What I'm Reading... On Media & Multimedia

At first I decided to write this post just for fun - and honestly - just to goof off and waste time.

And then the more I thought about it the more I realized that actually completing this process might be informative.  So here we go!

I'm in grad school and I read a lot.  (Even before grad school I read a lot as well.)  I'm also an NCSU Libraries fanboy - I just love them.  The staff are helpful, friendly, and accessible - not to mention the amazing new website and the fact that we have an awesome collection.

Problem is, though, that my reading rate can't keep up with the number of books that I bring home from the library.  (I now hit up the library at least two times a week nowadays.)  I get lured in by titles and tables of contents and grandiose plans of being able to read every book that leaves the library in my arms.

Sadly, this isn't often the case.  But I do have a pretty good go of it, I must admit.

So here is a list of most of the books I've got out right now.  (I say most because I'm also reading some ebooks, and that could be a whole other post.  Also, I'm focusing on my scholarly/critical readings rather than personal, for the heck of it readings.)

I've even color coded them as to their reading status: ;)

  • Green - Read

  • Yellow - I'm in the middle of reading it, and I'm most likely going to finish > 50% of it

  • Orange - I've thumbed through it, read a few chapters, questionable as to whether I'll finish it

  • Red - Currently sitting on the shelf, hopefully will get to read soon

1) Multimedia Learning by Richard E. Mayer / Green

Multimedia Learning

I actually started reading this book as part of an assignment via DELTA at NCSU, but ended up really getting into it.  In it, Mayer expands on his research on his cognitive theory of multimedia learning.  If you want the background/theory - this is for you.  Mayer's writing is accessible and easily approached.

2) The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning edited by Richard E. Mayer / Orange

Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning

I got this book mainly because Mayer cites it (and the chapters he wrote) a lot in the Multimedia Learning book.  I like this text because it brings in other scholars to help explain and explore the principles and "state of things" with regards to his theory.  My favorite part of the book?  The chapter by Richard Clark on five "questionable" assumptions about learning from media.  That chapter actually prompted the following mindmap:

5 questionable principles mindmap

3) Learning from Media Edited by Richard Clark / Yellow

Learning from Media

Speaking of Clark, here's a book that I've got on loan (from somewhere) that Clark edited.  He went back and pulled all of the original articles from his methods versus media debate with Kozma and put them into a collection.  I've only read the first chapter of this (and I've read most of the articles independently) but I do plan on reading this entire text.  I'm fascinated by this conversation and debate - and I think it's one that current and future teachers should be well-versed in.

4) Cognitive Load Theory Edited by Jan Plass, Roxana Moreno, and Roland Brunken / Green

Cognitive Load Theory

What can I say?  I went through a cognitive science-ish phase.  (Whose to say I'm not still in it?!)  I became absolutely fascinated with this theory - and consequently devoured this 2010 book by the best minds in the field (Mayer, Moreno, Clark, Sweller, and more) updating the world on where their scholarship stands.  One of the most interesting points is made in Sweller's introduction where he places human cognitive architecture as primary in understanding learning.  He also suggests that CLT begin to incorporate the advancements in evolutionary psychology.  Not a bad read!

5) Media Psychology Edited by David Giles / Orange

Media Psychology

There was a brief period where I considered becoming a media psychologist.  This was primarily as a result of me discovering that there actually is a discipline called media psychology. :)  I've read the first few chapters of this and while it is interesting, I'll most likely only read the chapters that seem the most interesting (ones on learning).  It is pretty cool, though, to watch a new domain emerge.

Ok.  So that's not all of it.  It's not even half of it!  But wow - I didn't realize that it would take this long to chronicle my readings! :)  So I'll have to break it into chunks of readings then.

There's the first installment!


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