Multimedia constructivist learning environments and the web-expanding the possibilities

RM Corderoy, BM Harper, JG Hedberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

Abstract

Research clearly indicates that the natural learning processes of children are firmly grounded in 'hands-on' experiences, experimentation and reflection modes based in 'real world' situations rather than instructivist modes which seem to pervade so many educational systems.

Bounded learning environments such as those based in multimedia CD-ROM format which are situated in simulated 'real world' experiences, problem based and rich in mixed media representations can be designed to encourage student centred investigation and knowledge construction.

Exploring the Nardoo is such an environment. It has been designed to make full use of the power of multimedia and provides the students with a rich, highly interactive multimedia based information landscape through which they may navigate freely whilst constructing their knowledge. Learning in this rich environment is supported by a number of innovative cognitive tools. While such environments have little difficulty in providing student centred knowledge construction, it is difficult to offer the sociocultural processes and social-dialogical aspects of constructivist frameworks within such 'desktop' multimedia based environments. The provision of some specialised cognitive tools has partially addressed socio-cultural processes but not the social-dialogical aspects.

Providing mechanisms to address this short fall is challenging. Exploiting the power of the World Wide Web as a communicative tool and utilising web based interactive systems such as IRC, video conferencing E-mail, discussion forums and collaborative workspaces may provide a solution and at the same time an enriched experience for those using some of the many CD-ROM based learning packages restricted to the immediate desktop environment. The web can also be used in a supportive role to these environments by providing a means of up-dating content information and providing a wider resource base that can be accessed during investigations.

This paper provides an overview of the difficulties associated with the migration of complex interactive multimedia environments to the web. The constructivist design principles which underpin the development of the interactive CD-ROM 'Exploring the Nardoo', an example of such an environment, are also outlined. The structure and its included learning support features are described and the methods being investigated by which the World Wide Web can be utilised to address the socio-cultural and socio-dialogical aspects of constructivist frameworks to extend the richness of the experience for students using it, is outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ICCE'98, Vol 1 - Global Education on the Net
EditorsTW Chan, A Collins, JX Lin
Place of PublicationBeijing, China
PublisherCHINA HIGHER EDUCATION PRESS BEIJING
Pages519-527
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)7040073366
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Event6th International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE 98) - Beijing, China
Duration: 14 Oct 199817 Oct 1998

Conference

Conference6th International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE 98)
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period14/10/9817/10/98

Cite this

Corderoy, RM., Harper, BM., & Hedberg, JG. (1998). Multimedia constructivist learning environments and the web-expanding the possibilities. In TW. Chan, A. Collins, & JX. Lin (Eds.), Proceedings of ICCE'98, Vol 1 - Global Education on the Net (pp. 519-527). Beijing, China: CHINA HIGHER EDUCATION PRESS BEIJING.