Technology and Inquiry Science: Impact of Students’ Academic Achievement in the Science Classrooms
Today, multimedia technology became a ubiquitous term in educational arena. However, there are many educators who doubt about its impact on students’ achievement. This study investigated effects of using multimedia-based Asynchronous Science Center (ASC) approach in terms of improving students’ achievement in the middle school classroom. In the ASC approach, multimedia technologies including animation, video clips, pictures, sounds, and computer-generated graphics were used to make student-centered science lesson. The ASC science instruction was presented on CD ROM using Flash, PowerPoint Presentation, and/or web based program (i.e., webboard, livetext, and Web Quest). With CD ROM instructional technologies, the science lessons were carried out asynchronously, i.e., each group performs the activity at their own pace. Over the last five years, the multimedia-based Asynchronous Science Center approach has been implemented in our pre-service teacher preparation program. Twenty one seventh graders received the ASC inquiry science instructions (N=21) and twenty six seventh graders had regular science instructions (Non-ASC, N=26) over the spring semester 2003. The ASC group students were taught three ASC inquiry science lessons by a trained ASC teacher whereas the Non-ASC group students were taught the same topic by a regular teacher. Students in both groups were tested with pre- and post- and retention tests (6 months later). The test items were developed by the teacher who taught the topic. The ASC group students had a long term memory with higher test scores than those of the Non-ASC group. The most frequent comments found from student interviews were “love to do activities,” “fun to be in science lesson,” and “enjoyable.” This study will discuss about how use of multimedia technology can impact students’ science achievement.
Keywords: Multimedia Technology, Academic Achievement, Inquiry Science, Science Instructional Strategy
Prof. Do-Yong Park
Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction