles will benefit equally from new knowledge.

Not all students learn the same way, so applying a multimodal learning strategy to your online course makes sense. Various training methods allow your learners to assimilate new concepts better and understand what you offer. In addition, the combination of several styles helps your audience to learn at a deeper level. Therefore, a person remembers new data more easily.

In addition, different learning styles increase concentration. The combination of visual, audio, and text content improves learning productivity. For example, if a student does not understand the teacher's story, an addition in a graph or diagram will help him.

The VARK framework provides a complete and engaging learning experience in a virtual environment. It is flexible enough to offer students ways to master skills that suit their unique learning styles. This, in turn, increases interest in the subject.

At the same time, even children can benefit from multimodal learning and express themselves. Researchers from Cisco have proven that students who work with text and images simultaneously achieve better results than those who just read the text. Combined training models are more effective than traditional methods, which are more rigid.

For instance, the standard math classes make many students bored. It is all because they are given a cold theory. It is much better to consolidate the material with the help of interactive multimodal tests with fascinating visuals.

How To Implement a Multimodal Approach to Online Learning

Suppose you believe your online course participants will achieve great results with a multimodal approach. In that case, the virtual learning environment should contain much more than regular video tutorials and Powerpoint presentations. It is necessary to motivate students to analyze information independently. So, they can discuss the lesson's topic with other students and apply personal experience in the learning process. This is the beauty of multimodal learning.

Further, it creates a unique and highly effective online learning environment. Therefore, the creators of eLearning courses should reasonably choose an LMS as a full-fledged educational platform. It should have all the necessary tools for working with the course: a convenient constructor, a checklist for launching the course, a chat for communicating with students, a statistics section with a detailed reporting network, and much more.

Here are 3 ways to apply a multimodal approach to online learning:

Virtualization

Studying in a virtual environment is becoming more and more popular and relevant, and it offers many more opportunities for students than the traditional approach. Virtualization allows you to build a course to do practical work and exchange thoughts in an online environment.

Moreover, virtual classrooms are much easier to manage than traditional ones, and this is where educational platforms with advanced tools for creating courses help. By following specific requirements, you can give students access to knowledge from anywhere in the world.

Online Conferences

Online conferences allow students to interact with each other, and this approach brings people together and makes them more open. Moreover, the discussion is an integral part of learning. Indeed, unexpected answers and cool ideas may appear in the dialogue process.

In addition, while taking online courses, you can share your thoughts in the chat. This allows students to express the lesson's topic on their own. However, not always textual discussions can be fascinating. Because students cannot always respond on time, some messages become redundant, and chat becomes boring. It is all because of trying to keep up with what other students said.

Game Mechanics

It is necessary to interest not only children but also adults. Therefore, it is crucial to add game elements to eLearning courses, and this approach makes the course more complex, more interactive, and fun. Therefore, gamification brings top benefits to both students and creators of online learning.

Using a Multimodal Approach Wisely

However, just because students can use different teaching methods does not mean you should use them all. Recent studies by American scientists show that when creating e-courses, you need to be more careful with multimedia content.

Moreover, students can be distracted from class if the screen is too overloaded with visuals or text. There is an overload of modalities, which significantly harms training effectiveness. As a result, students remember very little new knowledge.

All educational tools should work together. In this way, you will create educational content in which texts, videos, pictures, and interactive elements look appropriate. If multimedia is spread over considerable periods, it will lose its usefulness. Therefore, we recommend using a multimodal approach and helping students use maximum memory and attention, and it allows you to organize the online learning process properly and involve students.

Conclusion

Multimodal learning offers an innovative and diverse approach to creating e-learning courses. And all thanks to technical advancements that increase learning effectiveness - virtualization, video conferencing, gamification, and more. All this makes us think about creating a course of study that fully involves students. Therefore, the multimodal approach is used by many online schools worldwide.

Most students perceive multimodal strategies positively. The reason is simple: this approach allows you to more actively choose your own learning methods and increase motivation to get new knowledge. Further, several learning modes make it possible to create a complete and comprehensive solution for learning new knowledge improving memory and comprehension.

We hope you found our article helpful. If you have any questions about multimodal education, write them in the comments below. We will answer each question, and the top ones will be discussed in the following articles!