The Use of Artefact Production to Achieve Learning Objectives in a Second-Year Zoology Course at an Institute of Higher Learning

Andre D. Daniels, Lorna B. Holtman


The research work provides a case study of an effective use of e-learning to supplement face-to-face teaching-and-learning in a second-year Zoology course at the University of the Western Cape. This work was undertaken as part of a study to develop a pedagogy for effectively introducing and integrating artefact-production as a teaching-and-learning technique. The study is underpinned by the theoretical framework of Activity theory and Constructivism. Data sources include observations and interviews conducted with students as well as the artefacts produced using Microsoft Producer and PowerPoint (CD and DVD presentations). The report highlights the impact of the construction of an artefact on the learning experience of students in the course and demonstrates the value of having students use technology to construct their own learning, rather than using technology purely to interact with artefacts developed by others. The report focuses on the dynamic interaction within student groups with varying levels of computer literacy. The study concludes that technology is best introduced in a well-structured course where excitement is derived from the content. Moreover, that the appropriate use of technology serves to increase the retention of information by providing multiple and varied opportunities for interaction with subject content. Although the study was undertaken in a face-to-face classroom, the results can be applied to e-learning supported by Web technologies. This can be achieved by creating artefacts that can be viewed and manipulated in a web browser, and by providing online tools to facilitate their creation and use, as well as for providing assessment and feedback.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n6p263

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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