Interactive Multimedia Multi Disciplinary Problem Based Scenarios Programme Education Essay

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Essentially, the idea of this research is to develop a courseware for Multi-Disciplinary Problem Based Learning, specially designed and developed for secondary school learners. In this introductory chapter, the researcher addresses the issue on background of the study; outlining the motivation to develop the courseware; the statement of the problem in the light; purpose and objectives of the study; research questions; and significance of the study. The chapter also presents scope of the study; methodology overview and, lastly, definition of the terms that will be used throughout the study. This chapter concludes with a summary.

1.1 Background of the Study

In the conventional teaching and learning scenario, the teacher teaches to a class of learners, subject matter is laid down in some form of syllabus. These classes usually take place at set times

Getting learners to think of something they have learned successfully is a positive start to alerting them to the ways in which they learn. It does not matter what they think of as the successful learning experience of their choice as it can be by practice, by doing it, by trial and error or even by getting it wrong at first and learning from mistakes.

Computers have become a necessity of life, mostly because they provide a gateway into the world of teaching and learning.

Numerous technological advances have permitted us (perhaps required us) to move away from instructional strategies that focus on the presentation of abstract information to the individual to master. Computer network systems enable collaboration which business and industry are demanding. Video provides the opportunity to work in more concrete and stimulus-rich environments and to capture and analyze performances. Advances in hypermedia technology enable individuals to manage information, to begin to generate their own issues, and to test alternative hypotheses.

The web-growth as a platform for e-learning makes the

Web an essential technology; hence the accessibility issues in Web applications are

vital. In this research, an online e-learning portal of ICT Education courses

(Information Communication Technology) is being developed, and the Hearing-

Impaired Individuals has been the chosen as target audience.

My-PBS programme was developed by School of Educational Studies, Centre for Instructional Technology and Multimedia and School of The Arts from Universiti Sains Malaysia under Research University Grant, namely, "ICT AND VIDEO-BASED NARRATIVE ADVENTURES TO ENHANCE PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS (Research University Grant Number : 1001/PGURU/816090)" in 2009. After some time, the objectives of this project was changed to produce an interactive mutimedia multi-disciplinary problem based scenarios (My-PBS) DVD-ROM based programme and its corresponding facilitator's module for teachers to pan for their daily teaching to suit the current nature of teaching and learning.

What does My-PBS stands for? My-PBS acronym stands for the Multi-Disciplinary Problem Base Scenarios. My-PBS is a DVD-ROM based product which includes short video clips with multimedia elements. This is enormously useful because of their capacity to present more realistic information about the desired problem or scenarios. Besides that, it also encourages engagement of the learners as they interact with the materials.

Therefore, My-PBS DVD-ROM based programme were expected to provide learners with tools and opportunities to involve in classroom activities as well as generate higher order thinking skills.

Explain why its multi-disciplinary??

There is a staging involved from individuals of the same disciplines working on teams as intradisciplinary, to individuals of different diciplines

Provide true diversity and holds the highest potential of establishing the right circumstances for successful outcomes and experiences

Explain why its problem based scenarios??

Explain about the project (overall)

-What is my-pbs???? Effectiveness?? Teacher - to - student

Experimental learning-hands on activity


Authentic learning and assessments

Explorative learning

Alternatives strategies and assessments

PBL to My-PBS / scenario : how PBL relates to scenario??

How My-PBS is connected to PBL?? Based on whom???

Why we need what-if scenarios???

To trigger logical thinking

In the classroom in which these teachers worked, computers were used as a multipurpose tool. The most commonly used software was the word processor and the most frequent approach to curriculum was for learners to make their own products using software tools, often incorporating several kinds of software.

As many as 88% of the teachers indicated that computers had made a difference to their teaching. Overall the changes included higher expectations for learners' work, greater opportunity to support learners working individually and independently and a change from teacher-oriented to learner-oriented classrooms with the teacher acting more as a coach than as information dispenser.

As in the USA study, a large proportion (76%) of the teachers felt that the computer had made a significant difference to the way they taught. Similar changes to those in the USA were reported, namely, a move from teacher-centred to learner-centred classrooms with more emphasis on individualised and independent work with higher expectations of learner's performance.

