ETEC 674- Session 3

Session 3 Focus Tasks

1. Explain Media Richness in your own words.

Media Richness measures how a particular media transmits information that would usually be transmitted in person using four criteria. It is an objective measure that is not influenced by the individual using a particular media because the media either has each of the four criteria, or it does not. A media that rates high in Media Richness transmits information in a message and also transmits information about the particular message. The more difficult the information is to transmit, the higher the level of Media Richness that is necessary for the task. For example, some things can easily be transmitted in an email, but to complete a group assignment, a media that meets more of the four criteria might be necessary.

2. What are the four criteria used to judge Media Richness?

The four criteria used to judge Media Richness are:

  1. Availability of instant feedback
  2. Capacity to transmit cues
  3. Ability to communicate using natural language
  4. Personal focus

3. Choose 4 or 5 technologies you might use in an online class and rate them on the four criteria. Using these ratings suggest some eLearning activity that might or might not be appropriate for each technology you rate. Explain your reasons.

  Email Skype Google Doc Discussion Board Blog
Availability of Instant Feedback Yes Yes Yes Sometimes Sometimes
Transmit Cues Sometimes Yes Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes
Communicate using Natural Language Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Personal Focus Yes Yes Sometimes Yes Yes
Appropriate eLearning Activity Providing Feedback- Email is a great way for an instructor to communicate with one student at a time to provide feedback to the individual about their work and to ask questions. Group Project- Students can meet and discuss the project without having to meet in person. It is easy to make decisions if all the members are present. Group Project- All members of the group can contribute to the product by using a Google Doc. They can also provide feedback to one another by highlighting text and writing a comment. Asking questions about the text- A discussion board is a good place to have conversations about the text. I think the discussion would be more engaging if students posed questions about the text and classmates responded to those questions. Responding to Questions about the text: Students can respond to a set of questions and give each other feedback on the quality of their responses.

4. Explain Social Presence in your own words.

Social Presence is the connection that people make using a particular media in an eLearning environment that resemble the connections that they would make in a face-to-face environment. It is subjective because the individual perceives the level of Social Presence based on their expectations for the connections in the particular course. This is interesting because the level of Social Presence has varied greatly in the courses that I have taken. After taking more than one class with a professor, I have a good idea of the level of Social Presence in the class because the instructor usually requires a similar level of Social Presence in his or her classes.

5. Explain the difference between Social Presence and Media Richness.

The difference between Social Presence and Media Richness is that the level of Social Presence is more subjective because it is perceived the individual, while the level of Media Richness can be measured objectively with the set of four criteria. Media Richness is how the medium can transmit information, but Social Presence is how the instructor and the students actually make connections in the class. Even if an instructor uses mediums that are high in Media Richness, that does not mean that it will automatically lead to a higher level of Social Presence in the class. That is determined by the actual participation in the class by both the students and the instructor.

6. Provide some Issues or Trends in eLearning that you are interested in pursuing for your annotated bibliography. Remember, the annotated bibliography is NOT due this session!

As I researched trends in eLearning, I found two possible topics for my research: gamification and personalized learning. My district has some schools that are using the personalized learning model, so that is interesting. However, I think that I am going to focus on gamification because it is something that I haven’t researched and I think that it is a trend that would be useful for me to learn as I continue to expand my collection of best practices in eLearning.

7. Provide three articles that you think you might include in your annotated bibliography and explain how they are related to the trend or issue you are interested in having at the center of your annotated bibliography. Be sure to use APA formatting to present these three citations.

Once I began researching, I found several articles that will provide great starting points for my research on gamificiation. I remember the first thing I learned how to do on our classroom Mac in fifth grade was to play the Oregon Trail. It was so much fun! My five-year old has been playing educational games on an iPad and I see how engaged she is while she is playing. I think that I can find ways to engage my struggling sixth graders if I can find ways to incorporate gamification into their learning. I think it would be especially useful for my students who are gifted, but who choose not to complete their homework. The article that I think will be particularly useful is Gamification and Web-Based Homework. Another one that might be helpful is An Empirical Study Comparing Gamification and Social Networking on e-learning because I have so many students that spend a lot of their time on social media. The third article that will be great for my research is A Social Gamification Framework for a K-6 Learning Platform because it is specific to elementary school students. I was really excited about finding articles that actually relate to my students because most of the research that I have found in the past has focused on high school or college level students.

