1 Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Ciências (PORTUGAL)
2 Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Engenharia (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 7690-7698
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0693
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The purpose of the research was to know how multimedia was used to teach science and also what methods were chosen to evaluate the pedagogical designs in the Portuguese Education between 2010-2014. A systematic review of literature was conducted. The corpus of analysis consisted of Master dissertations, PhD thesis and conference papers that were retrieved from the online repositories or proceedings.

The criteria to include or exclude a given document were the following:
(i) the document should report actual cases of pedagogical intervention(s) based on multimedia to teach science (i.e., Biology, Natural Sciences, Physics, Geology, Mathematics and Chemistry);
(ii) the interventions should be aimed at the k5-k12 levels and should necessarily include students;
(iii) the Master dissertations and PhD thesis should be available at the institutional online repositories and the articles should have been published in the proceedings of the two most important Conferences on Information and Communication Technologies in Portugal.

The corpus consisted of 75 works (49% - Mathematics; 15% - Physics; 14% - Natural Sciences; 11% - Chemistry; 7% - Biology; 4% - Geology). A content analysis was run. Interventions were coded according to the TPACK framework and the methodological designs were coded as experimental, quasi-experimental or non-experimental. Results showed that a wide range of multimedia was used, including multimedia specifically designed to teach sciences (e.g., simulations) and non-specific multimedia (e.g., Excel). The level of interactivity and openness of the multimedia was also variable (e.g., low interactivity - videos and animations; high interactivity – games and simulations; closed environments – calculator; open environments – wikis) and the affordances of the multimedia were often not fully used.

Most pedagogical designs were based on co-constructivist perspectives (43%) or dialogic perspectives (34%), while transmissive perspectives (16%) and constructivist perspectives (7%) were less used. Most research was non-experimental (case-studies), based on small samples, using non-validated questionnaires and field notes. Mixed methods or qualitative methods were most frequently selected to gather and analyse data. The study is very significant in that it allowed us to map the trends on multimedia research in the particular case of science teaching. These trends revealed an imbalance between non-experimental, exploratory research and alternatives that increase internal validity (such as quasi-experimental or experimental designs) or that allow to explore meaning and pedagogical appropriation of technology associated with the use of multimedia to teach sciences on the long run. It also showed that it is necessary to pay more attention to emergent practices (including mobile technologies and participatory designs). At the same time, this research provides important information also for science teachers that want to improve their performance using best-practices. Current research includes monitoring an online site that gives access to the raw data of the study and allows users to suggest and upload new documents according to an open and participatory science framework.
Multimedia, T-PACK, Science Teaching, Research Methods.