In 2009, the research team members' focus on the project called "ICT AND VIDEO-BASED NARRATIVE ADVENTURES TO ENHANCE PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS". The proposed design was based on the creation of multimedia cases using constructivist theory and the principles of problem-based learning. The development would have been undertaken using the resources provided to support teaching using problem-based learning approach in the relevant subjects (Geography, Mathematics and Science).

When funding was obtained for the interactive multimedia My-PBS project, it became possible to employ research officer to assist in collection and preparation of content from a variety of sources, including workshops and meetings with group of expert teachers and potential end users. Arrangements were made to obtain technical services, namely, video and audio production, photography, graphic design and DVD mastering from the Centre for Instructional Technology and Multimedia (CITM), Universiti Sains Malaysia.

In most respects the development team functioned as anticipated. Difficulties encountered in the design and development beyond the stage of prototype development resulted in the author assuming responsibility for project management and materials development from right on the scheduled completion date. The original concept had been enhanced by the development of a design model for interactive multimedia My-PBS programme materials. A development process will be explained further in this chapter and applied to the preparation of the My-PBS prototype.

The interactive multimedia My-PBS prototype had received an award at an international exhibition called "ITEX 2011: 22nd International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition" at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from 20th till 22nd May, 2011. The outlines of all the scenarios had been developed and most of the content had been prepared.

The educational design emerged through collaboration with the project co-director and the completed package includes images, audio, video, texts and some embedded Shockwave elements prepared by members of the team described above. The conversion of text materials for display in the final version, the creation of some graphics, the arrangement of elements of the screen, and the programming that controls their operation is the work of the author assisted by the project directors, co-directors and the graphic designer.

In the following sections, significant features of the design and development process are described. It is assumed that, except where it is otherwise indicated, all of the materials development work described beyond the point of prototype development have been undertaken by the author.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

As mentioned earlier, technology-accessibility and video/films based materials in multi-disciplinary curriculums is very crucial for teachers and learners. Most of the materials that is available in markets has very little learner involvement, not much useful for developing learners' communication and interpersonal skills, therefore contributes little feeling of ownership of learning. Those materials do not cater for mixed-ability groups of learners and different learning rates. Besides that, teachers have to ensure the appropriateness of the content that would be presented to their respective learners in an authentic ownership way. It would be a waste of time unless the chosen materials are directly relevant to the targeted learners. All this requires careful planning and structuring by the teacher. Most materials in open market possibly could not be used unless suitable software or projection equipment is presented together. Preparation of open-learning materials is time-consuming and expensive. Not all teachers have the capability to prepare yet organize interactive learning materials together. Ideally, ready-made courseware not usually available and preparation of custom-designed courseware requires specific skills.

Why you need to design the dvd???

Flip chart from itex

Measures of effectiveness : one to one q's

Can combine design n development

Traditionally, teachers have probably probed into the effectiveness of teaching methods and the relative effectiveness of one method over another. A good teacher shows commitment. He or she might recognize their responsibilities in teaching and respond to these responsibilities by a dedicated approach to a task. They must also aware of the importance of the use of time, the provision of a balanced rhythm of activities throughout the day, the needs of the most and least able learners and other related responsibilities. With so much at hand, they have to be a good manager and an organizer.

Chin, The and Fong (1988), have indicated that in current educational practice, teacher-learners interaction is emphasized and the possibility of interactions among learners itself is decreasing in many classrooms. This is obvious because of the tendency to complete a syllabus which is examination-oriented. This traditional task structure is individualistic; learners work by themselves most of the time and are rarely collaborate with each other. The trend shows that learners tend t work on their own even though they are grouped into smaller learning groups.

The classroom environment mentioned above requires some changes or modifications to make learning more meaningful for the learners, because learning here requires learners to work alone as well as in pairs and small groups. Le-Gall and DeCooke (1987), relate that peer learning has the potential to influence classroom learning and learning outcomes in positive ways. Learners learn best from their own experiences when working with peers rather than working alone. In a way, it is pleasant to observe that learners and teachers interact with each other in meaningful ways and confer a relevance to the things that they are learning through discussions.

Despite the fact that there is time and financial constraint, as well as lack of quality materials to be accessed by the educators.

