Topic 12 – The Great Educational Technology Debate

Topic 12 Learning Objectives. By the end of this week you should be able to:

  • Explain why some professors argue that Educational Technology makes “no significant difference” to student learning outcomes, while others argue that it does make a difference
  • Evaluate the suitability of multimedia learning objects for specific use cases using multimedia learning principles
  • Make use of the theories and principles of interactive and multimedia learning to create effective interactive and multimedia learning objects appropriate to a specific learning audience and situation
  • Create a simple 3D object using TinkerCad
  • Submit a 3D object to be printed in the library

Introduction to Topic 12

Congratulations on making it to our last topic together, The Great Educational Technology Debate! This won’t be a heavy topic, but hopefully, it will be a useful and memorable one as we finish our time together.

The hands-on activity this week is the optional topic that received the 3rd highest number of votes: 3D Design & 3D printing. I hope that everyone will have fun as they learn how to create and print 3D objects that you design yourselves! Instructions on how to print one of the objects that you designed for free in the library can be found in the OPTIONAL Topic 12 Blogging Assignment instructions on Brightspace. If you don’t have enough time to submit a print job this week, you can finish creating your 3D object and submit it to be printed for free up until April 20, 2021.

The Clark-Kozma Debate on Multimedia Learning

Back in 1994, Richard Clark & Robert Kozma engaged in a public debate on Educational Technology, which focused mainly on whether or not a new medium (like video recording) using the same pedagogy can lead to betting learning outcomes (like higher test grades). Given our very fast move to online course delivery because of COVID-19, this debate has taken on new importance and urgency.

I’ll review more details about the debate, and my perspective on it, in the two short videos below, or you can read my thoughts in the article I wrote titled, New Educational Technology + Old Pedagogy = No Significant Difference? (McCue, 2014).

New media can give us new teaching methods (6 min)

New multimedia learning tools enable new pedagogies or teaching methods:

New uses for new multimedia learning tools (6 min)

If you think that Clarke and Kozma were yelling at each other in a live debate, you are in for a surprise. This debate did not happen in person but took place via duelling journal articles over a span of over three years. Below is a concise summary of the debate and related journal articles in case you’re interested in exploring their arguments in more detail:

If you’d like to dive deeper into this academic smackdown, please check out the actual debate in these four duelling journal articles:

From my perspective, here are the key take-a-ways for me from the Clark/Kozma debate, which is backed up by significant research:

  1. If you move instruction from one medium (like a face-to-face traditional lecture) to a new medium (a video recording of a face-to-face lecture) and keep the instruction method the same, there will be no significant difference in outcomes for learners.
  2. New multimedia technologies can make a positive difference in achieving learning objectives, but only when the technology enables new and more effective teaching methods. It’s the pedagogy (or teaching method) that is key.

Hands-On This Week – 3D Design & Printing

I hope that we can have some fun this week and create some 3D objects while we learn about 3D Design and 3D Printing. See the assignment details in Brightspace about how to 3D print one of the objects you created (that you’d need to pick up at the UVic library).

First, please need to set up a free TinkerCad account (and use the “Create a personal account” option):

Rich's personalized 3d designed keychain
Rich’s personalized TinkerCad designed and 3D printed keychain!

Let’s start by watching a 3-minute introduction to TinkerCad which is the free-to-use 3D Design tool we will be using today. If you have two screens or can watch the videos on your phone, please feel free to follow along in your new TinkerCad account.

(3 min)

Next is a 1-minute video that will show you how to move around in TinkerCad:

(1 min)

Let’s now look at how to move objects & change the TinkerCad grid:

(2 min)

Resize and Rotate objects in Tinkercad (4 min):

(4 min)

Align and Flip object in TinkerCad (2 min):

(2 min)

Lastly, watch this introduction to 3D Design and 3D Printing in the Digital Scholarship Commons in the Library before you dive into some fun hands-on activities:

(20 min)

Now let’s make some 3D models!

If you get stuck on how to navigate the TinkerCad interface, or how to do something in TinkerCad, please let me support you in the following ways:

  1. Refer to the workshop 3D Design & Print Cheat Sheet
  2. Email for support
  3. Attend either our Lab time or office hours this week.

That said, please work through two or more of the following 3D design activities below. None of them should be too challenging, but I’ve put them in the list below in roughly the order of their difficulty. If you’re unsure where to start, please begin with the easiest activity which is the personalized Keychain activity, and then go from there:

How to print your 3D Model?

To print your personally designed 3D model at the UVic Library, please do the following:

  1. Export your 3D design using the STL file format:
(1 min)

2. Begin the process of submitting your print job using the UVic Libraries 3D Print website

(2 min)

3. Please review the instructions in the OPTIONAL Topic 12 Blogging Assignment in Brightspace to learn how to request a free print job of less than $5 (step #4 has the details you’ll need)

4. Pick up your print job from the library when you get your email notification that it’s ready for you

If you get stuck or have any questions please reach out to me:

Conclusions & Farewell

As we finish our time together in EDCI 337, I truly hope that you have been able to add some new and useful Multimedia Learning tools and techniques to your virtual toolboxes that will be helpful to you in your course work at UVic (like for example Topic 8 – Persuasive Presentations or Death by PowerPoint). Possibly, more importantly, I hope that the knowledge of Multimedia Principles and practical skills you have worked hard to develop this semester will help you to be more persuasive and effective communicators and educators in your future lives.

Rich McCue

It’s been a pleasure working and learning with you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any Multimedia Learning, EdTech, or Makerspace questions in the future:

Tasks & Assignments this week:

  • Topic 12 Blog post on 3D Design & 3D Printing:
    • Embed one or more photos of an object you created as part of the 3D Design & Print workshop (can be a screenshot, or a photo of your screen with your phone).
    • In 100-300 words discuss how 3D Design & Printing is, or is not, an effective interactive & multimedia learning tools, including which learning theories and multimedia learning principles relate to the topic.


The media debate. (n.d.). In EduTech Wiki. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from

Clark, R. E. (1994). Media will never influence learning. Educational Technology Research and Development42(2), 21–29.

Clark, R. E. (1991). When Researchers Swim Upstream: Reflections on an Unpopular Argument About Learning from Media. Educational Technology31(2), 34–40. JSTOR.

Johnson, D. K. (2021). An Introduction to 3D Design with TinkerCad & 3D Print [Mp4]. UVic Libraries Digital Scholarship Commons.

McCue, R. (2014). New Educational Technology + Old Pedagogy = No Significant Difference? Rich McCue v5.0

McCue, R. (2020). The Clarke & Kozma EdTech, Multimedia Learning Debate—Part 1 [Mp4].

McCue, R. (2020). The Clarke & Kozma EdTech, Multimedia Learning Debate—Part 2 [Mp4].

Kozma, R. B. (1991). Learning with Media. Review of Educational Research61(2), 179–211.

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