Nga Wahi Ipurangi - Digital Places
Reilly, A. H. (2013). Nga Wahi Ipurangi - Digital Places (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8476
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8476
The Waipa district, unbeknown to many New Zealanders, is home to some of the country’s most significant historical sites and stories. As a Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (LEOTC) educator, one of my roles is facilitating the understanding of these places and stories with school students. Currently, historical sites of national significance in this area are geographically hard to recognise, and have little or no physical interpretation. The ability of students to learn at these sites relies heavily on the educator’s oratory abilities. Recent development in mobile technology can now provide access to interpretive internet-based content anytime, anywhere and this research investigates potential for mobile technology to be used as a tool to provide meaningful learning experiences that connect students to our unique history in the environment that these events actually took place in. This research compares different mobile learning methods’ effectiveness in increasing student understanding and retention of social history content. A mobile learning (mLearning) programme was created for the purpose of this research, with the internet-hosted content divided equally between 3 mobile learning methods and one presenter-based method. Three groups consisting of Yr 5-6, Yr 7-8 and Yr 9-10 school students participated in the programme. Students completed multi-choice tests before, immediately after and 4 months following the trial programme. The multi choice results were used to compare improvement in student understanding and retention. Focus group interviews were conducted immediately and 4 months after the trial and were used to explore students metacognitive reflections of the learning methods used. The results of the study suggest that the mobile audio method was the most effective at increasing student understanding of the learning content and also had the highest level of content retention. Results also suggest that environmental and technological distraction may have negatively influenced the effectiveness of the two visual mobile learning methods. Distraction may account for the differences between the learning methods effectiveness suggested by the multi-choice testing. Focus group interviews indicate the importance of mobile learning in an authentic context. Discussion around the reduction, and where possible, elimination of the identified distractions; appropriateness and feasibility of new programme development including: game/trail based mLearning; the importance of authentic contexts for Māori students; student involvement in design; student-centred methods; connection to the classroom; and the relevance of social media are explored. This research provides a clear direction for future programme development, aligning with the Ministry of Education’s LEOTC review priorities that emphasise raising student achievement for priority students; improving student engagement; and innovative, future focused learning.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses