C43 Rice, R. E., Hiltz, S. R. & Spencer, D. (2005). Media mixes and learning networks.  In S. R. Hiltz & R. Goldman (Eds.), Asynchronous learning networks: The research frontier (215-237.) Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.


There has been little research on the effect of different media mixes and sequencing on the process and outcomes of asynchronous learning networks (ALNs). The past decade of research on distance education has primarily emphasized design issues, interactivity and active learning, and learner characteristics, mostly through descriptive research.  This chapter will review some of the theories and findings about media characteristics in general that seem most applicable to conceptualizing the pros and cons of incorporating multi-media into text based online courses, and selected studies that included media as a variable.  The following sections introduce the diversity of ALNs, summarize some relevant media typologies, media characteristics theories, and educational media theories.  Then extant studies using multiple new media for educational settings are reviewed to try to identify particular lessons learned, and implications for new media implementation in ALNs.

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