Question: We have become increasingly a visual society and multimedia learning promotes a combination of textual and visual learning. Yet text-drive teaching persists and there must be good scientific reasons for this,and for its lengthy tradition over the millennia. What are the cognitive or biological, or neurobiological or neuroscience reasons written text works well for teaching?
anon answered on 20 Jun 2018:
An interesting question. Are you thinking about textbooks for example, where information is presented using text and static images, compared with other media such as computers and TV could use videos and spoken word?
Research into learning and memory has found that simply reading information is not the best way to learn. https://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/372817/1.-Multisensory-learning-guide.pdf
It is important to take an active role in making sense of the information, such as through writing things in your own words, or presenting the information in a different format (e.g. mindmaps, which can also highlight links between concepts). However, the same applies to when information is delivered in other formats, such as spoken word. Recent research has shown that students that make their own notes during a lecture are able to remember more than those who make notes on lecture-slide handouts. http://www.learningscientists.org/blog/2018/5/31-1
So, regardless of how information might be presented (written, verbal, images, film), it’s important that students actively engage with the content, as this will lead to better learning and remembering.
Another aspect of writing is its importance in helping students to organise and clarify information. These articles might be of interest – they give some suggestions of how writing can be used in teaching: