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LIfBi Lecture: Not a Sure Thing: The Potential of Digital Learning Materials

The chalk era in classrooms is long gone. Today, tablets, whiteboards and interactive textbooks have found their way into schools. But digitized learning is not a matter of course, as Prof. Dr. Katharina Scheiter of the Leibniz Institute for Knowledge Media (IWM) showed in her LIfBi Lecture in mid-May. Teachers must actively guide the orchestra of digital and analog learning materials.

There is widespread agreement on the positive effects of modern teaching and learning technologies: they help create a diverse learning environment, support students in self-regulated learning, and can improve the quality of instruction.

Scheiter uses the eChemBook project to present how the potential of digital learning materials can best be used to support learning processes. A team from science and practice developed and evaluated a prototype for a digital chemistry textbook based on findings from research. The project aims to develop and test an evidence-based teaching concept for the use of digital media in chemistry classes, with the ultimate goal of optimizing the use and benefits of digital media in educational practice. In an evaluation study with 15 classes and nearly 400 students, as well as in further optimization studies, the learning effectiveness of eChemBook could be proven. The results were transferred back into practice in the context of design and action recommendations - not only for teachers, but also for media developers and textbook authors.

In the second part of the lecture, Scheiter addressed the issue of designing lessons with digital teaching materials. The requirements that teachers have to meet when combining analog and digital learning materials are similar to conducting an orchestra. This analogy is well illustrated by the example of science teaching. Here, abstract relationships that are not directly observable can be represented in virtual experiments. Combinations of real and virtual experiments seem to be particularly helpful in acquiring conceptual knowledge and competencies in the natural sciences. However, analog and virtual experiments must be orchestrated by teachers in such a way that they simultaneously support and cognitively activate students - instructional quality is also the decisive factor for learning success. Scheiter then presented various studies dealing with the connection between technology-related professional competence of teachers and instructional quality and gave an overview of the current state of research.

Prof. Dr. Katarina Scheiter (IWM) zu Gast bei den LIfBi Lectures

Prof. Dr. Katarina Scheiter (IWM) as guest at the LIfBi Lectures.

Katharina Scheiter is head of the research group Multiple Representations at IWM and professor for Empirical Teaching-Learning Research at Eberhard Karls University Tübingen. With her research group, she investigates the cognitive-psychological foundations of learning from multiple representations as well as measures to support corresponding learning processes. Results of this research are used, among other things, in the design of digital textbooks and tablet-based applications for educational contexts.

Link (external) to the IWM website of Katharina Scheiter.

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