Despite that, it's even uncommon to discover videos or films based materials for secondary school learners.

In relation to that, Yerion (1995) said that PBL should be applied in the classroom as it helps to encourage active learning among the learners. PBL are slearner-oriented learning approaches and have been proven successful in engaging learners to focus and learn more deeply on related subject matters. According to Parnell (1995), learning should be meaningful and purposeful because both are important elements for learners to be fully engaged in their learning process. Yazici (2005) was of the explains that to force oneself to work harder in a group is crucial towards effective management of the working environment which is getting more sophisticated and challenging and PBL can deliver this.

PBL is thus a learning approach that uses current issues. Other than being able to increase learner's learning skills, this approach also helps to expose learners to real world problems that they would encounter at the workplace upon graduation later. The reason is because lack of relevancy and rationale of what learners have learned in school to the complexity of real-life problems and situations. Ward and Lee (2004) said that PBL has been proven to have the ability to deliver learning content effectively. This view is supported by Steinemann (2003) who felt that that PBL is an effective skills training method in problem solving at the work place.

In general, scholars view PBL as a group learning strategy whereby the learners interact among themselves and help each other in the learning process. This would mean that, PBL caters for the different levels of learning abilities among the learners (higher and low) and are expected to benefit both parties. The weaker learners can get help from the better ones and at the same time the better ones can consolidate their mastery of knowledge and skills. Hence, both parties can gain the benefit in terms of development of generic skills like teamwork, leadership, communication skills, respect and deep understanding.

PBL was found to nurture the ability to be critical thinkers, skills to analyze, solve problems, expertise in researching, identifying, evaluating information resources, ability to work cooperatively in groups and skills to communicate with each other (Engel, 1991). PBL has also been claimed to enhance meaningful learning (Sobral, 1995). During PBL sessions, learners presume increase in responsibility for their own learning. Here, the learners will be more inspired and have the feelings of accomplishment after completing a task. It is intriguingly fascinating to perceive that PBL is identified as constructivist pedagogy. It is consistent with constructivist theories of learning that serve as foundation for many teacher education programmes (Delisle, 1997).

Problem-based learning is an approach to learning that continues to grow and develop in the field of education. Some educationists believe that problem-based learning is just another strategy for teachers. Thus, it tends to be used within a subject or as a component of a programme or module, where other subjects may be delivered through conventional method. Researcher believes that in problem-based learning the focus is in organizing the curricular content around problem scenarios rather than subjects or disciplines.

Here, learners work in groups or teams to solve or manage these situations but they are not expected to acquire a pre-determined series of 'right-answers' (Savin-Baden, 2000, p.3). Instead they are expected to engage with the complex situation presented to them and decide what information they need to learn and what skills they need to gain in order to manage the situation effectively. It is an approach to learning that is characterized by flexibility and diversity in the sense that it can be implemented in a variety of ways in and across different subjects and disciplines in diverse contexts (Savin-Baden, 2000, p.3).

According to Lave and Wenger (1991), an important goal of learning is to gain entrance to or understanding of communities of practice. This community is formed by shared language, activities and values. This form of learning, closely allied to Brown, Collins and Duguid's (1989) cognitive apprenticeship learning, consists of authentic participation in the activities, such as solving and reasoning of complex real-life problems, at a level appropriate to the learner's current competency.

This is why we need a new approach that can help lessen this problem as teachers can conduct facilitating process effectively and still have guidance from time to time. Therefore, creating a program that provides the learners with tools and opportunities to involve in activities normally engaged by the real practitioner would deem appropriate; duly named "Multi-Disciplinary Problem Based Scenarios (My-PBS) Programme. The researcher wants to discover what those teachers and learners think about integrating the new technology and how they feel about the change process in using My-PBS adventure series into their classroom curricula.

