The evaluation of interactive multimedia in teaching and learning in undergraduate physical sciences

Haddon, Keith Allister (1999) The evaluation of interactive multimedia in teaching and learning in undergraduate physical sciences. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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We live in an information society. The use of Personal Computers is widespread and it continues to grow, both in the workplace and in the home (Lewis, 1999). More information is available electronically and more services are coming on-line. The Internet and email are now everyday terms. Soon our whole lives could revolve around home and portable terminals. We may be shopping, working, communicating and learning entirely electronically. Books may become far less important and face to face interactions may become increasingly inefficient and unnecessary.
This is one view of the future. It may be unrealistic and it is probably not desirable, but it is a possibility. Information technology is developing rapidly. It is becoming more accepted and more essential to our everyday lives. It is increasingly important that information can be accessed and communicated quickly, accurately and efficiently.
Clearly this has implications for Higher Education and indeed for teaching and learning as a whole. The role of technology in enabling access to information has an obvious, perhaps inevitable next step, which is the electronic delivery of learning; in effect, the electronic instructor. In fact, this is not a new idea and such educational software has already been developed. Over the years many technology-related teaching methods have been employed in an attempt to improve the quality, flexibility and cost effectiveness of teaching and learning. For example, Interactive Television, Programmed Instruction and Computer Aided Instruction have been around for over 25 years (Jameson et al., 1974), but as yet none have been successful in replacing traditional instruction on a large scale. In 1993, the lecture was seen as the main teaching method used in Higher Education (Laurillard, 1993) and six years on, this is still the case.

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