The Impact of Learning Driven Constructs on the Perceived Higher Order Cognitive Skills Improvement: Multimedia vs. Text

By Bagarukayo, Emily; Weide, Theo et al. | International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, July 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

The Impact of Learning Driven Constructs on the Perceived Higher Order Cognitive Skills Improvement: Multimedia vs. Text


Bagarukayo, Emily, Weide, Theo, Mbarika, Victor, Kim, Min, International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology


ABSTRACT

The study aims at determining the impact of learning driven constructs on Perceived Higher Order Cognitive Skills (HOCS) improvement when using multimedia and text materials. Perceived HOCS improvement is the attainment of HOCS based on the students' perceptions. The research experiment undertaken using a case study was conducted on 223 students split into two groups who used multimedia and text book instructional methods respectively, to determine the impact of exposure to technology on HOCS improvement of such skills as: decision-making, problemsolving, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, interpretation. The data collected was analyzed using the independent sample t-test to examine the effects of Learning Driven constructs of multimedia and textbook on students perceived HOCS. The findings from the study suggest that multimedia materials had no measurable effect on HOCS as compared to the traditional text book approach. The study therefore concludes that there was no significant difference in the students' attitudes, learning interest, learned from others, self reported learning, and HOCS of decision making, problem solving, critical thinking, and other skills when multimedia and text book materials were used.

Keywords: Perceived Higher Order Cognitive Skills, Learning Driven Constructs, Multimedia, Case study, Instructional methods.

1. INTRODUCTION

Higher Order Cognitive Skills (HOCS) are skills that go beyond basic comprehension of a problem or concept, and relate to the perception that an individual has acquired skills to make a decision under various conditions of uncertainty and time limit (Mbarika er al., 2010; Lou er al., 2008; Bradley eí al., 2007a, b; Zoller er al., 2002; Zoller, 1993; 1999). HOCS implies an improved learned ability to identify, integrate, evaluate, and inter-relate concepts within a given problem domain, thereby making the appropriate decisions to solve a problem. HOCS include skills of decision-making, problem-solving, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, interpretation, among others. HOCS are essential if students are to apply knowledge acquired in class in novel and real life situations. Several authors imply that the traditional learning approach, a structured clear method that allows face to face interaction of students and their lecturers is not compatible with promotion and improvement of students' HOCS (Mbarika eí al., 2010; Zoller & Pushkin, 2007; Bradley er al., 2007; Zoller, 1993; Juwah, 2003), therefore do not favor development of problem solving, critical thinking and decision making skills needed by the employer (Ball & Garton, 2005; Mbarika, 2003).

Undergraduate education is often criticized for failing to improve HOCS for problem solving and decision making in science courses like Computer Science, IT and Engineering (Mbarika eí al., 2010; Bagarukayo er al., 2007; Bradley etal., 2007a, b; Broussard eí al., 2007; Zoller & Pushkin, 2007). For example, students taught theory without opening a computer to show them how computer parts are a installed, upgraded or repaired, may not give them good grounding of the concept. Students need exposure to troubleshooting in a simulated real work environment to obtain problem solving, critical thinking and decision making skills. Although educators typically understand the learning objectives of their courses, the reality is that these objectives are rarely fully attained (Mbarika eí al., 2010; Bradley er al., 2007). Introductory courses have been taught using the traditional learning approach, during which the instructor lectures on these technical topics. It is a common complaint for educators that science students did not have HOCS to take upper-level classes and that they often have to redo topics that were supposed to be attempted in the introductory classes (Bagarukayo & Mbarika, 2008; Mbarika er al., 2003a). This is reflected in many science graduates e.g. engineering, chemistry and IT, today. …

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