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"Multimedia Textbooks and Student Learning" icon

Multimedia Textbooks and Student Learning

The past decade has witnessed the widespread perfusion of the world-wide web throughout western culture.  Ten years ago it was rare for an office, library, school, or home to have computers available for web browsing.  Now the reverse is true.  This vast expansion of the web has permitted various kinds of online learning systems to appear in such abundance that it is difficult to keep track of them all.  Yet college students still usually buy and read printed textbooks (perhaps with a CD-ROM or associated web site) and significant obstacles remain for widespread adoption of electronic textbooks instead of printed textbooks.  Against the backdrop of human learning, this article will explore the advantages and disadvantages of electronic multimedia textbooks vis-à-vis traditional textbooks.  Some interesting solutions to the effective employment of multimedia texts are drawn from ePsych, a free and open website designed to introduce student visitors to psychology.  ePsych, a 2005 recipient of the MERLOT Classics award in Psychology, is a moderate-sized website of approximately 2,800 html pages, 410 video clips, 61 java-based experiments and simulations, and 5,200 image files.


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