The Influence of Media on Learning

Kozma, R.B. (1994). Will Media Influence Learning? Reframing the Debate. Educational Technology Research and Development,42(2), 7-19.

Robert B. Kozma offers a strong rebuttal to Richard E. Clark’s argument that media will never influence learning. Two learning environments, ThinkerTools and the Jasper Woodbury Series, are presented in order to illustrate positive outcomes in a context involving media. Discussion of the attributes as capabilities of media is addressed and the implication is made to further research in this direction of how to use media to influence learning and improve education.

The role of media in learning is offered and discussed in detail, as well as its attributes. The author defines these attributes as the capabilities that are always present in a medium, whether or not they are used. It is suggested that we further research of how these attributes interact with learners and examine the effect on cognitive and social processes. The two environments presented offer a convincing case in support of the influence of media.

When reviewing any technology to amend our instruction, the attributes are crucial in determining its value. Teachers should be aware of the capabilities of media they are implementing to make sure that they are used appropriately and correctly. Quite often various forms of media and technology in today’s world are not explored in depth by instructors prior to its use in the classroom. This misstep prohibits them from conveying the value of the media in a manner that will influence the learner.




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