1.3 Purpose and Objectives of the Study

While conventional teaching strategies are strongly influenced by the teacher, learner-centered strategies are designed to provide learners with a highly flexible system of learning which is geared to individual life and learning styles (Ellington et. al, 1984). Teachers in general are always look for the "best practices" to help their learners learn the curriculum for a particular subject (Brighton, 2002, pg. 30). The term best practices refer to "the solid, reputable, state-of-the-art works in a field" (Brighton, 2002, pg. 30). Brighton stated that teachers build and base best practices on the latest knowledge, research, technology, and practices of a field of study. Hence, if it is desirable to increase teachers teaching and learners learn with ICTs, then it is reasonable to consider media-enhanced methods as a vehicle. One such practice or delivery method is multimedia materials and in this context it would be Multi-Disciplinary Problem Based Scenarios (My-PBS) programme.

Hence, the focus of this study is to design, develop and examine the usability of interactive multimedia DVD-based My-PBS programme using problem-based learning as the underlying design. To achieve that, the following specific objectives are required to be accomplished. This involves scrutinizing My-PBS programme in the following areas:-

To design an interactive multimedia DVD-ROM based multi-disciplinary problem based scenarios (My-PBS) programme.

To develop an interactive multimedia DVD-ROM based multi-disciplinary problem based scenarios (My-PBS) programme.

To examine the usability of interactive multimedia DVD-ROM based multi-disciplinary problem based scenarios (My-PBS) programme.

1.4 Research Questions

Having clarified the research focus of the study, it is possible to develop research questions to guide the investigation. This study examined the usability of the interactive multimedia DVD-based My-PBS programme by conducting formative evaluation on the My-PBS programme prototype from the intended learner's perspective. The following questions guided the study:-

How do learners react to the presentation of the interactive multimedia DVD-based My-PBS programme?

How do learners react to the content of the interactive multimedia DVD-based My-PBS programme?

1.5 Variables of the Study

Figure 1.1 illustrates primary variables and their relationships within the framework of this study.

1.5.1 Independent Variable

The independent variable is the type of classroom instruction, namely, interactive multimedia DVD-based My-PBS programme instruction.

1.5.2 Dependent Variable

The dependent variable is learner's feedback to the presentation and content of the interactive multimedia DVD-based My-PBS programme.


















Figure 1.1: Linking the Variables of the Study

1.6 5W's (what, why, who, how, where and when)

What - My-PBS is an interactive multimedia programme. It stands for Multi-Disciplinary Problem Based Scenarios (My-PBS). It comes on DVD-ROM and absolutely no installation is necessary. It runs right from the disk and contains curriculum-based scenarios video clips. The multimedia-learning objects are in a form of short videos and flash animation formats. The My-PBS DVD-ROM features a customized interface. This resource is designed exclusively for teachers. The DVD consists of basic information about Problem Based Learning (PBL) and My-PBS itself.

The stand-alone My-PBS programme will perform as a teaching material for teachers as it is accompanied by a detailed and comprehensive facilitator's module and its corresponding user manual. It is specially designed for teachers/facilitators on the go to access ready-to-us problem-based learning and multimedia content in order to sustain quality classroom teaching and learning. This promotes problem solving skills, creative and critical thinking through interactive multimedia within an authentic learning environment.

Why - The reason behind the invention of My-PBS programme is to enhance higher order thinking skills (HOTS), inquiry-oriented lesson format and engage learners to a meaningful learning environment. In line with this development, schools in Malaysia have been equipped with infrastructure such as computer labs and hardware technology to support teachers/facilitators in the teaching and learning process. The Malaysian government has implemented policies that encourage the integration of multimedia learning into classroom teaching. For successful integration of technology into classroom teaching, it is imperative that a large resource of appropriate and adaptable programme such as My-PBS be made available to the teachers and learners.

Who - My-PBS programme aims at two potential end-users which are Geography, Mathematics and Science teachers and learners in secondary school. The materials embedded in My-PBS DVD-ROM are designed/catered for learners with different learning abilities (as in for learners with different spatial ability) and levels. Other subject matter teachers will be encouraged to use My-PBS programme and adapt the content to their area of teaching.

How - Information on the DVD-ROM can be accessed in two ways - by browsing contents of each clickable buttons available at the bottom of the DVD-ROM or by clicking "Site Map" button and choose the screen users want to access.

Where - My-PBS adventure series will be provided to all secondary schools in Malaysia. Subject matter teachers can use it according to provided user manual and its corresponding facilitator's module as guidance.

When - My-PBS adventure series will be accessible by all secondary school teachers and learners. It will be used in the classroom or for outdoor activities.

