Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

A Project-Based Digital Storytelling Approach for Improving Students' Learning Motivation, Problem-Solving Competence and Learning Achievement

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

A Project-Based Digital Storytelling Approach for Improving Students' Learning Motivation, Problem-Solving Competence and Learning Achievement

Article excerpt

Introduction

With the popularity of information technology and the rapid development of global knowledge, scholars and academia have started to pay more attention to technological instruction. Researchers have tried to develop various computerized systems or guiding strategies to assist students in improving their learning performance (Hsieh et al., 2011; Hwang, 2003; Panjaburee, Hwang, Triampo, & Shih, 2010). Chu, Tse, and Chow (2011) have indicated that effective instruction is required to cultivate the key competences of students; particularly, technological instruction which promotes student-centered learning presents a great difference from traditional direct instruction. Many scholars consider Project-Based Learning (PBL) as an excellent form of instruction to encourage the self-learning of students (Chang & Lee, 2010; Gerber, Cavallo, & Marek, 2001; Glover, 1993; Green, 1998; Moursund, 1999; Scott, 1994). David (2008) mentioned that project-based learning could provide students with more learning chances and interpersonal interactions, as it conforms to the requirements of technological instruction. Barrows (1996) indicated that students should look for more efficient learning methods based on their background knowledge and skills, and project-based learning, as a favorable learning strategy, could guide students to the application of knowledge and problem solving. Schmeck and Lockhart (1983) considered learning strategies as the methods applied in the learning process to assist learners in acquiring, managing, and integrating knowledge, as well as solving problems independently. It can be seen that project-based learning is such an approach that situates learners with higher order cognitive processes in the modified version of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives, such as "analyze", "evaluate" and "create" (Anderson, Krathwohl, Airasian, Cruickshank, Mayer, Pintrich, et al., 2001; Bloom et al., 1956).

Shih, Chuang and Hwang (2010) further revealed that project-based learning could be a student-centered learning model to promote the learning achievement of students. Moreover, Mayer (1987) considered that learning strategies should be developed along with the students' increase in age, and that the optimal timing to develop learning strategies is with upper elementary school classes; that is, project-based learning is suitable for being applied to the learning strategies of these upper elementary classes. Nevertheless, researchers have pointed out several problems encountered while applying the project-based learning approach in large classrooms, including the difficulties in promoting students' learning motivation, having students concentrate on the learning tasks, helping the students connect the new content with their prior knowledge, and conducting the cooperative learning activities efficiently (Blumenfeld, Soloway, Marx, Krajcik, Guzdial, & Palincsar, 1991; Gulbahar & Tinmaz, 2006; Marx, Blumenfeld, Krajcik, & Soloway, 1997; Lee & Tsai, 2004).

The advancement and popularity of computer and network technologies have resolved part of the problems. A technology-integrated PBL environment provides a real-world, constructivist, cooperative learning environment that has many advantages over the traditional PBL environment (Bottino & Robotti, 2007); that is, the difficulty in conducting the cooperative learning activities has been resolved. However, it remains a challenge to promote students' motivation and concentration on the learning tasks; moreover, it is also important to provide a way to guide the students to organize their knowledge. Therefore, the development of an effective instructional strategy for conducting project-based learning activities has become an important and challenging issue (Woods, 2010).

Scholars have identified that storytelling is an effective instructional strategy for promoting learning motivations and improving the learning performance of students (Schank, 1990). …

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