Questionable Benefit of Visual and Peer Mediated Learning on Overall Learning Outcomes of a First-Year Physiology Course

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Questionable Benefit of Visual and Peer Mediated Learning on Overall Learning Outcomes of a First-Year Physiology Course by Hardy Ernst, William T. McGahan, and John Harrison

This paper reports on attempts to incorporate creative visual literacy, by way of student owned technology, and sharing of student-generated multimedia amongst peers to enhance learning in a first year human physiology course. In 2013, students were set the task of producing an animated video, which outlined the pathogenesis of a chosen disease. Students were then encouraged to view each other’s videos. Students in the same course in 2012 engaged in a purely written, non-shared task. The depth of topic understanding did not change between 2012 and 2013. Moderating for cohort variation, students in 2013 showed poorer overall learning outcomes than students in the 2012 cohort. The authors speculate that the peer mediated aspect of the learning activity failed, and that the video task was disruptive to wider learning, due to it being time consuming and unfamiliar to students.

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