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ERIC Number: ED568076
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 94
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3395-2067-4
Using Narrative-Based Design Scaffolds within a Mobile Learning Environment to Support Learning Outdoors with Young Children
Seely, Brian J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
This study aims to advance learning outdoors with mobile devices. As part of the ongoing Tree Investigators design-based research study, this research investigated a mobile application to support observation, identification, and explanation of the tree life cycle within an authentic, outdoor setting. Recognizing the scientific and conceptual complexity of this topic for young children, the design incorporated technological and design scaffolds within a narrative-based learning environment. In an effort to support learning, 14 participants (aged 5-9) were guided through the mobile app on tree life cycles by a comic-strip pedagogical agent, "Nutty the Squirrel", as they looked to explore and understand through guided observational practices and artifact creation tasks. In comparison to previous iterations of this DBR study, the overall patterns of talk found in this study were similar, with "perceptual" and "conceptual talk" being the first and second most frequently coded categories, respectively. However, this study coded considerably more instances of "affective talk." This finding of the higher frequency of "affective talk" could possibly be explained by the relatively younger age of this iteration's participants, in conjunction with the introduced pedagogical agent, who elicited playfulness and delight from the children. The results also indicated a significant improvement when comparing the pretest results (mean score of 0.86) with the posttest results (mean score of 4.07, out of 5). Learners were not only able to recall the phases of a tree life cycle, but list them in the correct order. The comparison reports a significant increase, showing evidence of increased knowledge and appropriation of scientific vocabulary. The finding suggests the narrative was effective in structuring the complex material into a story for sense making. Future research with narratives should consider a design to promote learner agency through more interactions with the pedagogical agent and a conditional branching scenario framework to further evoke interest and engagement. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A