Chapter 8: Choosing and using media in education: the SECTIONS model

Purpose of the chapter

The main purpose of this chapter is to provide a framework for making effective decisions about the choice and use of media for teaching and learning. The framework used is the SECTIONS model, which stands for:

  • S tudents
  • E ase of use
  • C osts
  • T eaching functions
  • I nteraction
  • O rganisational issues
  • N etworking
  • S ecurity and privacy

On completion of this chapter, you should be able to choose appropriate media and technology for any subject that you may be teaching, and be able to justify your decision.

What is covered in this chapter

Also in this chapter you will find the following activities:

  • Activity 8.1 Making a preliminary decision on media selection
  • Activity 8.2 Knowing your students
  • Activity 8.4 How will cost affect your decision about what media to use?
  • Activity 8.5 Multimedia design principles
  • Activity 8.6 Using media to promote student activity
  • Activity 8.10 Choosing media and technologies

Key Takeaways

1. Selecting media and technologies is a complex process, involving a very wide range of interacting variables.

2. There is currently no adequate theory or process for media selection. The SECTIONS model however provides a set of criteria or questions the result of which can help inform an instructor when making decisions about which media or technologies to use.

3. Because of the wide range of factors influencing media selection and use, an inductive or intuitive approach to decision-making, but informed by a careful analysis of all the criteria in the SECTIONS framework, is one practical way to approach decision-making about media and technologies for teaching and learning.

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