I created a lesson and published it online on this website. It’s a science lesson for students who are about in 5th grade. The study the density concept and the surface tension of a liquid. The lesson consists of 3 experiments they watch on videos, they have some time to think what happens on each case and then see the solution. They have a final quiz and they are encouraged to do these experiments at home. When students have to explain what they’ve learnt to their parents, they are reinforcing their learning. It’s the self-explanation principle, people learn better when they are prompted to explain lesson elements during learning (Johnson & Mayer, 2010; Roy & Chi, 2005).
I created 2 videos, which represented 2 of the 3 experiments. And 2 graphics, one is a solution and the other one is the quiz. The multimedia principle says that people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005; Pashler et al., 2007).
The 2 videos of the experiments (1 and 2), the third one is an existing video from YouTube, are created using images and video clips and then processed as a single video. First, I performed the experiments while taking photos and videos. Next, I added some text to the pictures explaining the process and asking questions for them to think. I adjusted the time of each picture allowing them to have enough time to think. Taking into account the signaling principle (Mayer, 2005), I used different colours for the text, I used big characters and bright colours so it stands out. When I made the first video I realized I could have emphasized even more the key words, but it was already finished. Although I did it in the second experiment, and in this way it’s easier for the students to focus on the important information. However, I didn’t add long sentences, just a few words so they can pay attention to the pictures as well. Besides, when there are more than one sentences on each slide, I added them step by step. So they first focus on one piece of information, and then on the next one. This is the segmenting principle (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005). I combined the video recordings with the pictures, the video shows better what happens in the experiment, rather that if there were just pictures because there are no movements. Finally I added some background music.
I created 2 graphics, one is an explanation to the experiment with the egg. I tried to make it as clear as possible. Based on the coherence principle (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005), I only included what is essential for the understanding of the concept. All the information presented is very visual and I used different colours to represent each part. The titles of what’s in each glass are in red and the explanation of each case is represented in a different colour. Instead of using words for the egg, water and salt I used images, so it’s easier to remember. I used the principle of spatial contiguity (Halpern et al., 2007; Mayer, 2005 ; Pashler et al., 2007), text is placed next to what’s representing.
The last one, is a quiz where there are 5 questions. Students have to choose in each situation which object has a higher density. Instead of using words for each object, I placed a very clear image so it represents the object. They can see it and it’s easier to imagine which has higher density. The testing principle is that people learn better when they take a practice test on the material have studied (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006).
Mayer, R. E. (2014). Multimedia Instruction. Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (3rd ed., pp. 385-399). New York: Springer Science.
Science Experiments. – Fun, Simple Experiments for Kids. Retrieved March 8, 2014, from http://www.schoolofdragons.com/how-to-train-your-dragon/science-experiments
Steve Spangler Science. Experiments. Retrieved March 7, 2014, from https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments