Making science real: photo-sharing in biology and chemistry

Jenny Waycott, Barney Dalgarno, Gregor Kennedy, Andrea Bishop

Abstract

In this paper, we examine students’ reflections about the value of two photosharing activities that were implemented in undergraduate Biology and Chemistry subjects. Both activities aimed, broadly, to provide support for authentic and meaningful learning experiences in undergraduate science. Although the activities were similar - both required students to capture and share images as part of an independent inquiry activity - students in the Biology case study were more positive, overall, than the Chemistry students in their evaluation of the activity. In this paper, we examine the findings from the two case studies in parallel to provide insight into our understanding of meaningful learning in undergraduate science. The results suggest that, for meaningful learning to occur, the learning activity needs to be well aligned with students’ individual learning goals and with the objectives and characteristics of the course. In the two case studies examined in this paper, this alignment was successful for the Biology case study but less successful in the Chemistry case study.

Keywords: science education; photo-sharing; meaningful learning

(Published: 15 March 2012)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2012, 20: 16151 - DOI: 10.3402/rlt.v20i0.16151

Keywords

Science education; photo-sharing; meaningful learning

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