Positive Emotions In Multimedia Learning Education Essay

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The term multimedia signifies using simultaneously several media to present the information. The content can be conveyed by various combinations of text, graphics, animations, pictures, video, and sound (Ivers and Barron, 2006, p. 2).

Multimedia has been defined in various ways:

Multimedia is the "use of multiple forms of media in a presentation" (Schwartz & Beichner, 1999, p. 8).

Multimedia is the "combined use of several media, such as movies, slides, music, and lighting, especially for the purpose of education or entertainment" (Brooks, 1997, p. 17).

Multimedia is "information in the form of graphics, audio, video, or movies. A multimedia document contains a media element other than plain text" (Greenlaw & Hepp, 1999, p. 44).

Multimedia comprises a computer program that includes "text along with at least one of the following: audio or sophisticated sound, music, video, photographs, 3-D graphics, animation, or high-resolution graphics" (Maddux, Johnson, & Willis, 2001, p. 253).

Multimedia learning "involves the integration of more than one medium into some form of communication. (…) Most commonly, though, this term now refers to the integration of media such as text, sound, graphics, animation, video, imaging, and spatial modeling into a computer system (von Wodtke, 1993)" (Jonassen, 2000, p. 207). According to Mayer, "multimedia learning occurs when students build mental representations from words and pictures that are presented to them (e.g., printed text and illustrations or narration and animation)" (Mayer, 2002).

The advantage of multimedia learning is, says Mayer, that students can learn more deeply from well-designed multimedia messages consisting of words and pictures than from more traditional modes of communication involving words alone (Mayer, 2003). "Computer-based multimedia learning environments - consisting of pictures (such as animation) and words (such as narration) - offer a potentially powerful venue for improving student understanding" (Mayer, 2002). Students tend to learn more deeply when visual working memory is not overloaded by having to process both animation and printed text (Therefore words presented as spoken text, do not overload visual working memory, thus allowing for deeper understanding (Mayer, 2002). He defines deep learning (understanding) as learning which leads to problem solving transfer, measured by tests, in which students were asked to generate as many useful solutions as possible to problems they had not seen before. "Redesigning multimedia explanations to mesh with the way humans learn enabled students to generate more creative solutions to problem-solving transfer questions" (Mayer, 2003). The results demonstrated the benefits of learner-centered design.

Evans conducting his research tried to determine whether the addition of interactivity to a computer-based learning package enhances the learning process. The results prove hypothesis that interactive systems facilitate deep learning by actively engaging the learner in the learning process, and therefore "educational designers who seek to foster deep learning should adopt the incorporation of interactivity as a design principle" (Evans, 2006).

Schär and Kaiser investigated the effect of single-media and multimedia presentations on the resulting knowledge. Firstly they focussed on the stability of established multimedia learning principles by measuring acquired knowledge in different ways. They also tested the effect of cognitive load induced by various media combinations. Furthermore they investigated the effect of various media combinations on the resulting kind of knowledge using a differentiated knowledge concept. Schär and Kaiser's study delivered interesting insight about multimedia effects, suggesting that the effect of (multi-) media must be evaluated with regard to the learning goals. Students do not either learn or not learn. Rather various kinds of information can be acquired depending on the representation with verbal and visual media. Researchers stressed that experimental research in this domain should apply a more differentiated knowledge concept than often is the case today. The results offer an interesting differentiated view of the effect of media in this context (Schär and Kaiser, 2006)

E-learning

There is plethora of definition of e-learning, Horton gives short definition: E-learning is the use of information and computer technologies to create learning experiences. (Horton, 2006)

E-learning comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching, which are procedural in character and aim to effect the construction of knowledge with reference to individual experience, practice and knowledge of the learner. E-learning is essentially the computer and network enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. E-learning applications and processes can include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self paced or instructor led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio.

