Video Killed the Textbook Star? Use of Multimedia Supplements to Enhance Student Learning

17 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2010

Date Written: February 3, 2010


Multimedia use in the collegiate political science classroom has had a negative image since Janda’ (1992) early work on CD-ROM based video presentations. In the nearly two decades since, multimedia has matured and best practices have emerged to challenge the ‘sobering’ findings presented by Janda. Many of the best practices point to student interest in interactive materials, but one of the great advantages of multimedia use is the accommodation of multiple learning styles that better engage students in course materials generally.

Using a web-based multimedia supplement in addition to a textbook and other traditional classroom pedagogies, this paper tests student performance on a fully integrated multimedia supplement with interactive graphics, videos, and vital source documents as an assessed part of student participation in an introductory American Government class among fourteen sections over three years.

Results of the study suggest that multimedia supplements, when consistent with interactive media best practices, improve student learning outcomes generally and specifically show the greatest improvement in written test components.

Keywords: technology, multimedia, assessment, American Government, classroom pedagogy

Suggested Citation

Rackaway, Chapman, Video Killed the Textbook Star? Use of Multimedia Supplements to Enhance Student Learning (February 3, 2010). APSA 2010 Teaching & Learning Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: or

Chapman Rackaway (Contact Author)

Fort Hays State University ( email )

Hays, KS 67601
United States

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