1.8 Conceptual Framework

The term "conceptual framework" for this study refers to a set of theories, principles and concepts that are related in a logical manner and assembled because of their common focus or relevance to a phenomenon. A conceptual framework thus represents a holistic view of the problem or issue being studied or investigated.

The PBL teaching method comes from constructivist learning theory (Camp, 1996). The work of Piaget (1970) is the basis of constructivist learning theory. Constructivist theory states that the learner gains knowledge by interacting with the learner's environment. According to Piaget, constructivist learning takes place when the learner creates a meaningful model or interpretation of acquired knowledge for himself or herself. The learner is organizing and creating sense of the world around them (Von Glasersfeld, 1987). In a PBL classroom, especially in a high school classroom, the learner enters with or without prior knowledge or experience of the class subject or concept. According to Llewellyn (2005), using constructivist theory, the learner learns regardless of whether or not they have prior knowledge or experience. It is important to incorporate three main learning types into problem-based learning approach. Generative learning, anchored instruction and collaborative learning are needed to engage learners in this type of learning activities.

With PBL, the learners build on their prior knowledge of other areas to assimilate new knowledge. According to Llewellyn (2005), the teacher uses the learner's experiences and background to stimulate learning. The teacher helps the learners select the new knowledge and convert the information into a cognitive model as learners can retrieve it later. The role of the teacher is to act as a facilitator, to interpret and structure the information in a meaningful and appropriate way for the learner, so that the new knowledge created with the learner's prior knowledge.

By basing the PBL teaching method in constructivist learning theory, the teacher helps the learner to create new and meaningful knowledge models. High school learners come into a classroom with varying levels of knowledge. By using PBL, the learners gain knowledge and skills in a meaningful way that supports the learners' future learning. As for this study, Torp and Sage (2002) problem-based learning model are adapted in this study to develop a programme which could extend and enhance PBL curricula. They suggested that the characteristics of PBL environments provided a sound basis for design of multimedia PBL environments and design that will enable the computer to handle some of the more routine support (Torp & Sage, 2002). Besides that, the design and development of the interactive multimedia My-PBS materials were guided by Alessi and Trollip (2001) and Mayer's multimedia principles that will be discussed in Chapter 4.

Specifically, this study described the general findings concerning the interface design issues, multimedia characteristics, ease of use, instructional teaching and learning of the My-PBS programme materials. This study also proposed to obtain the users opinion through formative evaluation. Many technological innovations rely upon formative evaluation to elevate their technical complexity to a usable product.

For the study to be conducted various evaluation methods were researched and the formative evaluation method was chosen. The justification of this choice of method against other existing method is explained in the Methodology found in Chapter 3. The study emphasized on users to be well informed about what is going on through appropriate and timely feedback, thus ensuring visibility of programme status. The programme must speak the user's language rather than jargon, information must appear in natural and logical order. Users must have the freedom to exit locations and redo mistakes. Users must not have to wonder whether different words mean the same thing. These are some of the characteristics that will be evaluated throughout the study.

1.9 Research Setting and Subjects

The specific subjects/disciplines covered in My-PBS programme were Geography, Mathematics and Science. The experimental group will be instructed using computer-based My-PBS programme while the control group will be taught using the alternative method paper-based My-PBS instruction. The pilot study was planned for a period of three days.

1.10 Rationale of the Study

Researcher of the My-PBS programme intends to make modifications and a subsequent series to the programme, so that the next generation of My-PBS programme will be an improved and complete version for all ages of learners. The evaluation of the My-PBS programme was carried out to investigate if there are any areas of My-PBS programme that need changes or modifications based on the teachers' and learners' feedback. These are crucial to the success and longevity of the My-PBS programme.

Information obtained from this study will contribute to the growing body of research in the area of new technology introduction and integration in classrooms. The results of this study will identify teachers' feedback towards the new teaching/facilitating programme that will be provided for them and the reasons behind these feedbacks. Teachers in schools can use the findings of this study as a baseline in their effort to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the My-PBS programme in their classrooms.

