Using Multimedia and Diverse Learning Tools to Enhance Teaching and Learning, A Case Study from Scottish History
Refereed Paper on Wednesday, 7 April 2010 14:30 - 15:00 in room 216
Countries such as Scotland can find it difficult, largely on grounds of cost given the small education market, to produce multimedia resources which reflect the richness and diversity of their history. Over the last fifteen years a team at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow has produced for primary and secondary schools a series of multimedia CD ROMs on themes which capture the diversity of the country’s history in the nineteenth century. The CD ROMs cover the impact of industrialisation, urbanisation, Highland Clearance, agricultural change and the rise of popular culture. The CD ROMs include Auld Reekie and the Dear Green Place (2001) and Ruled by the Seasons (2009). Each program contains a very wide range of primary sources such as census databases, archive film, photographs, music, newspapers, posters, letters, journals, diaries and cartoons. Issues around copyright prevent many of these resources from going on the internet, hence the CD ROM format. The primary sources allow pupils to analyse and investigate the past within a constructivist methodology.
The programs cater for diverse learning styles through both the range of sources and a wide variety of learning tools. As a result, students have produced a wide and diverse range of cross-curricular work from art work, wall displays, dramatic reconstruction, movies, PowerPoint presentations, poems, letters, essays, notes, surveys, and models through to interviewing the direct descendants of people featured in the programs. Pupils have also baked bread and oatcakes and made butter. The programs embed authentic learning/critical skills as a central learning tool with pupils presented with real life scenarios with multiple solutions and which incorporate assessment.
This paper discusses the research,development and evaluation of the CD ROMs. A critical finding is that multimedia must contain a diverse range of resources and cater for diverse learning styles. It is the learning tools such as authentic learning that in many ways are more important than the technology since they foster creative and transferable skills.
The context for the paper is Scotland, but the programs can be replicated in most other countries. More importantly, the diverse range of learning tools have universal application and will be the main focus of the paper illustrated by extracts from the programs and a DVD showing teachers and pupils working on the diverse activities and learning tools. There will also be reference to teacher education and the ways in which the CD ROMs have demonstrated some of the possibilities for integrating ICT into teaching and learning.
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