When I decided to take on a terminal degree for my professional aspiration, it was explicit that a long-time passion drove my decision. The passion for research and helping to improve performance through instructional solutions in developing countries bothered me.
The bothered stands from the fact that the evolution of technology and its influence on human performance has been undoubtedly profounding; thus, developing countries appear isolated from this inevitable human advancement. Therefore, my passion for research started from pondering how technology in specific the use of multimedia could help improve performance, especially in developing countries that appear isolated from this inevitable human advancement.
Well, the fact is that this thought of mine is not “new news.” John Sweller, Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer, Fred Paas, Richard Myers and others have spent a tremendous amount of time researching to figure this out. Their research has come forth with theories, principles that have considerably proven reliable with tons of validations through many research studies. I am not trying to question these principles or theories, as you may have noticed from my course projects. I am interested in the application of these principles and theories and their impact on learners’ cognition in developing contexts (i.e. settings with little availability and knowledge about the use of multimedia).
My curiosity, which I hope to develop and refine along the way, will focus on the cognitive and performance impacts of multimedia use through the application of those principles and theories. Studies have shown that, the minimization of cognitive load through well-design learning objectives and the appropriate application of multimedia in relation to content and context, is propitious to allowing the diffusion of Multimedia for instructional purposes. This, I believe, prompt an envisage of a framework for multimedia use in instruction to reduce cognitive load, thereby improving performance.
Though I am energized with this thought based on previous research findings from the literature, I am humble to grow and refined as I go along in this program.
Concerning my research thus far about the measurement of cognitive load to ascertain the reduction of its impact, instruments developed by Hart and Staveland (1988) and Paas and Van Merriënboer (1994) have been widely used and revised, but they are subjective instruments used after instructional development. My gaze is a practical measurement instrument used to avoid cognitive load during the design and development of instruction.
To remain in this passionate focus, I have decided to discipline myself during this doctoral study to keep my research around multimedia principles and cognitive theories. By keeping myself disciplined in this manner, I hope to be a Researcher/Professor dedicated to researching, training, and working with instructional designers and educational technologists to improve human performance. I hope to use more of my time dedicated to research globally in areas of technology and multimedia as well as human performance.
As a researcher, I look forward to exploring interventions to help improve instruction through multimedia without creating cognitive load effects for learners. My goal is to join the research community to help shape the perceptions of technology use as an enhancer and not a replacer of instructors, instructional strategies, or techniques. With the fact that Multimedia is the most widely used form of technology integrated for instruction (Lee and Shin, 2012; Mayer et al., 2001), thus, suggesting a practical measurement instrument that could minimize cognitive load effects for learners will increase the adoption of multimedia as an enhancer and not a threatening replacement to the fundamentals of our learning environments.
As the opportunity for instructing emerge in the near future, I will teach courses around instructional design to include instructional design fundamentals, learning theories, and instructional theories that are core to technology use in international settings and technology integration in general. Of course, an instructional responsibility cannot go without mentoring, which I will gladly accept while shaping learning environments into ideal inclusive environments for research, teaching, and learning.
Without Naivety, I am aware that there will be challenges, but all intended to consciously familiarize myself with the content and context which I will spend the rest of my life involved at various research and learning institutions. There is no doubt that I will continue to love to conduct research and publish findings, teach, and mentor students, and continue learning and learning in an ever-growing field.
Hart, S. G., & Staveland, L. E. (1988). Development of NASA-TLX (Task Load Index): Results of empirical and theoretical research. In Advances in psychology (Vol. 52, pp. 139-183). North-Holland.
Lee, D. Y., & Shin, D. H. (2012). An empirical evaluation of multi-media based learning of a procedural task. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(3), 1072-1081.
Mayer, R. E., Heiser, J., & Lonn, S. (2001). Cognitive constraints on multimedia learning: When presenting more material results in less understanding. Journal of educational psychology, 93(1), 187.
Paas, F. G., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. (1994). Instructional control of cognitive load in the training of complex cognitive tasks. Educational psychology review, 6(4), 351-371.
Below is the model of the future jobs I look forward to after graduation. With the expectations of working in Liberia to be close and with my family, my search for academic roles in instructional design or related fields seen to be vague for the context. Below are just a few of the samples of the jobs available for now.
(Note: the job below in Liberia do not require a terminal degree but preferred a terminal degree. This job suit my knowledge and ability and general competence with a terminal degree in the near future.)
While there appear to be no academic jobs for my position in Liberia, I am confident they will soon emerge as evidence of our field’s pace in the recent time globally surge.
Jobs below are in the United States; its inclusion is to demonstrate a model of instructional job that I look forward to in Liberia (home) when they are available.