From the learner's perspective, e-learning is self-service and allows an individual great flexibility and control as well as access to hyperlinked interactive multimedia contents while learning at preferred paces and times. Prior information systems (IS) research has investigated different aspects of e-learning; however, the cumulating evidences of its relative effectiveness and outcomes have been largely equivocal. In this study, a longitudinal quasi field experiment was conducted to comparatively examine e-learning and conventional classroom based learning in the context of English learning. This evaluative study used relatively comprehensive effectiveness and outcome measurements and involved 507 undergraduate university students. In addition to assessing the effectiveness and outcomes associated with e-learning, researchers examined the effect of learning style on the effectiveness and outcome improvements resulting from the use of e-learning based as opposed to conventional classroom based learning. Overall, the analysis shows that learning effectiveness (measured objectively and subjectively) associated with e-learning is significantly higher than that observed in the conventional classroom. Subjects supported by e-learning are also more satisfied with the course contents than their conventional classroom counterparts. Personalized learning support appears to be stronger in e-learning than in the conventional classroom setting but the difference is not significant statistically. The analysis results suggest that the exact magnitude and significance of the differential learning effectiveness and outcomes resulting from e-learning appear to be contingent upon the individual's learning style. In particular, assimilators may benefit more from e-learning than accommodators, whereas e-learning effectiveness and outcomes seem comparable between convergers and divergers (Hu et al., 2005).

3.4.Affective multimedia learning.

Positive emotions in multimedia learning - benefits.

There are a number of studies on positive emotions as facilitating factors of changing people's other affective experience such as attitude, motivation, creativity and problem solving skills. Um and colleagues carried out the study to examine whether the positive emotions experienced during multimedia learning aid cognitive process that leads to better learning performance and satisfaction. They bring out the examples of previous studies as a pro and contra to this hypothesis. According to some researchers positive emotions help long-term memory and retrieval, and facilitate working memory process (Erez & Isen, 2002; Isen & Patrick, 1983; Petty, Schumann, Richman, & Strathman, 1993, Weiss, Nicholas, & Daus, 1999, cited by Um et all., 2007). Um et all. point out the series of studies by Isen and her colleagues which have suggested that positive emotions improve creative problem solving by altering the cognitive context in which cognitive activity takes place furthermore by giving cues an extensive and varied set of material (Isen & Daubman, 1984; Isen, Daubman, & Nowicki, 1987; Isen, Johnson, Mertz, & Robinson; 1985; Isen, Rogenzweig, & Young, 1991, cited by Um et all., 2007). Positive emotions may also affect one's attitude and judgement. Generally, "people who are in a positive emotional state make more positive judgements and give favourable feedback because they interpret situations more positively than they would at other times" (Isen, Shalker, Clark, & Karp, 1978; Isen & Patrick, 1983; Petty et al., 1993; Weiss et al., 1999, cited by Um et all., 2007).

Positive emotions in multimedia learning - overload for memory?

However, there are studies that show the opposite effect of positive emotions, which is consistent with the suppression hypothesis that mood can take extra-task processing or task-irrelevant processing and it will have a negative effect on reasoning and performance (Ellis & Ashbook, 1987; Oaksford, Morris, Grainger, & Williams, 1996; Seibert & Ellis, 1991a). "This effect of positive emotions can be explained within cognitive load theory (Paas, Renkl, & Sweller, 2003; Sweller, 1988; 1994), where emotions experienced during cognitive processing of learning materials can be viewed as imposing unnecessary load in working memory, i.e., can be interpreted as extraneous cognitive load. Even though the facilitation hypothesis is dominant in positive emotions related research, the effect of users' positive emotion in learning process is still not understood well "(Um et all., 2007).

The Um and colleagues study examines the effect of positive emotions in a learning context, and tries to identify strategies of inducing positive emotions in multimedia-based learning through the instructional design of the learning material.

Screen shots of Neutral Design material

Screen shots of Good Design material

Figure 1: Screen shots of multimedia based learning materials (Um et all. 2007)

With a cooperation of 3 instructional design professionals as reviewers, two different designs were implemented; 'neutral emotional design' aiming to generate neither positive nor negative emotions, and 'positive emotional design' which intended to generate positive emotions (Fig.1). "The 'positive emotional design' version was revised from the neutral one to have better quality in aesthetic design using emotional design principles (Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2003) such as colour combination, immersion and the aesthetic usability effect. To assure that the only design change between the two versions of the material were of aesthetic nature; both designs had the same amount of content, length and also followed the same usability and multimedia design principles (Mayer, 2001)" (Um et all., 2007). The participants were 34 college students at a large private university in the northeastern U.S. who participated in the experiment on voluntary basis. They were randomly assigned to one of four treatment conditions. These four conditions were created by two design factors, which were the manipulation of emotions by means of selfreferencing mood induction procedure (positive or neutral emotions), and the manipulation of affect by means of the aesthetic design of the learning materials (good or neutral design).

