Rich multi-sensory media, designed for learning, has been with us for nearly three decades. Laser Interactive Videodisc, CD-ROM, DVD, and the yet-to-be-realized potential of e-Learning have all revolutionized education and training.

Why then, should we continue to sit up and listen to the evolving promise of multi-sensory media instruction?

Because this country has too few master mentors and too few master teachers! Because the time available to keep this country competitive is too short! Because the numbers to be educated and trained are too large! And, because the instructional-media tools available today offer the best educational and training platforms-for-learning the world has ever known!

Like it or not, operatives in multi-sensory media have an important ethical responsibility. And, that responsibility relates to those few master mentors and master teachers.

What has made those individuals effective? How have they stimulated learning? How have they fostered a live learner-controlled environment?

Multi-sensory media has always been a designers’ medium. In fact, the only applicable phrase for effective multi-sensory instruction — “instructional integrity” — does not belong to the new Merlins with their magic boxes. That phrase is the province of flesh and blood human beings, the instructional designers of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Multi-sensory media has never been an evolving electronic gadget world. It is rather one more step in a natural historical chain that has led us from Socrates and Plato to the e-Learning world of today — and, beyond.

Multi-sensory media is part of the informational and instructional evolutionary process that has taken us beyond storytelling, the printing press, and radio wave transmission. Multi-sensory media is a communication tool. It makes possible more efficient information transfer and more effective learning.

The promise of multi-sensory media will only be attained when the applications designer can effectively communicate with the users’ senses — be they sight, sound, or touch. The human animal remains a sense-taught creature. And, multi-sensory media provides the best artificial platform available for stimulating the senses of a leaner.

More on Friday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning