Learning objects and the development of students' key competencies: A New Zealand school experience
AbstractThis paper outlines a study investigating the impact of the use of learning objects on the development of two key competencies from the revised New Zealand Curriculum Framework (Ministry of Education, 2007). It specifically focuses on the key competencies of 'thinking' and 'relating to others', and explores how teachers in an urban intermediate school (year 7 and 8) planned and integrated learning objects into a wider 'community' social studies topic, and the impact this integration had on student competency development. Outcomes from the study indicate that learning objects can, for some students, provide a motivating and engaging learning experience through which thinking capabilities and relationship skills can be enhanced, but that such development is dependent upon several factors including the design, content, and level of interactivity of the objects, how closely they align with learning goals, the careful selection of student groupings, and how access to the learning objects is organised and managed. The study also revealed some issues with the use of new digital data collection tools, particularly related to the accuracy of coding of visual information, and how to best translate this into text format for publication without 'diluting' its richness and meaning.
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