The result of Um's experiment shows that there is significant effect of emotions on their transfer test, mental effort investment, as well as level of satisfaction. Moreover indicates that "positive emotions can be generated by the instructional design that may be able to affect learners' experience and performance". The study implies that positive emotions should be considered as important factors in instructional design. Also, emotional design principles should be studied in more detail for better instructional material design (Um et all., 2007).

Educational impact of multimedia games.

Annetta and colleagues were examining the educational impact of video games. The statistical results of their study indicated that despite being more engaged in the instruction students who played computer-based MEGA games did not demonstrate a greater understanding of the genetics concepts presented. However games are an engaging and adaptable tool and therefore can aid the learning process. (Annetta et all., 2009). Kiili's research focussed on digital game-based learning and suggests that online games satisfy the basic requirements of learning environments and can provide an engaging learning experience. He stresses the importance of providing the player with immediate feedback, clear goals and challenges that match the player's skill level (Kiili, 2005).

Sung and colleagues designed and evaluated multimedia games which were based on the theories of children's development of taxonomic concepts. Their research identified factors that might affect children's classification skills, such as use of single physical characteristics of objects, competition between thematic and taxonomic relationships, difficulty in forming hierarchical categories. Moreover they implemented several strategies for overcoming the above disadvantages, such as verbal hints, linguistic labelling, exemplar comparison, and explicit statements were implemented in the Software for Rebuilding Taxonomy (SoRT) for improving children's taxonomic concept learning. Sixty children, aged 4 and 5, participated in the evaluation of SoRT. The results showed that the SoRT was helpful to improve children's distinction between thematic and taxonomic relationships and their learning of hierarchical taxonomic concepts (Sung, 2006).

Gender Stereotypes in Electronic Games

Research on children interacting in an electronic games environment found several difference between girls and boys (Inkpen et al. 94, Lawry et al. 95, cited by Inkpen, 1998). The differences included the types of games the children liked, what aspects of the games were important to them, and to what degree the games were a part of their social environment. Unfortunately, many electronic games are designed by men, for the young male market. Gender prejudices can be found in many electronic games that involve violence and use women as "objects" to be rescued (Provenzo 92, cited by Inkpen, 1998). Inkpen stresses that not only is it important to develop products that are appropriate for both genders, it is imperative that the products developed do not promote the negative stereotypes of either gender (Inkpen, 1998).

Animations

Computer animation has enormous potential to provide visualizations of dynamic phenomena that involve change over time. (Betrancourt, M., 2005). However, the research showed that learners did not systematically take advantage of animated graphics in terms of comprehension of the underlying causal or functional model. Betrancourt points out that two characteristics appear to be popular among instruction designers and practitioners: the use of animated graphics as soon as depiction of dynamic system is involved, and the capability for learners to interact with the instructional material. According to his research an animation can provide benefits when it is interactive and the system reacts to the learner's input. Moreover, when learners have interactive control over their interaction with the animation, they find the material more enjoyable and easier to understand. Betrancourt stresses that due to the cognitive load of processing animations, animation should only be used when truly needed, such as when the phenomenon changes over time, making static representations unacceptable, and when learners are novices in the domain and need assistance in forming mental models (Betrancourt, M., 2005).

Animations can aid learning by providing external support for visual-spatial mental processing. However facilitation is challenged by findings that demonstrate involvement of spatial abilities in learning from animations, because this involvement indicates active internal visual-spatial processing. In the Munzer's study, learners attended to a system-paced multimedia presentation in which a verbal-auditory explanation was concurrently synchronized either with animation, with static core pictures, or with enriched static pictures that showed additional intermediate steps and arrows indicating motion. Results demonstrated better learning success with animations and with enriched static pictures than with static pictures. Spatial abilities were not substantively related to learning success with animations or with static pictures, but they played a crucial role for learning success with enriched static pictures. Münzer concludes that active visual-spatial processing was recruited with enriched static pictures. With animations, learning was truly facilitated by external support for visual-spatial mental processing. (Münzer et al., 2009).

