Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Creating Interactive E-Books through Learning by Design: The Impacts of Guided Peer-Feedback on Students' Learning Achievements and Project Outcomes in Science Courses

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Creating Interactive E-Books through Learning by Design: The Impacts of Guided Peer-Feedback on Students' Learning Achievements and Project Outcomes in Science Courses

Article excerpt

Introduction

As educational settings and strategies have become more diverse, technology-based teaching has gradually become one of the trends in education (Chu, 2014). The popularity of tablet computers and the development of digital reading technologies such as multimedia and interactive facilities have brought the use of e-books as a learning tool under the spotlight (Jenny et al., 2015; Huang & Liang, 2015). Meanwhile, "developing e-books" has become a popular project-based learning activity in schools (Colombo & Landoni, 2013). Scholars have indicated that this approach of learning by design has great potential for fostering students' innovative thinking and learning achievement if appropriate learning support is provided (Huynh & Ghimire, 2015; Hwang, Hung, & Chen, 2013). In the meantime, researchers have stated the necessity of adopting learning guiding strategies in such project-based activities to enhance students' learning performance and project quality (Tseng & Tsai, 2007).

Among various learning strategies, learning by design is a well-recognized one, based on constructivism, in which students need to think about what the important parts of the learning content are through the design process, and how to present the key concepts fully to others (Harel, 1991; Jonassen & Carr, 2000). In comparison with conventional instruction, the mode of learning by design allows students to participate more actively and construct their own knowledge step by step for meaningful learning (Minovic, Milovanovic, Evic, Minovic, & Evic, 2011).

In addition, engaging students in peer-feedback is also one of the learning strategies that have positive impacts on students' learning motivation, attitudes and achievement (Lai & Hwang, 2015; Tseng & Tsai, 2007; Hwang, Hung, & Chen, 2013). It refers to the learning activities that engage students with similar backgrounds in assessing the learning outcomes of peers by playing the role of an instructor, including sharing knowledge and giving feedback or suggestions. Via peer interactions and feedback, students not only have more innovative ideas, but also learn to make reflections through viewing peers' work.

Most previous studies related to peer feedback were conducted for older age groups (e.g., college or high school students), who were asked to complete artworks, videos or system development projects, such as websites, computer programs or digital games (Ali, Heffernan, Lambe, & Coombes, 2014; Hsia, Huang, & Hwang, 2016; Tseng & Tsai, 2007). In addition to learning achievement, these studies mainly measured students' learning motivation, attitudes or the correlations between these variables. Few studies have been conducted to investigate younger students' innovative thinking and project outcomes as well as their learning achievement and cognitive load, not to mention adopting interactive e-books (i.e., e-book with interactive features) as the target of learningby-design and peer-feedback activities. Therefore, in this study, an approach of integrating the guided peer-feedback strategy into e-book design was proposed for younger groups. To evaluate the effectiveness of this approach, an experiment was performed on an elementary school science course to investigate the following research questions:

* Can the guided peer feedback-based e-book development approach improve students' learning achievements in comparison with the conventional e-book development approach?

* Can the guided peer feedback-based e-book development approach improve students' project outcomes in comparison with the conventional e-book development approach?

* Can the guided peer feedback-based e-book development approach promote students' innovative thinking tendency in comparison with the conventional e-book development approach?

* Can the guided peer feedback-based e-book development approach reduce students' cognitive load in comparison with the conventional e-book development approach? …

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