Enhancing student learning using multimedia and web
technologies: Students’ perceptions of an authentic
learning experience in a Malaysian classroom
Heidi Yeen-Ju Tan, Joyce Wai-Jing Kwok, Mai Neo & Tse-Kian Neo SMILE, CEMKA, Faculty of Creative Multimedia
Multimedia University, Malaysia
There is still a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of online education as education materials are being developed without proper consideration as to their design and content representation (Chung, 2008). Adding to that, we are now in a world where the ability to identify and solve real-world complex problems has become a career transcending skill (Levy & Murnane, 2005) hence creating the need for incorporating authentic learning principles into learning content as it creates an environment that allows students to gain crucial real-world skills (Lombardi, 2007). Therefore this paper reports a study conducted to assess the impact of incorporating authentic learning principles (Herrington & Kervin, 2007) into a web-based multimedia learning module, and embedding it within a student-centred learning environment, on the student learning process. Students were presented with a multimedia-mediated web-based learning module, developed within the curriculum of the class, and their feedback was solicited. Results showed that students were very positive towards the incorporation of interactive authentic activities and found the authentic learning environment to be very relevant to their learning and became more engaged and actively involved in their learning process. These results show strong and encouraging support for the development of multimedia web-based modules that are grounded in authentic learning and sound design principles, and an innovative teaching and learning strategy in a technology-backed class.
Keywords: Multimedia learning, web-based learning, student-centered learning, authentic learning environment
The advancements of information communication technology (ICT) have generated interest amongst educators to utilize the technologies available for the purposes of teaching (Sivapalan and Wan Fatimah, 2010). As such, the Malaysian Ministry of Education have made known their intention for making ICT-enhanced teaching and learning common features in Malaysian schools, even going as far as encouraging the development of teaching and learning coursewares for the classroom (MOE. 2004). However, these technological advancements are often not used for the right reasons. They are merely used out of convenience, as a method of entertaining students or even because of administrative pressure (Herrington & Kervin, 2007). According to Palloff & Pratt (2001), there is more to using technology than merely uploading teaching materials online. Wijekumar (2005) notes that web-based learning environments should be well designed and used as intended in order for it to be an asset to the education industry. It should be designed specifically with an interactive, electronic medium that accommodates various media types and incorporated in the classroom in many ways (Bonk, Cummings, Hara, Fischler & Lee, 2000). Online modules should also be designed to be as authentic as possible by
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incorporating content and activities to reflect the way the knowledge is used in real life situations (Herrington & Herrington, 2006).
Amongst Malaysian researchers, the focus of online interactive multimedia modules is often the interface design and adding interactive multimedia elements (Sivapalan and Wan Fatimah, 2010; Kamaruddin, 2010). There has been a lack of focus on creating authentic learning web environments. The Education Minister of Malaysia mentioned a need to move towards education that equips students with life skills in order to prepare them career-wise (Abdullah, 2010) whereas...
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