How Technology Fosters Learning: Inspiration from the “Media Debate”


Early back in 1994, Ross (1994) pointed out the issue of debate on media effect was not trifling, but bore great significance for how researchers and practitioners ponder on the implementation of media. Despite technology has come of age, the debate has recurred on the role of technology in education. This article tries to revisit and analyze the media debate between Richard E. Clark and Robert B. Kozma, and through the development of technology, multimedia learning theories and current findings from empirical studies on technology-enhanced learning, propose our viewpoint of how technology fosters learning, a tripartite structure of effective technology-enhanced learning. This tripartite structure indicates that the design of technology-enhanced learning environment should concurrently consider learner characteristics, technology attributes and instructional methods. This facilitates learners in achieving upmost learning effectiveness.

Share and Cite:

Yang, K. , Wang, T. and Chiu, M. (2014) How Technology Fosters Learning: Inspiration from the “Media Debate”. Creative Education, 5, 1086-1090. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.512123.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Chen, S. Y., & Paul, R. J. (2003). Editorial: Individual Differences in Web-Based Instruction—An Overview. British Journal of Educational Technology, 34, 385-392.
[2] Clark, R. E. (1983). Reconsidering Research on Learning from Media. Review of Educational Research, 53, 445-459.
[3] Clark, R. E. (1994a). Media Will Never Influence Learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42, 21-29.
[4] Clark, R. E. (1994b). Media and Method. Educational Technology and Development, 42, 7-10.
[5] Gagne, R. M., Briggs, L. J., & Wager, W. W. (1992). Principles of Instructional Design (4th ed.). Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
[6] Hastings, N. B., & Tracey, M. W. (2005). Do Media Affect Learning: Where Are We Now? TechTrends, 49, 28-30.
[7] Jaggars, S. S., & Bailey, T. (2010). Effectiveness of Fully Online Courses for College Students: Response to a Department of Education Meta-Analysis. NY: Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center.
[8] Jonassen, D. H., Campbell, J. P., & Davidson, M. E. (1994). Learning with Media: Restructuring the Debate. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42, 31-39.
[9] Jones, B. D. (2003). Students as Web Site Authors: Effects on Motivation and Achievement. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 31, 441-461.
[10] Kozma, R. B. (1991). Learning with Media. Review of Educational Research, 61, 179-212.
[11] Kozma, R. B. (1994). Will Media Influence Learning? Reframing the Debate. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42, 7-19.
[12] Krajcik, J. S., & Czerniak, C. M. (2007). Using Learning Technologies to Support Students in Inquiry. In J. S. Krajcik, C. M. Czerniak, C. F. Berger, & C. Berger, Teaching Children Science in Elementary and Middle School: A Project-Based Approach (pp. 163-192). NY: Routledge.
[13] Linn, M. C. (2003). Technology and Science Education: Starting Points, Research Programs, and Trends. International Journal of Science Education, 25, 727-758.
[14] Mayer, R. E. (2003). The Promise of Multimedia Learning: Using the Same Instructional Design Methods across Different Media. Learning and Instruction, 13, 125-1139.
[15] Reiser, R. A. (2001). A History of Instructional Design and Technology: Part I: A History of Instructional Media. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 49, 53-64.
[16] Ross, S. M. (1994). Delivery Trucks or Groceries? More Food for Thought on Whether Media (Will, May, Can’t) Influence Learning. Educational Technology, Research and development, 42, 5-6.
[17] Salomon, G. (1984). Television Is “Easy” and Print Is “Tough”: The Differential Investment of Mental Effort in Learning as a Function of Perceptions and Attributions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 647-658.
[18] Wellington, J. (2005). Has ICT Come of Age? Recurring Debates on the Role of ICT in Education, 1982-2004. Research in Science and Technological Education, 23, 25-39.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.