Digital media assignments in undergraduate science education: an evidence-based approach
Digital media assignments empower students to become co-creators of knowledge rather than passive consumers of content. The Internet explosion and the affordability of digital technologies and devices such as smartphones, tablets and action cameras have created opportunities to use digital media in the classroom. This article aims to present an evidence-based approach to help educators to design, implement and evaluate digital media assignments in the classroom. For this purpose, four theoretical models were tested to inform the design of digital media assignments in undergraduate science education. These models helped to identify the student training in digital media needed, develop effective marking rubrics, and inform the design, implementation and evaluation of digital media assessment tasks. Trials were conducted in Spring 2016 (n = 458) and Autumn 2017 (n = 1329), respectively. Data collection used a mixed-methods approach, including a qualitative survey, open-ended questions, group contribution data and marks attained. Data analysis showed positive outcomes of the systematic implementation of digital media assignments. In conclusion, students enjoyed the support they received, being creative, working in groups and learning with digital media. To date, this intervention is one of the most comprehensive and practical approaches to digital media assignments in the classroom, which has been undertaken.
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