Have you ever been in a situation where you look at your screen or surface of your book, and immediately thought, “Wow, that is a lot of words, I don’t feel like navigating through this colony of ants?” Many of us love reading for pleasure, but most of us need to read to acquire information on a daily basis and occasionally you might like to take a break from it. This is especially true when multiple subjects demand your attention. Skimming isn’t always an option. Anxiety about keeping up with reading is a real thing for many students. So what can we do?

It may seem obvious, but I find alternate forms of the media to be really helpful. I am not sure why there is a bias against multimedia, such as videos and other content, but visual learners and English as a second language learners can really benefit from multimedia. That’s one reason why great textbooks include graphs, charts and images.

I remember trying to learn about projectile motion in physics. The text descriptions were detailed, but I just couldn’t grasp the concept until my teacher drew a picture of an object’s motion with gravity’s constant pull. I really appreciate how my teachers have so many ways to transfer their knowledge.

And why stop with images? Audio files can also be implemented in texts. Getting back to high-school physics, hearing the higher pitch of a higher frequency sound wave was much more effective than reading about this phenomenon.

Taking it a step further, watching a video is an interaction that is different than reading. Despite still being one-way communication, the interaction mimics the classroom without having to be physically in one, and this may help some students like me, who prefer a more personalised learning environment. It is like having a personal tutor who is always ready to remind you about concepts or ideas that you haven’t fully grasped yet.

I find that multimedia in all its forms is more holistic, involving more of my senses, and not relying on my reading comprehension exclusively. It is also easier for me to learn the content. But most of all I find that multimedia is simply more engaging and that has a direct impact on my learning.


About the Author
Aaron Theophilus Setiawan is a student studying at Simon Fraser University. Majoring in Communication and minoring in Interactive Arts, two fields that he finds to be relevant to both worldly events and his passions, Aaron made it to currently undergoing his Co-op term at TextbookHub as a content writer and a marketing assistant. Learning all he can about content writing and marketing, Aaron plans to become an expert in writing content for any subject or topic as long as there are resources to research from. When not studying or working, Aaron spends his time drawing digitally, eating alone or with friends, and appreciating nature. He is currently writing content for the TextbookHub blog. Aaron can be commonly spotted at the office, at SFU’s Burnaby campus, or at home and is contactable through his personal email aaronwaterwall.777@gmail.com.

Learning Beyond Texts

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