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Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology by David H. Jonassen Review by: Roberts A.

Braden Educational Technology Research and Development, Vol. 45, No. 1 (1997), pp. 98-101 Published by: Springer Stable URL: . Accessed: 20/07/2013 18:48
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Vol 45, No. 1 ETR&D,

ticularlythose for the proposal, timelines, budget, and even terms of payment, as well as leadership styles. The author is aware that there is a need to relate theory and practice,and he does a good job of doing that. One way he accomplishes this in his book is by listing and explainingkey dissosemantic, philosophical problems (technical, and and nance, encapsulation, dynamism) systems (closed,open, and critical analysis),with a generous utilization of good examples, especially from the corporatesector. Hanclosky enlivens his book, in some potentially dull segments, by drawing some analogies to the world of entertainment. For instance, he compares the way a media developer deals with a client to the way the television detective, Columbo, treated a suspect, using a similarmethod of investigation. In general, Hanclosky has succeeded in providing us with a book that addresses a larger audience than potential instructional technologists, and that derives many useful lessons from other fields in which media are developed. Although I believe that his book would be improved by expanding and clarifyingseveral sections, this reviewer can recommend it for many reasons: its wealth of good samples and the applicalists of procedures;its practicality; tions obtained from theories in education, mass communication, management, and fine arts;and its inclusion of new technologies and their impact on media utilization. in the is Associate Professor StevenA. Seidman of Ithaca Communications Department Corporate New York. College,Ithaca,

Handbookof Researchfor Educational and Technology. David Communications H. Jonassen, editor. New York: MacmillanLibraryReferenceUSA; Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1996. 1267 pp. $85.00 ($68.00AECTmembers price), hardcover. (ISBN:0-02-864663-0)
Reviewedby RobertsA. Braden ComO The Handbook for Educational of Research That is a pretenand Technology. munications tious sounding name. What is it? It is a book that the field has been needing and wanting for many years. It is a first stop reference for all who are interested in the results of prior educational technology research or for those contemplating their own ed tech researchproject. It is big. It is good. It is expensive. So that potential readers will not be misled by the title, let it be clear that this wonderful resourceis about far more than researchand is much less than an exhaustive descriptionof all of the researchrelevantto educationaltechnology. This is a book that is not only about research, but also about the issues, methods, and theories that drive that research for the field of educationaltechnology. The book is loaded with elaborationsof the sundry theories that underlie the field. Whole chapters are devoted to the major psychological and philosophical orientations of ed tech's practitioners. This massive volume is also crammed with general conclusions as well as specific results from the research. Some chapters, like those in Section I (Chapters 1-10) have almost no research orientation. Their purpose in the book is to establish the theoretical bases for the study and practiceof educational technology. Other chapters like those of Sections II thru VI (Chapters11-36)tend to be richly annotated with research results. However, even these research-linkedchapters tend to provide historical,theoretical, and thematically relevant contextual information as anchors for the related researchfindings. I was surprised that several things were included in the book and that others were treated minimally. I was saddened that a few

