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Jun 05 2019 - 08:53 AM
The Role of Vialogues in Self-Directed Learning
Social multimedia tools such as Vialogues play a crucial role in disseminating information and guiding in the process of informal self-directed learning (SDL). One advantage of such collaborative digital platforms is that they allow users to select and access educational content at their convenience. This implies that these platforms permit flexible and tailored learning environment based on the users’ needs. Likewise, these platforms permit learners to socialize by commenting on the learning content and providing important insights, which sets a foundation for a social network. According to Lee, Osop, Goh, and Kelni (2017), collaborative multimedia platforms facilitate procedural and active learning. Procedural learning is defined as the acquisition of skills through repetitive tasks to an extent that the skills become automated and do not require awareness nor extra effort (Lejeune, Wansard, Geurten, & Meulemans, 2016). It activates multiple brain structures such as the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum, and consists of two stages (Lejeune, Wansard, Geurten, & Meulemans, 2016). During the first stage, also known as the “fast learning”, there is a drastic improvement in the skill performance within a single learning session (Lejeune, Wansard, Geurten, & Meulemans, 2016). During the second stage, also known as “slow learning”, the improvement is gradual and lasts over several learning sessions until it becomes automated (Lejeune, Wansard, Geurten, & Meulemans, 2016). Nonetheless, digital media platforms such as Vialogues aid in the procedural learning in the process outlined by Mayer’s (2001) Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (CTML), which holds three following assumptions: dual-channel assumption, limited-capacity assumption, and active-processing assumption. The dual-channel assumption holds that humans have separate processing channels for visual and auditory stimuli (Mayer, 2001). The limited-capacity assumption is defined as humans are limited in the amount of stimuli that can be processed by one channel at a time (Mayer, 2001). Active processing occurs when humans are engaging in “active learning by attending to relevant incoming information, organizing selected information into coherent mental representations, and integrating mental representations with other knowledge” (Mayer, 2001, p.4). Videos utilize a presentation-mode approach is utilized which involves multiple types of stimuli (e.g. visual, auditory, etc.). Hence, according to the dual-assumption, when learners are watching Vialogues, the verbal material is processed in the auditory/verbal channel while the nonverbal material is processed in the visual/pictorial channel in the viewer’s working memory (Mayer, 2001). Then, the education content of the videos is integrated with other information in the long-term memory (Mayer, 2001). Likewise, it reduces unnecessary cognitive load since we have a limited working memory capacity (Mayer, 2014). This, in turn, makes the educational content in Vialogues more meaningful. Moreover, Park (2015) found that personalized narration using human voice significantly reduces perceived cognitive load, improves learner’s motivation in regards to confidence and relevance, and promotes situational interest compared to non-verbal presentation of the information. However, it is important to note that an extraneous processing of the cognitive capacity can be caused if the design of the Vialogue is poor (e.g. irrelevant images) (Mayer, 2014). Complexity of the material presented and the learners’ initial motivation also play a role in their cognitive capacity during the multimedia learning (Mayer, 2014). The complexity of the material affects the essential processing, which involves filtering unecessary information; and the learners’ initial motivation affects their comprehension of the material (i.e. organization and integration of the material) (Mayer, 2014). Therefore, the creators of Vialogues should consider these factors when generating content for their audience.  


Lee, C. S., Osop, H., Goh, D. H., & Kelni, G. (2017). Making sense of comments on YouTube educational videos: A self-directed learning perspective. Online Information Review, 41(5), 611-625. doi:10.1108/OIR-09-2016-0274 Lejeune, C., Wansard, M., Geurten, M., & Meulemans, T. (2016). Procedural learning, consolidation, and transfer of a new skill in developmental coordination disorder. Child Neuropsychology, 22(2), 143-154. doi:10.1080/09297049.2014.988608 Mayer, R. (2001). A Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning. In Mayer, R., Multimedia Learning. New York: Cambridge University Press Mayer, R. E. (2014). Cognitive theory of multimedia learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (2nd ed., pp. 43-71). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Park, S. (2015). The effects of social cue principles on cognitive load, situational interest, motivation, and achievement in pedagogical agent multimedia learning. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 18(4), 211-229. Retrieved from
Posted in: Self-Directed Learning|By: Anna Lizarov|762 Reads