Can one version of online learning materials benefit all students?

Alexandra Yeung, Siegbert Schmid, Roy Tasker

Abstract


Computers have had a significant impact on teaching and learning in recent years. When used as cognitive tools, computers can enable students to develop higher levels of cognitive processing by displaying information as both text and graphics to facilitate retention and transfer (Kozma 1987). For many students, chemistry is a subject that involves a novel set of terminology and symbology, and an array of abstract concepts and mental images not consistent with their observations and experiences of the world (Rusay 2003). Information and communications technology (ICT) offers the opportunity to help students develop understanding of these abstract concepts by illustrating them with multimedia simulations, thereby making them more concrete. ICT instruction can be reviewed multiple times, allowing the learner to control the pace of learning (Tissue, Earp and Yip 1996). Furthermore, students can access online pre-laboratory work at any time thereby allowing them flexibility whilst offering the university a cost effective means of delivery.

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