Multimedia reporting in science problem solving
AbstractThe increasing availability of CD ROM based interactive multimedia packages to support learning in science classrooms offers science teachers new pedagogical opportunities for student-centred and cooperative learning. However, many of the current products do not make full use of the existing technology in schools and even when they do they tend to constrain the student to a very limited view of information and how it can be used as part of student reporting of inquiry projects.
Interactivity in many packages has been limited to "point and click" rather than employing instructional strategies that immerse and challenge students. The Interactive Multimedia Learning Laboratory at the University of Wollongong has developed two interactive multimedia packages designed for Australian schools that not only attempt to develop problem solving skills but also allow students to express their ideas with different forms of representation in their reports.
Investigating Lake Iluka, based on the ecology of a coastal lake environment uses a text based notebook which allows the student to select text and edit it into their report on their problem investigation A second package, Exploring the Nardoo, based on water management issues extends the concept to include multimedia elements in the student's notebook. The evaluation of both packages has examined the ability of students to express themselves in text together with static and dynamic aural and visual forms. This paper also reports on improvement of scientific understanding and improved problem' reporting based on metacognitive supports included in these interactive multimedia packages, especially the use of genre templates and guides.
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