1.11 Significance of the Study

An evaluation of the My-PBS programme would help in ensuring the programme will meet its goals in assisting teachers to prepare quality teaching materials and to find out how useful this programme is for teachers and learners. This study will give an insight of how the teachers and learners perceive My-PBS programme. The evaluation will investigate and reveal to the researcher any areas of the My-PBS programme that would need changes or modifications based on the teachers' and learners feedbacks.

Information obtained from this study will contribute to the growing body of research in the area of new technology introduction and integration in classrooms. The results of this study will identify teachers' feedback towards the new teaching/facilitating programme that will be provided for them and the reasons behind these feedbacks. Teachers in schools can use the findings of this study as a baseline in their effort to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the My-PBS programme in their classrooms.

The study should also be useful in determining whether the programme should be recommended to other institutions and teachers. The outcome of this study should also be of significance when planning and implementing similar interactive multimedia DVD-ROM based programme for other subjects or age groups in the Malaysian education system. Potential investors and financiers of this programme will also be able to see the visibility of My-PBS programme in the future.

1.12 Assumptions and Limitations of the Study

The following states the assumptions and limitations that the study worked with.

1.12.1 Assumptions

In this study, it is assumed that all teachers are competent in their teaching styles as seen through their effectiveness as teachers and in the success of learners in their classes. The teachers in this study have used their chosen method of teaching for several years. The teachers who use the My-PBS instruction have been trained to use the programme beforehand. The basis for the pretest and posttest questions is their inclusion on the approved school system curriculum. The researcher is basing the questions on this curriculum, the researcher assumes that the questions accurately reflect the curriculum, no matter what teaching method the teacher decides to use in the classroom.

1.12.2 Limitations

The high school setting presents some built-in limitations concerning My-PBS. The My-PBS classroom will contain a ratio of 1 teacher to approximately 35 learners. One teacher paired with one small group of 5 to 6 learners is not possible in a high school setting. While it is not essential to have a small learner/teacher ratio to have a My-PBS classroom, it allows the teacher to better facilitate the classroom. Due to standardized testing schedules, teachers must keep a certain pace in order to cover all the necessary curriculum material. Teachers must keep the time constraints in mind when planning the My-PBS lesson so learners will have time to research a problem properly as:

The study is limited to one secondary school from the state of Penang, Malaysia.

This study is limited to the Form 3 level Malaysian secondary school learners.

The small sample size prevents large generalization of responses because only one school were selected for this study.

Besides that, we also consider the facilities that the schools will have such as ICT infrastructure and the teacher's willingness to participate in the study.

The study is limited to the development of multimedia courseware specially for higher level secondary school students from the age of 15-17 years old.

The course curriculum is limited only to the Geography. Mathematics and Science subject, which is compulsory subject for students age of 15 years old.

1.13 Structure of Research

This research consists of six chapters. Chapter One aims at addressing the initial aspects of the research, beginning with some background of the research and details of the objectives and purpose of research. The chapter also presents the scope and significance of research.

Chapter Two elaborates on the background of in-depth literature's that has been reviewed throughout the study. Some of the important theories and models such as constructivism and problem-based learning models were discussed as well.

The research methodology is described in Chapter Three. Each method designed for the accomplishment of the stated objectives is explained thoroughly. This chapter provides details on the design of the study, pilot study, data collection and types of analyses used in this study.

The Development process is discussed in Chapter Four. First, the chapter emphasizes on the architecture and the development of the appropriate interactive multimedia DVD-ROM based My-PBS programme. It also elaborates on the background of the My-PBS programme and its implementation in schools.

The result of the findings for this study is elaborated in Chapter Five. This chapter elaborates on the findings obtained from survey, face-to-face interviews, observations and document analysis.

Finally, the summary, policy implications and recommendations of the research are highlighted in Chapter Six. This chapter draws conclusions from the present study and constructs suggestions for the future research. This chapter also discusses on the implications derived from this study. The graphical presentation of the structure of the research is presented in Figure 1.3.

