Using Media In a Blended Course

Discussing the attributes of media and the types of teaching and learning they support will help you choose what type of media to develop your content in. The following section contains excerpts and modifications from Media Characteristics and Online Learning Technology, by Patrick J. Fahy Athabasca University. Most references have been removed to improve readability - the original article is available online with references.


The analysis of media characteristics in this chapter draws directly upon Fleming's six-element typology of teaching tasks and objectives: 1) attention, 2) perception and recall, 3) organization and sequencing, 4) instruction and feedback, 5) learner participation, and 6) higher-order thinking and concept formation. The following media and modes are considered because they are common and familiar, and also because they constitute the tools most available to teachers, trainers, and learners: 1) print and text, 2) still graphics and illustrations, 3) sound and music, 4) video and moving graphics, and 5) multimedia.

Teaching tasks and learning theories

Let's determine how Fleming's conception of learning relates to some well-known learning models and standards. Figure 6-1 shows the correspondence of Fleming's categories to those of Bloom's alterable variables of learning, Chickering and Gamson's seven principles of good practice, and Moore's needs of distance learners.

Table 6-1

Figure 6-1.
Learning and best-practice models, and learning tasks.