Mediating Computer-based Constructivist Learning for Nursing Students in Neonatology: A Design Experiment

R.I. Diseko and D. van der Westhuizen (South Africa)


Multimedia learning, constructivism, learning styles, design experiments


This paper describes a design experiment in which a multimedia learning environment was crafted for nursing students in Neonatology at a university in Johannesburg, South Africa. This environment was specified by a design framework that finds the congruencies between constructivist perspectives on learning, the individual attributes of learners as defined by learning styles (Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory) and multimedia design principles. The design experiment is conducted in five phases: the establishment of the design framework after an extensive literature review, the development of the MMLE, a pilot study, the final implementation and data analysis. Quantitative and qualitative data are collected. The preliminary results of the study show that the students had an overwhelming positive experience of the MMLE, and that their preferred learning style had some influence on their experience. The study makes a contribution in the sense that little evidence has been found in the literature about the interaction between learning styles and constructivist learning principles for the design of multimedia learning. The study makes a contribution to the field of Nursing Science education as it designs and develops multimedia learning materials and assesses the value of those learning materials for learners in similar contexts within the broader South African context.

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