Visual learning, in the broadest sense, is about acquiring knowledge in a learning environment with visual representations. Examples of this are educational situations in which the learner acquires knowledge of the characteristics of a concrete study object through observation, such as dissection practicums. Case in point: the practicum “Rat anatomy”. During this practicum, a mammal is carefully dissected layer by layer, whereby observation and identification of the various anatomical structures are the primary means of learning. The assessment of knowledge acquired through visual learning appears to be done best with visual representations, the so-called visual testing (Braden, 1996; Dwyer & Moore, 1994). It is thought to be more sensible to use the same modality for the visual testing as was used for the visual instruction, but this is not feasible for the practicum “Rat anatomy”. Instead, for this educational situation, the students’ knowledge of the subject is assessed based on the drawings made by them during the learning process. However, this visual testing methodology is undesirable for various reasons, beginning with the assumption that the created drawings are proof of the person’s knowledge of the study object. Two other points of concern are the objectivity of the assessment, as it is done manually and with multiple assessors, and the long period of time between instruction and assessment, which subsequently leads to feedback with little effect. The research was started to address these problems by developing a visual CBT test that is in alignment with the learning process, is objective, and provides feedback in a relatively short period of time. Upon closer examination of these problems, it became apparent that solely developing a test was insufficient due to a lack of knowledge of the precise education objectives – the to be learned construct – relative to visual learning and visual testing. Therefore, the research was broadened in scope by taking a design oriented approach in studying the educational situation as a whole, based on the interaction between instruction and assessment, and with the research question: What is an effective and efficient combination of instruction and assessment for achieving education objectives that are linked to learning through observation of concrete biological material?
|Award date||27 Nov 2014|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Nov 2014|