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leen Hannafin, Simon Hooper, Lloyd Rieber, and Asit Kini, might well have been an organizing chapterfor an entire section on emerging technologies-both hard and soft. Section III,"SoftTechnologies:Instructional and InformationalDesign Research," is composed of ten chapters. Classic topics include educational games and simulations, visual literacy, informationaccess in librariesand information centers, and using computers as cognitive tools. Other chapters could easily have been grouped into that emerging technologies category. There is a very strong chapter by Tim Ragan and Pat Smith titled "Conditions-BasedModels for Designing Instruction." The chapters on intelligent tutoring systems, cognitive teaching models, user-centered Hypertext/Hypermedia,rich environments for active learning, and adaptive instructionalsystems are all readable, informative,and timely. Section IV, "InstructionalMessage Design Research," contains four excellent chapters that deal with visual message design, text design, auditory design, and multi-channel design. Chapter 26, "Visual Message Design and Learning,"by Anglin, Towers, and Levie, provides informationabout perception theory as well as discussion of 90 staticvisual studies, 13 classic motion visual studies, and 42 studies that included animationas a variable.Howard Levie's contribution to this chapter is noted with appreciationby all of us who mourn his passing. Also of special note is Chapter 27, "Text Design," by James Hartley which reads like a lesson on good practice in the application of text. Hartley reveals the research results in a way that suggests how those results may be applied. Since we all use text in one way or another in educational technology, this is a chapter for everyone. SectionV, "Instructional Research," Strategies is comprisedof six chapters.Rothkopf'schapter of Mathemagenic ("Control Activities,"Chapter 30) is more theoreticalthan empirical,but is a gem nonetheless. Rothkopf'swork is too little known and too important to ignore. Barbara Grabowski's Chapter31, on generative learning,gets my nominationfor best short chapter(only22 pages).The underlyingtheoryis

things were omitted (e.g., a chapter on learning motivation), but I was not disappointed by the quality of anything included. Overall, the editors have done a splendid job. The Handbookis a tough book to review because every chaptercould stand alone and is worthy of its own review. That said, you will understand if this discussion of the book is more an announcement than a review. The limitationsof space dictate that this be more of a description than an in-depth criticalanalysis of style, substance, and relevance. The Hand42 chapterscover all but a scant few areas book's of scholarlyinquirygermaneto the field of educationaltechnology. The list of authorsand editors is awesome. Most of contributorsare well known. All are well versed in their topic. The grouping of chapters has been done in a sensible manner. Section I, "Foundationsfor Research in Educational Communication and Technology," begins with a history chapterby Ann De Vaney which draws great strength from her incorporation of material from the oral history tapes in the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) archives. The rest of that section is composed of the best collection of foundation theory papers that this reviewer has seen. The chapters on behaviorism, systems, communication theory, cognitive psychology, constructivism,postmodernism and poststructuralisttheory would make an excellent standalone textbook for an introductoryeducational technology theory course. The other chapters of that section dealing with criticaltheory, the sociology of educational technology, and the ecological psychology of educational technology are of equal merit, but less basic. The chapter by Brock Allen and Richard Otto, "Media As Lived Environments:The Ecological Psychology of Educational Technology," although out of the educational technology mainstream,is one of the pleasant surprisesof the Handbook. Section II, "Hard Technologies: MediaRelatedResearch,"covers researchon learning from television, distance education, computerbased education, virtual realities, and more. Chapter 12, "Researchon and Research with Emerging Technologies," by Mike and Kath-

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Vol 45, No. I ETR&D,

clearly explained. Applied research is analyzed. Information is compacted into easily understood tabular form. Narrative explanations are written is readable English. For a chapter with a short bibliography(unusual for this book), Grabowski's work is powerful indeed. Chapter 34, "InstructionalTechnology and Attitude Change," by Mike Simonson and Nancy Maushak, is notable as one of the few where researchpertainplaces in the Handbook the affective domain is given serious to ing consideration. The lack of attention to the affective domain is not a flaw in the Handbook, but rather is a reflection of the educational landscape which has largely ignored affective development. The other chapters in Section V are all well done and about what you would expect based upon their titles: "Feedback Research," and InstructionalTechnolo"Learner-Control gies," "Cooperationand the Use of Technology," and "Ergonomics and the Learning Environment." To clarify, the ergonomicsenvironment chapter provides information about the physical learning environment and
deals mostly with ". . . physical-sensory ele-