Korakakis and colleagues conducted research to determine whether the use of specific types of visualization (3D illustration, 3D animation, and interactive 3D animation) combined with narration and text, contributes to the learning process of 13- and 14- years-old students in science courses. The study was carried out with 212 8th grade students in Greece. This exploratory study utilized three different versions of an interactive multimedia application called ''Methods of separation of mixtures", each one differing from the other two in a type of visuals. The results indicate that multimedia applications with interactive 3D animations as well as with 3D animations do in fact increase the interest of students and make the material more appealing to them. The findings also suggest that the most obvious and essential benefit of static visuals (3D illustrations) is that they leave the time control of learning to the students and decrease the cognitive load (Korakakis et al., 2009).

The study of Delacosta and colleagues presents research findings on the use of animated cartoons in a multimedia application meant to evaluate their effectiveness in supporting teaching and learning in science. The researchers have developed a cartoon-style multimedia application whereas animated cartoons where designed from scratch using appropriate programs. The study was carried out in various elementary schools of Athens, Greece, and 179 pupils aged 10-11 years participated in it. The research results provide evidence that the use of animated cartoons significantly increases the young students' knowledge and understanding of specific science concepts, which are normally difficult to comprehend and often cause misconceptions to them (Dalacosta et al., 2009).

Rias and colleagues research present a multimedia learning aid using 3-Dimensional animation to help students learn with interest and more clarity in order to grasp the information on the topic of memory management. They did an assessment on the instructional value and overall satisfaction of the multimedia system viewed by 48 students (Rias, R.M., 2009).

Interactive multimedia learning

Various definitions of interactive learning come from different perspectives, however they share the idea that interactivity requires two fundamental conditions: at least two participants must interact with each other, and the actions of these participants must include an element of reciprocity. Reciprocity means that change occurs on both sides; the actions of one party trigger responses from the other, which lead in turn to changes in the first (Johnson et al. 2006) further point out that it is not only reciprocity - action followed by a reaction - that is required, but also responsiveness, the degree to which the (re)actions on both sides are related, relevant, and sustain the continuity of the interaction.

Applying these fundamental conditions to the context of multimedia learning, Domagk and colleagues define interactivity as follows: Interactivity in the context of computer-based multimedia learning is reciprocal activity between a learner and a multimedia learning system, in which the [re]action of the learner is dependent upon the [re]-action of the system and vice versa (Domagk et al., 2010). This definition emphasizes the dynamic relationship between the learner and the learning system. It acknowledges that a multimedia-learning environment per se cannot be interactive, but that it rather includes features with the potential to engage the learner. It is the learner, however, who must release this potential by responding to system activity in a meaningful way (Kennedy, 2004, cited by Domagk et al., 2010). Their definition focuses on this type of learner/system response rather than including learner/learner interactions that might be afforded by technology (Renkl & Atkinson, 2007). Interactions between learners via technical means fall into the area of mediated human communication, but have less to do with human-computer interaction (Domagk et al., 2010)

Domagk and colleagues present a unifying model that includes the user, the learning environment, and a system of connections and concepts that together make up interactivity. Such a model can help inform research, discussion, and design decisions on interactive multimedia instruction. The Integrated Model of Multimedia Interactivity (INTERACT) consists of six principal components which together comprise an integrated system: the learning environment, behavioral activities, cognitive and metacognitive activities, motivation and emotion, learner variables, and the learner's mental model (learning outcomes) (Domagk et al., 2010).

Interactive non-interactive - evaluation

New technologies enable flexible combinations of text and interactive or non-interactive pictures. Rasch and colleagues investigate whether adding pictures to texts is generally beneficial for learning or whether it can also have detrimental effects, furthermore how interactivity of pictures affects learning, also whether the visualization format of pictures affects the structure of the learner's mental model, and whether the visualization format modifies the effects of interactivity. One hundred university students were randomly assigned to five groups. In four groups, a text about the different daytimes and days on the earth was combined with interactive or non-interactive pictures of different visualization formats. In the fifth group, the text was presented without pictures. According to the results, adding pictures to text was neither beneficial nor harmful for learning. In terms of learning efficiency, however, learning from text only was more successful than learning from text and pictures. Interactivity was beneficial for one learning task, but not for the other task. The visualization format affected participants' interaction with pictures, but not the learning outcomes; however this effect was not influenced by interactivity. Researchers stress that implications for multimedia design and for further research are needed (Rasch et al., 2009).

The impact of multimedia in medical communication.

