Pedagogic Thinking That Grounds E-Learning for Secondary School Science Students in New Zealand

E-Learning and Digital Media 4 (4):471-481 (2007)
Course designers adopted a language-learners approach to the online teaching of New Zealand secondary school students in the subject of astronomy. This was possible because the curriculum for astronomy that was in 2004 established as a part of New Zealand's national curriculum was specifically designed to engage underachieving students in science and technology. A criterion-referenced assessment regime was established and an Internet platform was built specifically to facilitate this form of assessment. This platform contrasts with the norm-referenced assessment programmes that are most frequently used with online instruction. In this situation - where the essential task is to reward students for learning basic vocabulary and to motivate them to further study - the theory of psychologist William James assisted the teachers to develop their online pedagogy. The article concludes with a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of using the Internet to deliver science courses to secondary school students.
Keywords Science education  Pedagogy  Curriculum  Student evaluation
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