2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM


URBANO, Lensyl, Earth Sciences, University of Memphis, 204 Johnson Hall, Memphis, TN 38152 and URBANO, Lavin C., 3755 Carnes Ave, Memphis, TN 38111, lurbano@memphis.edu

We have created an online video editor and database called the MovieClassroom that enables the creation and publication of short movies compiled from scientific visualizations. Movies are here defined as electronic artifacts containing video, audio and captioning. Visualizations in the current MovieClassroom database were generated from NASA imagery, VPython scientific visualization models and time-lapse photography. Initial evidence indicates that substantial educational benefits accrue to both the producers and the viewers of these scientific movies.

Instructor produced movies: We have shown instructor and student produced movies in large lecture classes and surveyed to determine student self-assessment of their effectiveness. Students find the combination of captioning, visualization and narration particularly useful in understanding concepts and associating them with the scientific language.

Students producing movies: By creating their own movies in labs and extra-credit assignments students gain ownership and become more engaged in the learning process. Assignments requiring them to create movies to explain scientific concepts to peers also encourages their consideration of how people learn, resulting in the enhancement of meta-cognitive skills.

Viewing peer-produced movies: By viewing scientific movies created by peers, students, particularly in under-represented groups, are more likely to encounter scientific concepts described with idioms and a use of language with which they are familiar. Comparison of student responses to two versions of a movie that differed only in the voice and style of the narration (male versus female narrator) indicate substantial differences of opinion regarding the efficacy of the different versions.

We are currently redesigning the database to facilitate user categorization, rating and comments on individual media elements and movies.