Interactive Multimedia Multi-Disciplinary Problem Based Scenarios Programme: Design, Development and Implementation


Background of the study

Statement of the problem

Purpose and Objectives of the study

Research Questions

Variables of the study

Essential characteristics of the study

5W's : What, why, who, where, when & how

Conceptual framework

Research setting and subjects

Rationale of the study

Significance of the study

Assumptions and limitations of the study




Problem-based learning (PBL)

PBL in teacher education

PBL in instructional design and for IM

Designing educational multimedia

Principles for the design of IM My-PBS materials

My-PBS Model






Research focus

Research objective

Research plan for the study

Design, development & evaluation

Prototype trial

Formative evaluation

Focus group research

Research design


Figure 1.3: Structure of the research

Interactive Multimedia Multi-Disciplinary Problem Based Scenarios Programme: Design, Development and Implementation


Funding and personnel

Background of My-PBS programme

Overview of the development process

My-PBS development environment

Planning of My-PBS programme

Design of My-PBS programme

Scenario development


Scripting and video production


Content preparation

User interface design

Facilitator's Module


results and discussions




future implications

Future Research focus


Figure 1.3: Structure of the research (continue)

1.14 Definition of Terms

For the purpose of this research, it is pertinent to define the terms used in here to clarify any ambiguities that might arise. The key terms used in this research are:

Collaboration: Working together to accomplish a common intellectual purpose in a manner superior to what might have been accomplished working alone.

Conventional Teaching Methods: The term, conventional teaching methods, covers a variety of methods that most teachers use in varying degrees. These methods include: (a) teacher lecturing and learner note-taking, (b) individual learner pen-and-paper practice problems, (c) pen-and-paper assessment, (d) laboratory activities with predetermined outcomes in science classes, and (e) discussions (Llewellyn, 2005; Morgan, Whorton, & Gunsalus, 2000).

DVD-ROM: A high-capacity optical disk on which data can be stored but not altered. A compact disc with read-only memory. Data is "burned" onto the disc, which requires a special drive to access it. (Encarta Dictionary, 2007)

Hypermedia: A computer or web-based presentation in which the user navigates through information by clicking on text or images.

Hyperlink: Clickable image or text in a multimedia presentation that takes the user to a different part of the presentation. Also known as a link.

Image: A picture or graphic in digital format.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT): A generic term referring to technologies which are being used for collecting, storing, editing and passing on information in various forms.

Integration: Enhancing learner's learning by incorporating technology into a curriculum area (Dockstader, 1999).

Interactive Learning: A process that assists learning through interaction with responsive technology.

Instruction: A purposeful interaction to increase a learner's knowledge or skills in a specific, predetermined fashion.

Instructional Design: A process of selecting a series of events to facilitate learning.

Learning: A process of gaining knowledge and/or expertise.

Learning Style: The complex manner in which learners most efficiently and most effectively, perceive, process, store, and recall what they are attempting to learn.

Media Object: A unit of text, graphics, sound, motion or interactivity.

Multimedia: the integration of media objects such as text, graphics, video, animation, and sound to represent and convey information.

Problem Based Learning (PBL) Teaching Method: Problem Based Learning (PBL) teaching method uses problems as a base to motivate learner's learning of knowledge and skills. In the PBL teaching method, students encounter a problem or dilemma and use an organized, logical method to solve the problem. This method of teaching is learner-centered and inquiry-based. According to Schwartz, Mennin, and Webb (2001), in a standard PBL classroom, students will work in small groups, and the teacher is a catalyst for learning and guides learners through the problem solving process rather than merely acting as a dispenser of knowledge.

Stand-alone presentations: A multimedia product that can be used on a single computer without either human assistance or an Internet connection.

Storyboard: A series of sketches of media screens that will comprise a presentation. Making a storyboard is a good way to plan the content and hyperlinks for a presentation before doing time-consuming media production.

Technology integration: The process of determining which electronic tools and which methods for implementing them are appropriate for given classroom situations and problems.

User friendly: The interface will guide the users through different stages towards the accomplishment of tasks. It shows how easy something is to use.

User interface design: The overall process of designing how a user will be able to interact with a programme.

Website : One or more related documents, or Web pages on the World Wide Web.

User interface: The means of communication between a human user and a computer system (in this case a DVD-based programme).


It is reported that many teachers feel less confident in teaching mathematics than in teaching most other subjects (Hyde, 1989; Bush and Kincer, 1993). They may even have actively disliked mathematics themselves as children and as university students. They do not necessarily teach well those subjects that they do not feel confident about. They may depend upon a textbook or other curriculum material to carry the content to the learner, rather than becoming competent in clearly instructing and demonstrating themselves.