An effective communication with patient facilitates making informed choices and is essential for prevention, successful treatment and recovery. Interactive health communication plays increasingly important role in providing health information to the public (Fotheringham, 2000, Morris et all., 1996). For instance interactive health communication conveyed via Internet significantly affects the range and flexibility of the intervention options available in preventive medicine (Robinson, 1998). Robinson defines interactive health communication as "an interaction of an individual-consumer, patient, caregiver or professional - with or through an electronic device or communication technology to access or transmit health information or receive guidance and support on health-related issues" (Robinson, 1998).

Furstenberg and colleagues' study reviews the basic principles of formative evaluation and describes how those principles can be applied to the formative evaluation of a multimedia program for patients about the side effects of cancer treatment. It discusses the challenges of developing multimedia programs for patients and provides guidance to other health professionals interested in developing programs on other topics (Furstenberg et al., 2001).

Potential benefits and risk of interactive health communication.

Robinson and colleagues statement present us with the benefits and risks of interactive health communication. The report identified six potential benefits and six specific functions which interactive health communication could deliver. Among the six benefits were: improved opportunity to find information 'tailored' to the specific needs of individuals or groups; improved ability of combined media to improve communication by, for example, linking video information to text; ability to consult anonymously; increased access to information and support; increased opportunity for interaction; better ability for widespread dissemination and keeping information up to date. The six specific functions include: information transfer, facilitation of informed decision-making, promotion of healthful behaviour, developing peer information exchange and emotional support, promotion of self-care, demand management (Robinson et all., 1998).

Potential risk of interactive health communication.

The report identifies the potential for harm caused by interactive health communication as derived principally from poor quality interactive health communication, for instance from potentially misleading claims for medical products (Robinson et all., 1998).

Multimedia for cancer communication

Complex health information can be very difficult to convey to patients newly diagnosed with serious illnesses, such as cancer (Bader, 2003). The message may be difficult to transmit in a meaningful way, says Bader, moreover not every patient wants to receive the message, anxiety may therefore interfere learning.

Searching for personal health information online became increasingly-popular among Internet users and cancer patients in particular. "Providing critical but basic information in lay vocabulary to cancer patients and their families to help them make important personal health decisions is a key function of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Internet Web site. Providing this information in the format users prefer and can learn from is also a priority, given the plethora of options and choices now available to consumers" (Bader 2003). Bader et all. evaluated different new multimedia formats for cancer communications, to help develop and pilot strategies for developing content for the future audience.

The 5 media formats evaluated for this study were:

Paper (existing: paperback booklet, predominantly text)

Web (existing: paperback booklet in HTML format on the Web)

Audio (new: spoken audio files available for streaming or download)

Audio plus Web (new: spoken audio synchronized with existing Web page)

Flash (new: animation loops, graphics, synchronized sound, dictionary).

(Bader, 2003)

Bader and colleagues found a significant improvement in scores from pre-test to post-test for the total study population. "Average scores for users in each of the 5 format groups improved significantly. Increments in improvement, however, were not statistically different between any of the format groups". Flash was ranked first among users regardless of education level, age group, or format group to which the user was assigned. Audio was the least-preferred format (Bader, 2003). Although the Flash format was mostly preferred to the other 4 formats, learning occurred equally in all formats. Concluding Bader et all. state that "use of multimedia should be considered as communication strategies are developed for updating cancer content and attracting new users". In this study there was no age differentiation; all age groups preferred the new Flash multimedia tutorial format overwhelmingly (Bader, 2003). Research has also shown that cancer patients often desire more information than they receive and that the format in which they receive the information should be based on their preference (Bader, 2003). Researchers state that "multimedia content using animation and sound need not be created in Flash, but it should take advantage of sound and useful graphics and animation loops to communicate effectively and interestingly with users. Moreover embedding Flash movies or other multimedia animation loops inside text Web pages might also provide learning assistance without having to create entirely-new stand-alone programs, and the components may be reusable in many programs" (Bader, 2003).

Multimedia for genetics communication

Genetics as a multidisciplinary may be difficult to comprehend, even for adults, thus most children struggle to understand basic genetics. Over the past two decades, researchers have found that genetics remains conceptually and linguistically difficult to teach and learn (Bahar et al. 1999) (Tsui, 2004). "Several surveys, focus groups and formal assessments have documented low levels of understanding of genetics vocabulary and concepts among the public, despite the generally high support for genetics research and testing" . Genetic knowledge in school-aged children is also low (Haga, S. 2006).

