Last week, we learned that multimodal approaches help students to retain what they learn. However, the use of multimodal approaches needs to be managed and kept in check, because new scientific studies reveal that multitasking results in losses in efficiency.
According to Multimodal Learning Through Media: What the Research Says: …Thinking processes happen serially, resulting in delays caused by switching from one task to another. The delays become more pronounced as the complexity of the task increases.
Even though we are capable of simultaneously processing a wide variety of inputs, we can really only focus on one thing at a time. Thinking, decision making, and cueing of long-term memories invoke and require the central cognitive processor, which only works serially. This executive cognitive control slows down thinking and makes multitasking inefficient.
That’s probably enough input for this week!
Next week, we will continue our discussion about multimodal learning by looking at the thinking process.