Audiovisual Physics Reports Students' Video Production as a Strategy for the Didactic Laboratory

Audiovisual physics reports: students' video production as a strategy for the didactic laboratory This article has been downloaded from IOPscience. Please scroll down to see the full text article. 2012 Phys. Educ. 47 44 ( Download details: IP Address: The article was downloaded on 12/02/2012 at 17:25 Please note that terms and conditions apply. View the table of contents for this issue, or go to the journal homepage for more Home Search
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  Audiovisual physics reports: students' video production as a strategy for the didacticlaboratory This article has been downloaded from IOPscience. Please scroll down to see the full text article.2012 Phys. Educ. 47 44( details:IP Address: article was downloaded on 12/02/2012 at 17:25Please note that terms and conditions apply.View the table of contents for this issue, or go to the  journal homepage for more HomeSearchCollectionsJournalsAboutContact usMy IOPscience  P  APERS Audiovisual physics reports:students’ video production as astrategy for the didacticlaboratory Marcus Vinicius Pereira 1 , Susana de Souza Barros 2 ,Luiz Augusto C de Rezende Filho 2 andLeduc Hermeto de A Fauth 1 , 3 1 Instituto Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2 Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3 Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilE-mail:,, and Abstract Constant technological advancement has facilitated access to digital camerasand cell phones. Involving students in a video production project can work asa motivating aspect to make them active and reflective in their learning,intellectually engaged in a recursive process. This project was implementedin high school level physics laboratory classes resulting in 22 videos whichare considered as audiovisual reports and analysed under two components:theoretical and experimental. This kind of project allows the students tospontaneously use features such as music, pictures, dramatization,animations, etc, even when the didactic laboratory may not be the placewhere aesthetic and cultural dimensions are generally developed. This couldbe due to the fact that digital media are more legitimately used as culturaltools than as teaching strategies. Introduction For the last 50 years there has been a tacitagreement among science educators that experi-mental work facilitates the understanding and con-struction of physics concepts, encourages activelearning, motivates the interest of the studentsand contributes to the development of logicalreasoning and communication, thus encouragingenterprise, imagination and group work [1]. Thesearguments led many to associate good physicsteaching practices to efficient strategies that helpimplement, as much as possible, practical work atschool. It is also true that most of the research inphysics education correlates experimental practiceto improvement in students’ learning and in thelast few decades science education research work has pointed out experimental work as a majorenhancer of physics learning, so for those reasonslabwork activities performed by the student havebeen considered as a ‘magicwand’ needed tosolvethe many learning difficulties known in physicseducation. 44  P HYSICS  E DUCATION  47 (1)  0031-9120/12/010044+08 $ 33.00  ©  2012 IOP Publishing Ltd  Audiovisual physics reports The experimental activitiesat the introductoryphysics level are expected to contribute to thedevelopment of procedural skills. Nedelsky [2]claims that their central goal is to bring thestudent to comprehend the relationships betweenscience and nature. This aspect is corroboratedby Kirschner’s ideas [3]: ‘ it is the teacher’s job toteach science, teach about science, and teach howto do science’. Lunetta, Hofsteinand Clough[4] are scepticaland, searching for evidence in the vast literature of the field, argue that the main goals of the learningoutcomes that should arise from the physicsteaching laboratory are often not met. These goalsinvolve conceptual understanding and proceduralabilities (exploring arguments from the data),knowledge of how science and scientists work,interest and motivation, understanding of researchmethods and scientific reasoning, including thenature of science. According to Borges [5]the effectiveness of the didactic laboratory inpromoting learning has been in question over theyears.The European survey [6] conducted in sevencountries does not point to much improvementin science education as related to labwork,not even in those situations where schoolshave the appropriate conditions for experimentalteaching. The report mentions that practicalactivities tend to be limited to the manipulationof objects/materials/instruments and they arefrequently performed with procedures where thestudents follow precise instructions and methodsof analysis provided by programmed teacher’sinstructions. One of the recommendations isrelated to the false pretence that a broad spectrumof goals can be attained ‘at once’, objectives thatmany a time may not be compatible with the typeof activitycarried out. It is also worth commentingthat often teachers take for granted the ability of the students to perform certain actions for whichthey have not been instructed. Furthermore, thesurvey recommends that in introductory physicsclasses the tasks performed in a given laboratorysession should always be designed to deal withonly a few specific objectives [7, 8]. As in many countries around the world,laboratory classes in Brazil are seldom introducedin regular programmes and when this is donestudents follow a labwork guide that describes theexperiment to be performed, while equipment isalready laid out on the bench set up by the teacheror tutor. Observations, results and conclusionsare already structured and so reported. Probably,the main reason for this choice is the allocationof a larger proportion of theory over practicalassignments within the science teaching scheduleof many schools.This strategy gives little incentive for thestudents to reflect on the conceptual aspects of phenomena under study or to develop a deeperunderstanding required