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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences

Department of Biology Education - Prof. Dr. Franz X. Bogner

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Conradty, C: Multimedial unterstütztes Lernen: Intrinsische Motivation & kognitiver Lernerfolg, (2011)
Multimedia instructions, e. g. computer-aided learning, have become an important tool in school lessons. Effects and benefits are discussed controversial. Although many teachers attach little value to computer-aided learning it is part of curriculum, because computer handling is an important competence for the career. Furthermore multimedia is considered as an innovative medium in classrooms, especially with regard to increasing motivation or improving cognitive learning. In addition to the medium, the instructional format of pupil-centred learning in lessons with computers is a crucial factor for learning success. Several indications point to a potential overstrain of a user’s cognitive capacity with both computer-aided learning and individualized instruction. In the first part of the study, guidance in computer-aided individualized learning was varied. The effects on learning success and motivation were analysed. Students with guidance achieved better post-test, but after six weeks they knew less than students without guidance. Students without guidance learned less, but this knowledge was consistent. The advantages of guidance were the prevention of negative effects on learning success of perceived tension and competence. Furthermore teacher’s guidance could arouse interest in the boys. But both were without effect on learning success. Most important factor was the pre-knowledge on both learning and motivation. That is why I come to the conclusion computer-aided learning could be an effective and meaningful consolidation phase after a teacher-centred pre-lesson. In the second part of the study, learning success and motivation was evaluated with both: textbook- and computer-aided learning. Concerning the findings of the first study we varied the guidance in the computer-aided treatment: instead of a teacher-centred consolidation phase they repeated the learning targets with a computer-aided quiz. Students learned more with the textbook, but after six weeks there is no difference at all in learning success between computeraided and book-aided instruction group. Learning success did not depend on the medium but on the guidance. Without guidance the group of computer-aided learners –especially the girls - were disencouraged and hardly learnt anything. Concept mapping is a paper & pencil multimedia tool and considered to be helpful for consolidation especially after computer-aided learning. The third part of the study brought reasons for errors in concept maps into focus. For this errors in concept maps about two differently difficult subject matters were typified, in order to understand the possible reasons for error making. About the easy subject, students created complex concept maps, but failed about the difficult subject matter. The technical errors in the difficult subject matter indicate students had verbalisation problems. Nevertheless concept maps discover specific knowledge gaps, giving teachers a guideline for the further schedule close to the students’ needs. The forth part of the study verifies the applicability of concept mapping for knowledge testing. Analysis of concept maps can be too complicate because there are several quality characteristic of concept maps. Therefore we reduced them and simply used the number of correct connections between concepts, named complexity, for further correlation with cognitive knowledge tests. About the easy and the difficult subject matter the complexity correlated significant with post-test, but even stronger after ignoring technical errors. The correlation coefficients are weak. As concept mapping provides meaningful learning, the quality of a map is considered to indicate long term learning success. But the complexity correlated with delayed knowledge test about the complex subject matter, but not at all about the easy one. The reduction of quality characteristics causes an underestimation of students’ knowledge. Concept maps are not an alternative to conventional cognitive short answer knowledge tests. But comparing, both concept maps and knowledge tests, teachers may gain insight into students’ concepts and consequently get an idea how to provide their further learning success. Multimedia learning could be an effective instructional tool in student-centred individualized learning. It is enriching both students and teachers and provides cognitive learning success, especially as consolidation phase after teacher-centred lectures. Additional to factual knowledge multimedia-aided learning provides competences in computer handling, self-organisation, network thinking and teamwork.
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