Teachers may be fully aware of the fact that mathematics is an extremely hierarchical topic, with higher levels of learning utterly dependent upon mastery of lower level concepts and skills, yet their intimate knowledge of curriculum may be tied closely to the specific range of concepts and skills taught at one particular year-level in school. This is not necessarily a major deficiency, but it does tend to result in maths content being taught in a rather fragmented and isolated way. Connections are not clearly and deliberately made between what has gone before and what will come later because the teacher is not fully cognisant of their relationship. Yet these connections are the bases of real understanding in maths. It is particularly important to forge the links between concepts and skills for students with learning difficulties.

Some teachers seem not to recognise the need to revise and review the content in amths course at very regular intervals. They teach in a strictly linear way, progressing from topic to topic, rather than in a spriral manner which constantly revisits key content to achieve mastery. The need for revision and repeated successful practice and application is greatest in the case of slower learning students (McCoy, 1995). Teachers often complain that their students do not remember what has been taught. Surely this is as indicative of a weakness in the maths programme as much as in the learner!

The pressure which some teachers feel under to complete the syllabus reduces the time they spend in teaching diagnostically. If student's misunderstandings or faulty strategies are recognised early they can be more effectively remedied before the failure syndrome develops. It is only by closely monitoring the performance of individual students that a teacher will clearly identify the learner who is using an incorrect procedure at some stage in a calculation, or the learner who simply has no strategy for approaching a given problem.

Issues related to the method of instruction

The teaching of maths has undergone significant changes at fairly regular intervals since the early 1960s. Currently the process approach to maths is popular in the junior primary years, although not all teachers or all schools have adopted it. It is a form of guided discovery learning where learners are exposed to concrete materials and the teacher acts as a facilitator of discovery rather than as an instructor. As a result of manipulation of materials it is hoped that learners will acquire insightful understanding of relationships within the number system and will appreciate key concepts related to pattern, shape, space, measurement and etc. The teacher should be on hand to pose questions at appropriate should be on hand to pose questions at appropriate times in order to focus the learner's attention. Use is also made of peer-group assistance and cooperative work to enable learners to share their experiences.

The process approach is based on a 'constructivist' perspective on learning. From this viewpoint it is believed that learners must construct their own meaning from their own experiences, rather than from information transmitted to them by others (Zavenbergen, 1995). This fairly extreme viewpoint has been challenged by other experts in learning theory, who suggests that clear modelling by the teacher and clear explanations by the teacher are essential elements in helping students to make meaning (Pressley and McCormick, 1995).

When implemented well, the process approach almost certainly results in more insightful learning than would occur in teacher-directed lessons where learner's individual learning rates tend to be ignored. However, implementing any type of learning through a discovery approach is extremely demanding and in the hands of a less-than-skilful teacher much time may be wasted and students may fail to learn (or may learn incorrectly). This has been recognised for many years, yet discovery learning is often advocated in pre-service and in-service education courses as if it is the only worthwhile method.

In general, a discovery approach to maths has yet to prove its superiority over other methods: its popularity is based upon beliefs rather than hard evidence. Its effectiveness is entirely dependent upon the teacher's skill. After discovery, you must give students plenty of practice and time to develop and consolidate understanding of maths concepts. It does not follow that student always remember what they discover. Pressley and McCormick (1995) have has indicated that practice lessons are necessary in order to transform students new learning into permanent knowledge and skill.

The foregoing points are not intended to condemn discovery learning but rather to highlight some of the difficulties in its effective implementation. Students with learning difficulties are likely to become confused in an unstructured learning situation, and it can be argued that a well-ordered explicit teaching approach to classroom maths may minimize such confusion (Westwood, 1996).

Rosenshine (1986) indicates that less effective teaching of maths is characterised by infrequent review or revision, demonstrations which are too brief or unclear, insufficient guided practice and too little corrective feedback. He also states that slower students need:

More frequent review

Less verbal elaboration

More guided practice (for example, with close monitoring and immediate feedback from the teacher)

More independent practice and application to ensure mastery