Design, Development, Formative Evaluation, and Protocol Analysis of a Multimedia Learning Environment on Electrical Circuits in a Climate of Limited Access to Computers and Unreliable Power
This research addresses a continuing problem reported by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in Nigeria, namely: that secondary school students headed for graduation continually perform poorly in Physics on the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). This performance problem is being addressed in this research by using temporal speech cues that focus student attention on computer-based information about electrical circuits. A temporal speech cue is spoken information provided about a future or past event that presents some highlights and details about the static or moving visuals. The purpose of the study is to determine how temporal speech cues affect the student attention to critical information on the computer. Forty-eight secondary school students with below-average physics scores were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: sound, sound/text, or text cues. Following a formative evaluation of the Physics Multimedia Courseware Tutorial, three treatment conditions were analyzed separately along two dimensions: content and learning process. The materials for this research were developed with adobe Captivate elearning authoring software. Between-subjects designs using small groups are not uncommon in educational technology research. A protocol analysis of their verbal reports reveals that temporal speech cues helped these students attend to screen information by affecting their constructive ability. Written transcripts of the students' videotapes were used while reviewing the videotapes to aid in the segmentation procedure. Three segmentation guidelines were implemented. First, the verbal transcript was divided at each new thought. Second, grammatical cues that combine one or more ideas and verbs indicate a separate sentence. Third, pauses and reflective utterances such as 'un' or 'ah' were interpreted as indications that students were moving into a new thought. Next, two coding schemes were applied to the verbal segments. Using the first coding scheme, relevant process segments from the subjects' verbalizations were classified within four information types without reference to the specific components of the task. The four types have been documented in the peer-reviewed research (Chan, Burtis, Scardamalia, & Bereiter, 1992; Ericsson & Simon, 1984) and are therefore considered to be the well-specified, predetermined criterion. The Physics Multimedia Courseware Tutorial was used to supplement teachers' instruction in the physics classroom. Research into the use of modality effects in physics education in Nigerian secondary schools is limited; therefore, it is hoped that this research will contribute to the body of literature and provide further insights into how temporal speech cues can be used to enhance students' learning of electrical circuits. Preliminary findings of the study reveal that physics laboratories are not adequately resourced to cater for the practical nature of the subject and most instructions are dominated by the teacher-talk/lecture method as opposed to the inquiry and student-centered method proposed in the Nigerian secondary school physics curriculum. Also, evidence from the computer use and attitude inventory reveals that majority of the students in the pilot study are not confident with computers and rarely have ever used computers in learning physics.
30 Nov -0001
Graduate Student Support, Going Global Grant
Strategic Research Theme
Information and Communication Technology