Media Theory 85
In the instructional design (ID) field, media is defined as “the physical means via which instruction is presented to learners” (Reiser, 2007a, p. 18). In past years, educators spoke of media as audio-visual aids; today they more commonly use the term “technology” when they talk about media. The term “media” implies devices which provide learning experiences, experiences which typically involve sound, visuals (either static or moving), concrete objects, or actual physical movement. The theoretical emphasis, however, is not on the machine, or even upon the software that contains the instruction, but rather on the learning that occurs as a result of interacting with the media. Consequently, media theory addresses those aspects of mediated instruction that facilitate learning, and in doing so attempts to explain how the learning process occurs when media is involved. This complex procedure is the focus of this chapter.