are not necessarilygeneralizabledue to lack of rigorous techniques and weak causal findings. Well, that might be the grumblingsof a person who is a researchcrankwere it not for the fact that Holloway makes a good case for his most devastatingcomment. Thereit is on page 1129: "Generallyresearch does not have impact on policy or practice." If that were the very last (or the first) statement in the book, we might try to do something about it. I would not have been surprised to find Dian Walster's Chapter 25, on information access in libraries, located with the research methods chapters, but understand why it was included instead with the information design materialin Section III. In the methodologies section one expects to find Ross and Morrison's chapter on experimental research. The chapter will be invaluable to entering scholars in our field. I also expected a chapteron qualitativeresearch, and Savenye and Robinson did a quality job. This chapter, too, will be of enormous value to beginning researchers and those in our field who teach research. As anticipated there is a useful chapteron descriptiveresearchmethodologies. One might wonder why it was not expanded to give greatercoverage to historical research-studies that describe the real'world of the past as well as those that describe the present. I wish these three chapters had been availableto me before I took my first research methods course, yea those many years ago. However, Section VII does have two surprises. Rita Richey and Wayne Nelson have thrown up a bridge between evaluation studies and research with Chapter 42, "Developmental Research." This reviewer sincerely hopes that study within and of the instructional development process will gain widespread acceptabilityas a result of this chapter. The other surpriseis Chapter38, by Randall Koetting, "Philosophy, Research, and Education." The chapter is, itself, a philosophical statement that warrants intellectual consideration. But, it is no more than that. Philosophical inquiry is not now a widely accepted researchmethod, and thereforethis controversial chapter is one about which each reader will have to make her or his own judgement.

ments such as lighting, color, sound, space, furniture, and so on that characterizethe place in which a student is expected to learn" (p. 1045). This is informationuseful for the design of learning facilities and supplements other chapters of this section and the instructional design and strategies chapters which have "environmental" components. Section VI has only one chapter: Chapter 37, "Diffusion and Adoption of Educational Technology." This chapter might well have been added at the end of Section VII, "ResearchMethodologies in EducationalCommunications and Technology." As a closing chapter it would suggest something about the adoption of educational technology research findings as well as the adoption of technology itself. Bob Holloway pulls no punches in the chapter. While referringonly to the studies on adoption of innovations, he openly discusses problems with the research that extend into many corners of the research discussed He notes that results throughout the Handbook.

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ing technology. Of course that is merely the musings of one reviewer who has just finished overdosing on an incredible collection of papers that togethercover educationaltechnology researchin depth. For instructional technologists who are involved in mentoring graduate research, this is a must-own book. To benefit from the special AECTmembers'price, order directly from Simon & Schuster, LibrarySales Department, 200 Old Tappan Road, Tappan, NJ 07675. Call first. (800) 223-2336. Mention your AECT member status. Expect to pay about $4.00 S&H.

Certainly, when we talk about research we should enter into both the discussion and the process with open minds. This volume speaks to the nature of educational technology today. The fact that film research, trivial studies about things like the effects of keystoning, the notorious Method A vs. Method B studies which yielded predictable NSD results,and otherclassicA/ studiesdo not dominatethe book is important to note. The volume reflects, perhaps better than any previous source, the shifting paradigmsof our field. The natureof our inquiryitself suggests trends:from technology to technocracy; from concrete to from design to designing;from behavabstract; to cognitivist/constructivist; from ioral/cognitivist to and theoretical-pragmatic theoretical-political; from instructional to learnultimately technology

Roberts Braden is Professor California Emeritus, StateUniversity at Chico.

Call for Manuscripts

ETR&D invites papers dealing with research in instructional development and

technology and related issues involving instruction and learning. Manuscripts that are primarily concerned with research in educational technology should be sent to the Editor of the Research Section: Steven M. Ross Research Editor, ETR&D Foundations of Education University of Memphis Memphis, TN 38152

Manuscripts that are primarily concerned with instructional development and other educational technology applications should be sent to the Editor of the Development Section: James Klein Development Editor, ETR&D Division of Psychology in Education Arizona State University Box 870611 Tempe, AZ 85287-0611

Guidelines for preparation and submission of manuscripts are provided under "Directions to Contributors"on the inside back cover.

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