LEARNING EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES LABORATORY SKILLS THROUGH LEARNING OBJECTS
University of Jaén (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are an increasingly ubiquitous component of everyday life, also having a significant impact on education. The design and application of tools and resources based on ICT have allowed the enhancement and enrichment of learning and teaching experiences. Science education might be considered as an ideal area for using digital learning objects, since educational technology has always been present in any of the disciplines of this knowledge area. Thus, for example, the introduction of new technologies in science practical work could be actually considered a widespread practice and nowadays it is quite difficult to imagine a science classroom where, somehow, ICT has not been included. But the ways in which educational technology is used in our daily classrooms are diverse and therefore, different models of ICT implementation could be distinguished from the naive model to the radical one. In the former, ICT is scarcely present and in the latter e-resources and e-methodologies are the main core of the instructional processes.
Our work may be placed within the evolutionary model, since it intends to enhance on campus teaching by embedding appropriate learning objects (LOs) into suitable b-learning environments and strategies. LOs are understood as reusable digital learning resources and might be regarded as one of the most meaningful and effective approaches to create contents for courses, lessons and units at any of e-learning modalities. Their most significant promise is to increase and improve the effectiveness of learning.
Within this view, the main purpose of our work was to develop digital resources to guide students in their hands-on laboratory activities and engage them in active learning. In order to do so, we have produced a wide range of multimedia materials including pre and post laboratory exercises, taking into consideration the LO design principles.
The goal of this paper is twofold. Firstly, we briefly review some literature approaches related to LO design and application, focussing on those which offer guidelines for the development of reusable and effective LOs. Secondly, we describe how we have applied these literature contributions to the design of LOs to support laboratory practical work . We also place emphasis on the importance of introducing them into appropriate b-learning sequencing. The LOs developed are intended to be used as pre and post-laboratory activities in different subjects with experimental laboratory contents. We have specially paid attention to the questionnaires embedded into the LOs. Questionnaires are considered as one of the main components that a LO might have, along with the presentation, explanation and the driving cognitive theory underlying the LO. Questionnaires have been designed to facilitate reusability and to adapt to students’ different learning rates and styles, including tools for synchronous and asynchronous feed-back. Through these mechanisms we intend to guide students and to promote more autonomous and self-reflective learners, according to the current educational trends.
Keywords: Learning objects, multimedia, blended learning.