Monthly Archives: July 2014

Multimedia Screencast Tutorial

I am a math and technology teacher so this is something I do everyday in my classroom.  This tutorial is a video for my animation class. If students need extra explanation or they are absent, they can refer to the video to gain further instruction.  The intention was to limit the amount of visual and audio interaction with the student.  I tried to limit the text used and explained the images with narration.

Shape Tween – Broadband from Beth Cerrone on Vimeo.


Digital Storytelling

In this assignment, we were asked to create a digital story.  The purpose was to explore different tools for digital storytelling.  I will certainly use digital storytelling in my classroom as it allows students to express themselves in a creative manner.  It gives students an opportunity for a different type of assessment.

I am in the process of recreating my school website.  Part of my website is an About Me page that describes me and my teaching experience.  To kill two birds with one stone, I decided to create a digital story about my journey into teaching to put on my website.  I wanted to keep it simple so I highlighted my education and work experience.  I plan to make another later on about my philosophy of teaching.  I felt two and a half minutes was enough information for my first one.

The video is below:

My Journey Into Teaching from Beth Cerrone on Vimeo.

Coherence Principle

 What is the Coherence Principle? What are its most important constraints/criteria?

The Coherence Principle states that information included in a lesson that is not necessary to meeting the lesson objectives will lessen the overall learning. The important criteria of the Coherence Principle as stated by Clark & Mayer (2008) are:

  • Avoid e-lessons with extraneous audio – There is evidence, according to Clark & Mayer, that background music or unneeded sound effects detract from the overall learning.
  • Avoid e-lessons with extraneous graphics – Graphics that are not implicit to the lesson will distract the student from the important in the lesson. It is imperative to use simple graphics with limited text.
  • Avoid e-lessons with extraneous words – As with the above two criteria, simpler is better. The key is to keep the student on task to learn the important information as completely as possible.

Describe and/or include one example of successful and one example of unsuccessful attempts to apply the Coherence Principle in actual instruction and training you have experienced, especially as it might be implemented in PowerPoint-based instruction and training.

When a tool first becomes popular, users tend to use all of the bells and whistles until they realize that it is not effective. The most recent example I can think of unsuccessful attempts to apply the principle is actually by me. I created a Prezi to teach our faculty the guidelines we needed to know for our TCAP (standardized test) training. We all have done the training so many times I wanted to try and keep their attention. I added sound effects and motion. It completely detracted from the content. They remembered the sound effects and motion, but they did not remember the important details. Successful attempts? Since then I have tried to keep my Powerpoint presentations very simple with very minimal text and certainly no effects. High school students are very easily distracted and they don’t need any further reasons to not pay attention!

Have you ever seen this principle violated or abused?

I think this principle is abused so often. People (both adults and students) tend to include an extraordinary amount of text on their presentations. It is very difficult to listen to the presenter and read all of the text simultaneously. I find I just stop paying attention altogether as my senses are overloaded. This concept has made me realize that I need to offer a Powerpoint workshop for both students and teachers.

Discuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to other Multimedia Learning Principles examined thus far in your readings.

Throughout our course, we have discussed principles that have supported the cognitive theory of multimedia. The cognitive theory states that all multimedia used (graphics, sound and text) must support the way that individuals learn. We have discussed the concept that we have two different sensory learning channels. The multimedia used must not overwhelm either channel (auditory or visual) as that will inhibit learning.

Discuss the relationship of the Coherence Principle to fundamental theories of psychology as described by Clark & Mayer in your textbook.

As it applies to extraneous audio, Clark & Mayer (2008) state that adding extraneous audio will not make an otherwise boring lesson interesting. They also state that “Students will learn more deeply from multimedia presentations that do not contain extraneous sounds and music than from multimedia presentations that do.”.

Avoiding extraneous graphics and text is important as it can distract the student from the content they are meant to learn. As the cognitive theory of multimedia states it is important to minimize the overload of sensory learning channels.

What do you personally like or dislike about this principle? Present a coherent, informed opinion and explain why you hold this opinion.

In all honesty, I am on the fence with regards to how I feel about the Coherence Principle and its effectiveness.

As a student myself, I find that I like directed, simple and well thought out instruction. The bells and whistles are uninteresting to me. However, I find that students of this generation that have so much interaction with highly stimulating games, tv, etc. that they struggle to pay attention if it is not that way. They are so used to do five things at once, that I feel they actually lose attention if they are asked to do one. I certainly need to do some more in class research to come up with a more informed opinion.

Are there any limitations or qualifications of the principle (caveats) which the authors did not consider and, if so, what are they?

I think the main limitation to the principle is that the environment of the student has changed. My learning experience as an adult is much different than that of a student of this generation. How do we adapt for the changing environment?


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2008). E-learning and the science of instruction. Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer: San Francisco, CA

Hill, A., Arford, T., Lubitow, A., &  Smollin, L. (2012). I’m ambivalent about it: The dilemmas of PowerPoint. Teaching Sociology, 40 (3), 242-256. 

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R.E. (2000).  A Coherence Effect in Multimedia Learning: The Case for Minimizing Irrelevant Sounds in the Design of Multimedia Instructional Messages.  Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, No. 1,117-125.


Tiger Talk Podcast

Project #2 asked us to create a podcast.  I decided to create a Tiger Talk Podcast as we are the Erie High School Tigers.  The purpose of the podcast is to serve as a portable audio version of the news portion of our website.  Parents and students can access the podcast on their phone and listen to the informational podcast as they workout, drive, etc.

This is going to be a weekly podcast informing the Erie community of the events going on at the school.  Students and/or parents can ask questions and those questions can be answered on this podcast. Questions can be phoned in to the office or sent via email to the school webmaster.  If there are no questions asked for that week, the podcast will share any new news and events.

I would like to create one for my boys tennis team as well.  My plan is to call it Tiger Tennis News and send it via group text to all of my parents and players.  If I get it done before Tuesday, I will post that one as well.

The link to my podcast is here.


AECT Standards:

2.2 Audiovisual Technologies:  Audiovisual technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials by using mechanical devices or electronic machines to present auditory and visual messages.

In this project, we clearly used auditory messages to create a podcast.

4.4 Information Management:  Information management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling the storage, transfer, or processing of information in order to provide resources for learning.

In this project, we were required to upload our mp3 file to dropbox.  This allowed us to store the file and gave us the capability of sharing as well.