Individual Learning Strategies and Choice in Student-Generated Multimedia

Individual Learning Strategies and Choice in Student-Generated Multimedia by William T. McGahan, Hardy Ernst, and Laurel Evelyn Dyson

There has been an increasing focus on student-generated multimedia assessment as a way of introducing the benefits of both visual literacy and peer-mediated learning into university courses. One such assessment was offered to first-year health science students but, contrary to expectations, led to poorer performance in their end-of-semester examinations. Following an analysis, the assignment was redesigned to offer students a choice of either a group-based animation task or an individual written task. Results showed improved performance on the assignment when students were offered a choice of assignments over when they were offered only the multimedia assignment. Student feedback indicated that students adopt deliberate individual learning strategies when offered choices in assessment. The study suggests that assumptions regarding the superiority of student-generated multimedia over more traditional assessments are not always correct, but that students’ agency and individual preferences need to be recognized.

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