An evaluation of multimedia technology in geography education: A case study of two sixth-grade classes in Ohio
Daniel Paul Donaldson, Kent State University, United States
Kent State University . Awarded
Today, educators are being called on to cultivate a more geographically literate body of students. Just as computer technologies have found use in nearly all aspects of North American society, they are now looked upon as a tool which will enhance students' geography learning. Through the use of interactive multimedia packages, it is suggested that students will gain a more intricate collection of spatial understandings. This work draws on results of direct intervention in two sixth-grade classrooms in Cleveland, Ohio. It compares two methods of teaching and learning geographic concepts: one employing the use of interactive multimedia and the other utilizing traditional approaches (e.g., teacher/lecture, worksheet, projects). Data derived from student responses to a local landscape questionnaire were interpreted by descriptive statistics and an entropy index of diversity. Results indicate that students in the ‘traditional class’ who had learned Standards-based geography concepts via traditional modes displayed a higher degree of improvement in their diversity of landscape interpretation. Their counterparts who were exposed to the same concepts using interactive multimedia geography modules did not improve to the same degree. This suggests that students working under the traditional format had an easier time applying the geography concepts they had learned to interpretations of their local environment.
Donaldson, D.P. An evaluation of multimedia technology in geography education: A case study of two sixth-grade classes in Ohio. Ph.D. thesis, Kent State University.
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