Chapter 9 on choosing media now published

February 1, 2015 Tony Bates

Home entertainment system 2

The first draft of the whole of Chapter 9 on Choosing and Using Media in Education for my online open textbook Teaching in a Digital Age is now published.

Purpose of the chapter

The main purpose of this chapter is to provide a framework for making effective decisions about the choice and use of media for teaching and learning. The framework used is a new, updated version of the SECTIONS model, which stands for:

  • S tudents
  • E ase of use
  • C osts
  • T eaching functions (including the affordances of different media)
  • I nteraction
  • O rganisational issues
  • N etworking
  • S ecurity and privacy

On completion of this chapter, readers should be able to choose appropriate media and technology for any subject that they may be teaching, and be able to justify their decision.


The chapter covers:


Chapter 9 is a bit of a monster at over 26,000 words but there is a lot of ground to cover. In a printed book I would be aiming at around 8,000-10,000 words per chapter. However the longest ‘section’ (9.3) is just over 3,000 words and I suspect most people will dip into parts of the book and indeed into this chapter rather than read it right through in one sitting.

However, if you are possibly interested in using this book on a course (and I know it’s being used on at least two courses already, even though the book is not finished), I’d really appreciate your comments on the following – or anything else about the chapter, for that matter:

1. Does the SECTIONS model work for you as a framework for making decisions about media selection? If not, what’s wrong with it?

2. Is Chapter 9 too long or does the subject matter need this extensive treatment? Is there a way to reduce the content?

3. Despite its length is there anything missing? In particular is there any other significant work on media selection that’s not covered in this chapter?

4. I’m desperate for more open source examples for each of the unique characteristics of each medium. Any suggested links will be much appreciated.

5. Does the nature of an online text enable longer pieces of work to be more manageable – or is it still necessary to keep an online book to less than 100,000 words and a chapter to no more than 10,000 words?

Chapter 10

In the next chapter, Modes of Delivery, I will provide a framework for deciding between face-to-face, blended and online learning, including an analysis of the unique characteristics of face-to-face teaching in a digital age. Happy reading!


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