ERIC Number: EJ847536
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Qualitative Differences between Learning Environments Using Videos in Small Groups and Whole Class Discussions: A Preliminary Study in Physics
Mayo, Ashleigh; Sharma, Manjula D.; Muller, Derek A.
Research in Science Education, v39 n4 p477-493 Aug 2009
Interactivity, group learning and student engagement are accepted as key features of social constructivist learning theories. The challenge is to understand the interplay between such features in different learning environments. This study focused on the qualitative differences between two interventions--small-groups and whole-class discussions. In both interventions, three short video slices on the abstract topic "the physics of superconductivity" were interspersed with the different discussion styles. The video slices are based on the Bruner stages. Twenty-nine first year university physics students completed a pre-test, underwent the intervention and completed a post-test. The remainder of the data were collected from student drawings, video recordings, observer notes and facilitator feedback. Results indicate that the use of the video slices in both interventions were successful in changing students' understandings of superconductivity. However, the small groups treatment tended to facilitate questioning, meaning-making and subsequent changes of ideas more so than the whole class discussions. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Descriptors: Constructivism (Learning), Physics, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Video Technology, College Students, Pretests Posttests, Multimedia Materials, Science Education, Science Instruction, Small Group Instruction, Large Group Instruction, College Science
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A