The effectiveness of Interactive Video Vignettes to address introductory studentsﾒ common biological misconceptions and promote learning of core biology concepts
Introductory Biology students bring with them a range of mis- and alternate conceptions due to preconceived notions, language issues, faulty conceptual modeling, or factual error. These misunderstandings are significant barriers to learning, and must be overcome in order for students to learn new information successfully ﾖ in fact, new concepts can not be learned when incorrect models persist in studentsﾒ minds. Students need a platform in which these misconceptions can be confronted and then reconstructed with correct knowledge.
We are developing biological Interactive Video Vignettes (IVVs), a new genre of web-based learning tools that employ live-action and real-world settings that are familiar and accessible to a wide range of learners. IVVs are an innovative medium that engage students, and which are used as out-of class priming material. In addition to common misconceptions to key biological concepts, IVVs address Vision and Change core concepts through activities that require users to answer questions, make predictions, and be involved in data analysis. In a non-linear fashion, each studentﾒs path through the IVV is dictated by their responses, and is tailored to confront misconceptions and begin the process of reconstruction an appropriate knowledge/conceptual framework.
The goals of this study were to 1) investigate how students interact with IVVs, 2) evaluate the impact of IVVs on learning, and 3) identify and describe ways in which IVVs fail to be effective. We have conducted think-aloud interviews with first & second year students using completed IVVs. Each participant watched two IVVs on different topics, commenting throughout and elaborating on their thought processes. Participants then gave their overall impression of the IVV and answered a series of questions about IVV concepts in order to measure learning gains that occurred as a result of watching the IVV. The interview process allows us insights to student misunderstandings that we had not yet uncovered.
The research findings demonstrate that, in general, students enjoy the IVVs and remarked on the high quality of the video and analysis tools. Students showed positive learning gains on many of the concepts in each of the IVVs. Additional analyses revealed several embedded questions that needed rewording and highlighted gaps in student knowledge that could be targeted in future IVVs and in-class activities. To date we have interviewed 15 students, and expect to continue the interview process until we broad coverage of at least 15-20 interviews for each of the 6 completed IVVs.
We are in the process of developing a set of high-quality materials that will be accessible online and disseminated to biology faculty and others. Our research process during materials development ensures that we are producing IVVs that do address common misconceptions and misunderstandings. As IVVs may be more in-tune with student assumptions and prior knowledge, they are expected to have a positive impact and to promote scientific literacy, student success and reformed teaching. The IVVs will be a readily accessible student-centered tools available to faculty who might otherwise be cautious in trying new pedagogical approaches.
Coordination of video production across two campuses, through all the stages of interactive video vignette development, for multiple IVVs, was an unexpected challenge. We've addressed this challenge through the use of Asana, a project management program that lets us keep track of IVVs as separate tasks, assign a range of subtasks, and track and monitor progress on a common platform that everyone has access to.