A Multimedia Learning Tool that Allows High School Teachers and their Students to Engage in Scientific Research

A Multimedia Learning Tool that Allows High School Teachers and their Students to Engage in Scientific Research

Jacqueline S. McLaughlin (The Pennsylvania State University – Lehigh Valley, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-899-9.ch006


This chapter presents a new and different type of multimedia learning tool, the so-called “research module.” This unique, learner-centered, multimedia tool aims to create a learning environment wherein high school teachers and their students engage in higher-order, inquiry-based activities that allow them to “do” actual scientific research in the classroom. This chapter also describes the design and implementation of these computer-based resources, as well as assessment data on student learning, and perceptions of both textbooks and computer-based learning tools. It also reveals high school teachers’ attitudes toward the use of both computer-based resources and textbooks.
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Scientific inquiry refers to the diverse ways in which “scientists” study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Inquiry also refers to the activities of “students” in which they develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world. (National Science Education Standards, p. 23.)



Can technology change the way science is taught? The answer is yes. Strategically designed interactive technology is allowing us to link skilled educators and research scientists from around the world with high school teachers for professional development, and with their students for high impact, or higher-end inquiry learning. In short, technology is allowing us to build new and effective multimedia learning tools and strategies for the 21st Century classroom, which bring real-world research experiences to life for teachers and students.

Technology is helping biology instructors re-define their “pedagogical toolboxes” for the 21st Century classroom. Indeed, new, technology-centered, multimedia learning tools are evolving, and through their evolution, are allowing instructors to re-imagine the endless possibilities for teaching in innovative and exciting ways. Moreover, they are creating interactive classrooms, empowering instructors to be facilitators of learning, and helping to excite the next generation of researchers and scientifically aware citizens.

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