to overcome the eventualshortcomings of the experimental activity. Theplanning of measurements and the exploration of the relations between physical quantities involvedare also poorly done. Frequently, the physicalmodel underlying the phenomena and the possibledisagreements between predictions and results arenot shown in the conclusions, impoverishing datainterpretation and theoretical explanation. From tradition to innovation Currently school education can be seen in transi-tion from traditional to innovative methodologiesandmostlythestudentsstillremainasthereceiversof information. There are also good reasonsto acknowledge the place taken by ICT (infor-mation and communication technology) resourcesbecause they are considered by political decisionmakers as a solution for the teaching problems of school science education. If this type of resourcecan be used it is important to recognize its placeand limitations, because its role does not replacewhat labwork does for sound science learning.Because of the growth of ICT facilities and theamount of didactic material currently offered,there is a risk that they may replace the laboratoryas the new educational ‘magical wand’ of thismillennium.So it could be expected that the acceleratedtechnological revolution may contribute to thedemands of changes in education [9]. Physics teaching can take advantage of these resources,since it is possible to videotape physical phe-nomena, opening a motivational strategy for thestudentswho could become producers of their ownactivities.Nowadays technological gadgets are withinthe reach of the common citizen, thus makingit possible to introduce independent audiovisualproduction as a new strategy. From thisperspective the school can be thought of as an January 2012 P HYSICS  E DUCATION  45  M V Pereira  et al  irradiating pole of knowledge and the teacher asthe mediator, leading the students to externalizetheir creative thinking while producing a video.This is a new way of thinking and doing, tomake the students ‘ discover new possibilities of expression, performing group experiences in acollective creation effort  ’ [10]. This article proposes to discuss the role of video production by the students as an approach tothe physics laboratory which has proven efficientwhen implemented in a Brazilian high school. Students’ video production project The production of a video independently madeby the students brings a fresh perspective tothe practical work they experience in school.The strategy allows the implementation of objec-tives such as intellectual (academic), procedural(trying concepts to realize physical quantities)and cognitive–affective (motivating students toundergo a process of metacognitionthroughoutthewhole experiment).The possibility of innovation changes therhythm of a physics classroom, modifying themerely one way communication and introducingactivities planned, organized and performed bythe students. When using a video camerathey can externalize creative thoughts as wellas warrant the pedagogical potential, because itallows visualization of physical situations relatedto conceptual physical models, and so bring aboutthe discovery of new possibilities of expressionwhile experiencing exchanges while working in agroup in an effort of collective creation [10, 11]. A strategy to develop laboratory activitiesbased on students’ video production of physicsexperiments can provide a feasible substitutefor the traditional didactic laboratory [12].When involved in the project the pupil engagesin different activities, both instrumental andcognitive: hands on and minds on. They areresponsible for all the steps to mount and test theexperiment, which means involvement along thecomplete line of events necessary for the task: toidentify and research key concepts, principles andlaws that allow them to understand and create theexperimental situation which will be tested andmodified as required.For the development of their project thestudents can either use the equipment available inthe school laboratory or create their own setup. Itis also essential to present a written outline of thegeneral ideasandprocesses toestablishatimetablefor the activities to guide the production. Thisorganization gives the students a flexible scheduleto develop independent work as well as to allowthe feedback that characterizes this kind of task.It is important that students realize theassignment is not an amusing game, but it hasthe intention of developing a structured piece of work. Video attributes are anticipated in orderto structure the intellectual component of theenterprise, so the following points are made clearfrom the start. The video produced should: ã  pursue a set of a few main objectives; ã  allow concept comprehension; ã  be conceptually autonomous; ã  present a logical sequence; ã  integrate oral, written and visual languages(clarity of communication); ã  be no longer than 4 min in length.Several objectives define the project features: ã  cognitive : the project may enhance (induce)students’ cognitive processes for the learningof physics concepts; ã  motivational–technological : to immerse thestudents actively in their learning process andto use technological resources (digital videocameras and other devices to record andcapture images, audio and software forediting the video); ã  recursive–reflexive : the project is developedin short related steps, which are notnecessarily linear, allowing ‘round trips’according to the tasks. Project development The complete implementation of this project takesabout four months of school time, resulting in avideo produced in groups up to five students each.To begin with, written material with back-ground information, objectives, video characteris-tics, timing/schedule and criteria of assessment ispresented. Each group selects a topic and beginsresearch of physical concepts and the choice of practical activities. Next, the groups plan, mountthe set-up and test the experimental situation.It is important to draw attention to theimportanceof guidanceinorder toproduce a videoasanaudiovisualreport. Atthispointtheyproduce 46  P HYSICS  E DUCATION  January 2012

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