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Individual and small group interactions in learning to teach with a hypermedia case

Purdue University
Publication Date
  • Education
  • Elementary|Education
  • Teacher Training|Education
  • Technology Of|Education
  • Sciences
  • Education


The purpose of this study was to investigate the similarities and differences of individual and small group preservice teachers' interactions with a hypermedia case. Preservice teachers' interactions with a hypermedia case were defined in terms of their (1) goals and perception of accomplishments of the goals, (2) use of features of the hypermedia case, and (3) types of questions and conflicts raised. Two individuals and two small groups of three preservice teachers participated by interacting with the hypermedia case which was developed to illustrate conceptual change science teaching in an elementary classroom.^ Most of the previous studies in this area have addressed large group use of hypermedia cases, and this study attempted to address the gap in the literature related to different social contexts, individuals and small groups, from the constructivist perspective. The assumptions of symbolic interactionism guided data collection from think-alouds and interviews. These multiple sources of data were used to understand the participants' construction of knowledge; data were analyzed and interpreted by a process of analytic induction. The major assertion was that the preservice teachers perceived the hypermedia case to be like a tool to link theory and practice of teaching. Three sub-assertions, and several supporting categories, also emerged from the data.^ These findings indicated that group learning experiences with the hypermedia case were more valuable than those of individuals. In general, preservice teachers benefited from learning how to teach with the hypermedia case in both settings. However, the individuals were not as satisfied as those in small groups, and the members of small groups interacted more actively with the hypermedia case as well as with the peers. The results of this study suggest that effective use of hypermedia cases takes place in a community of learners where the learners share the context and can draw upon the resources afforded by the technology as well as each other. Implications for teacher educators' use of hypermedia cases in different social contexts, and the development and effective use of hypermedia cases are presented as well as the suggestions for the future studies. ^

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