A Systematic Approach to Designing, Implementing and Evaluating Learner-Generated Digital Media Assignments (LGDM) in Undergraduate Science Students and its Effect on Self-Regulation

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This study aimed to address the need for a systematic approach to LGDM assignments identified in the literature. The author proposed a set of four theoretical frameworks to design, implement, and evaluate LGDM tasks in science education. The Digital Media Literacies framework informed the development of training materials and marking rubrics. The Taxonomy of Digital Media Types guided the assessment weight and communicated to students and academics of the different media types available according to skills required for their production. The Digital Media Principles framework identified the standards the students and educators need to achieve to communicate effectively in the digital space. The LGDM Implementation framework guided the design, development, implementation and evaluation of digital media assignments in the classroom. A pilot study trialled these frameworks and validated an evaluation survey for LGDM assignments (Spring 2016). The students reported a positive attitude toward digital media for learning, highlighted creativity, teamwork, digital media support, and learning of subject content as the main features of the intervention. The second part of the dissertation focused on the development of an additional framework to research student learning experience with LGDM assignments. It followed a mixed-methods approach, and the quantitative data section validated a self-regulation questionnaire, suggested to capture LMS logs, marks, and group contribution data. The qualitative part included open-ended questions and student interviews. The last part of the dissertation included a large trial (n=1,687) across seven science subjects (Autumn, 2017). The aim was to gauge the utility of the theoretical frameworks proposed by answering research questions such as: 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘓𝘎𝘋𝘔 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩? and; 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘓𝘎𝘋𝘔 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴? The students received LGDM training online and in a blended mode, and both groups showed a high score of self-regulation beliefs, being higher for online learners and female participants. Triangulating the rest of the data sets found that students had a positive learning experience and answered the research questions proposed. The contribution of this research has many implications. For practitioners, it offers a set of practical frameworks to guide the design, development and implementation of LGDM assignments. For researchers, the development of the theoretical framework to research the learning experience with LGDM assignments is the starting point to understand further a field considered under-theorised, under-researched and in early stages.
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