Cohen, A. M. (2011). The Gamification of Education. Futurist, 45(5), 16–17.

Crookall, D. (2010). Serious Games, Debriefing, and Simulation/Gaming as a Discipline. Simulation & Gaming, 41(6), 898–920. doi:10.1177/1046878110390784

de-Marcos, L., Domínguez, A., Saenz-de-Navarrete, J., & Pagés, C. (2014). An Empirical Study Comparing Gamification and Social Networking on e-learning. Computers & Education, 75, 82–91. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2014.01.012

Domínguez, A., Saenz-de-Navarrete, J., de-Marcos, L., Fernández-Sanz, L., Pagés, C., & Martínez-Herráiz, J.-J. (2013). Gamifying learning experiences: Practical implications and outcomes. Computers & Education, 63, 380–392. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.12.020

Goehle, G. (2013). Gamification and Web-Based Homework. PRIMUS, 23(3), 234-246. (n.d.).

Ibanez, M.-B., Di-Serio, A., & Delgado-Kloos, C. (2014). Gamification for Engaging Computer Science Students in Learning Activities: A Case Study. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, 7(3), 291–301. doi:10.1109/TLT.2014.2329293

Kim, S. (2014). Decision Support Model for Introduction of Gamification Solution Using AHP. The Scientific World Journal, 2014, e714239. doi:10.1155/2014/714239

Koivisto, J., & Hamari, J. (2014). Demographic differences in perceived benefits from gamification. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 179–188. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.007

Lau, R. W. H., Yen, N. Y., Li, F., & Wah, B. (2013). Recent development in multimedia e-learning technologies. World Wide Web, 17(2), 189–198. doi:10.1007/s11280-013-0206-8

Nolan, J. , & McBride, M. (2014). Beyond Gamification: Reconceptualizing Game-Based Learning in Early Childhood Environments. (n.d.).

Raymer, R. (2011). Gamification: Using Game Mechanics to Enhance eLearning. eLearn, 2011(9). doi:10.1145/2025356.2031772

Seaborn, K., & Fels, D. I. (2015). Gamification in Theory and Action: A survey. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 74, 14–31. doi:10.1016/j.ijhcs.2014.09.006

Simões, J., Redondo, R. D., & Vilas, A. F. (2013). A Social Gamification Framework for a K-6 Learning Platform. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(2), 345–353. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.06.007



  1. Good job! I might argue about the immediate feedback scores for email and Google Docs simply because they are both asynchronous in nature. I like your trends/issues topics. Both gamification and personalized learning are valid and interesting!

    1. Thank you Dr. Newberry,
      I think that I was thinking about the feedback from my perspective, since I check my email multiple times a day, but I see your point. Thank you, I think I am going to stick with gamification.

  2. Hi Griselda,
    I notice there were a lot of parallels between our work on gamification and the manner in which we both choose to present and 4-5 technologies in a chart to rate them with the criteria to judge media richness. I think others might think that we actually discussed our work before doing it, but I guess great minds think alike. Even though, I did my research on gamification, I think I am leaning more towards personalized learning at this point based on some more reading I’ve done and some of the feedback from Dr. Newberry.

    1. Hi Guillermina,
      If we only had time to work together on our assignments! We do agree on many issues, and we’ve had many shared experiences. I’m really interested in personalized learning too and I’ll look forward to reading about your research.

  3. Hi Griselda,
    I liked your checklist for the criterion of media richness and the technologies that you evaluated. I thought it was interesting that your scoring for timely feedback of email and blogs would be different. Both technologies are accessible on mobile devices and in most instances, when there are blog comments, an email notification is sent, allowing the user to respond quickly. Gamification is definitely a hot topic as we have seen from the beginning of our coursework in the IT program, so I am interested to read what you find and possibly implement it in your own classroom setting.

    1. Hi Margarita,
      I think that I see blogs as a separate entity than email because on my phone, I instantly see new emails, while on a blog, it is harder to know if people have responded to a comment, unless you subscribe to have it notify you of of new comments. Thank you, I hope to find a way to incorporate gamification into my classroom.

  4. It is true what you say about responding when receiving notifications about blog comments. I have the WordPress app on my phone and get email notifications when someone posts, comments on on my blog, or comments on a comment I made. So my response was through that lens. This leads me to see that the media richness evaluation, though it is mostly objective, can be subjective depending on who is evaluating the media and what their experience with the technology is.

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