An investigation of the development and evaluation of online approaches for improved kinaesthetic learning in science

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Scanlan, Anna M.
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University College Cork
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Kinaesthetic learning approaches (KL) offer great potential to enhance learning in the advanced molecular sciences. However, online KL remains under-researched and poorly implemented on affordable, scalable platforms. Furthermore, there appears to be a disconnect between the fields of education psychology and neuroscience when discussing kinaesthetic techniques. This research connects what is known from both disciplines to provide a coherent overview of what constitutes kinaesthetic learning. Here, an online KL assembly model is presented which proved effective for learning advanced molecular science topics as exemplified by three different lessons: the Lac Operon gene regulation system in E. coli, DNA transcription and translation, and Salmonella virulence factors. A mixed-methods study was conducted including three pilot studies, three randomised control trials and two sub-studies. Study participants included over 100 students from a variety of secondary schools (typically aged 16-19 years), over 250 first-year undergraduate science and medicine students, and 18 postgraduate students from both science and non-science disciplines. Topics were chosen for which each cohort would have little to no prior learning. Results show that KL assembly was at least as effective and, in some instances better than, some top learning strategies identified in education psychology namely, computer notetaking (Trafton & Trickett, 2001; Bui et al., 2012; Chi & Wylie, 2014) and retrieval-practice (O’Day & Karpicke, 2021). KL assembly involving both movement and recall was most effective overall for long-term learning retention, and for learning science material that is represented in a complex graphical and text format.
Kinaesthetic , Molecular science , Online learning , Education psychology , Cognitive neuroscience , E-learning , Science education
Scanlan, A. 2023. An investigation of the development and evaluation of online approaches for improved kinaesthetic learning in science. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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