"A variety of computer programs have been used over the past two decades to enhance student learning of genetics. Multiple representations in the latest educational software have provided new learning opportunities for high school students" (Tsui, 2004).

Figure 2.

A snapshot of BioLogica Monohybrid activity with multiple representations of genetics, which are dynamically linked across three windows: pedigree window, chromosome window and Punnett square window, arranged in a clockwise direction from top left (Tsui, 2004).

One of them is multimedia-based tool BioLogica, designed to provide students with a challenging and interactive environment for learning genetics. Tsui et all., conducted research on student motivation and learning using this software. According to the findings there is no significant progress in learning but students using the software seam to enjoy more and they appear to be intrinsically motivated by (Fig 2, Tsui, 2004).

Green's research aimed to developed intelligent multimedia system for helping lay audience to understand medical informations. The study states that diagrams of inheritance processes may be less effective than animated diagrams due to the probabilistic nature of inheritance (Green, 2005).

Haga presents an overview of genetic education resources that are available online, and relevant to students in secondary education, health professionals, genetics and public. The Genetics Education and Health Research Unit of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) has developed several resources for different groups, including school-based activities that explore a range of topics on the science and application of human genetics. Haga points out a particular series of activities called 'Harry Potter - The Magic of Genetics' which introduces students to basic genetic concepts. "The GeneCRC has also developed several resources, including a kids-only page with 'gene games' and illustrated story-like descriptions of basic genetics concepts. (Note that the GeneCRC is no longer active; however, many of the activities continue to be carried out by collaborating organizations at the MCRI and elsewhere.) Several companies that conduct genetics research provide educational resources to promote greater knowledge about basic genetics. GlaxoSmithKline provides an interactive, web-based resource that is targeted at students aged 11 to 16 and is called People and Medicine. The resource includes units on DNA, genetics research and pharmacogenetics, and inheritance and genetic diseases. Kids Genetics offers games and short educational videos about genes, chromosomes and diseases for children aged 8 to 12 years old, whereas Active Science provides 13 interactive modules, worksheets, downloadable files and databases for students aged 5 to 16 and older. In particular, the Selective Breeding and Genetic Engineering module covers topics such as chromosomes, genes, cell division, evolution and genetic engineering. The modules were developed to correlate specifically to the National Curriculum of England and Wales" (Haga, 2006).

A number of websites have been developed, Haga presents an overview:

(Haga, 2006)

Websites addressed particularly to young patients have been also developed:

www.clicsargent.org.uk

www.teencancer.org

www.abta.org/kids

www.kidshealth.org/parent

www.click4tic.org.uk

www.childrenfirst.nhs.uk

www.teenshealth.org

www.royalmarsden.org

www.changingfaces.org.uk

http://www.mcri.edu.au/pages/education/index.asp

www.theportlandhospital.com/portly-panda.asp

Multimedia TOOLBOOK

Volpe et al. developed a multimedia system used as an auxiliary didactic tool for teaching medical genetics, HGEN, is based on non-linear programmed instruction and multimedia. HGEN was implemented in layers for PC compatible using MULTIMEDIA TOOLBOOK and DELPHI. It includes basic medical genetics concepts (inheritance patterns and cytogenetics) and it is based on multiple choice questions with images, diagrams and animations. The student-program interaction occurs by choosing an alternative in a question and receiving a specific answer as feedback and additional information. Links send the students to a glossary, to short descriptions of diseases used as examples, or to references for further studies. In order to evaluate the performance of the HGEN the authors used two questionnaires: (a) about the students' background in using computers; and (b) the system efficiency as a didactic tool, the software quality and user satisfaction. HGEN was used by 63 students from three medical schools and it was considered efficient as a learning tool (100%) (Volpe, 1998).

According to existing research, multimedia e-learning; on-line information, animations, games can improve understanding genetics via creating easy to use and enjoyable learning environment and encourage patients to seek for the information provided.

Conclusion

Using multimedia to present information to the patients can be beneficial for them and improve communication with medical professionals. However balancing good design principles with personal recipient preferences is crucial to evaluate interactive tool which aids this communication. Using embedded Flash components; e.g. an animation accompanied with sound instead of text, is overwhelmingly preferable by patients. Genetic education is crucial for patients to make informed decisions, encouraging them to seek for information by using their favourite multimedia formats can facilitate deep understanding. Multimedia tools like animations, movies, games can enhance learning by making educational process more interesting, enjoyable and motivating.

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