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Learning, teaching, and assessing challenging biology concepts and processes using teacher constructed PowerPoint animations

Tynan, R (2023) Learning, teaching, and assessing challenging biology concepts and processes using teacher constructed PowerPoint animations. In: ICERI 2023 Proceedings . (ICERI 2023: 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, 13-15th November 2023, Seville, Spain).

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The role of practical work in secondary school science in schools in England has changed since the government White Paper of 2010 [1] initiated major reforms to school curricula and assessment in England. These reforms removed assessed practical coursework from school leavers’ external qualifications in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and has increased the use of other subject specific pedagogies. The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) is typical of the examination boards that produced compliant Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and General Certificate of Education Advanced Special/Advanced Level (GCE AS/A-level) biology specifications ready for examinations from 2018 and 2016 respectively [2][3]. This paper refers to the subject knowledge content required for AQA biology specifications [2][3].

Both the substantive subject knowledge (concepts and ideas) and disciplinary knowledge (investigational knowledge and skills) in the AQA specifications are assessed by written examination [2][3]. Osborne [4] summarised the arguments that probably influenced this assessment reform moving away from the direct assessment of practical work and noted that much practical work in secondary science lessons was not effective in teaching scientific ideas. There is a case for using other pedagogies for teaching biological ideas [4] and a meta study by Cavagnetto [5] has suggested that activities immersing learners in scientific argumentation are most effective for improving scientific literacy including concept development. Animated representative models can be used in biology as a learning, teaching, and assessment (LTA) strategy to promote discussion and argumentation and there is some evidence for their effectiveness [6].

This paper reports the use of homemade PowerPoint animated models as an LTA strategy to represent complex concepts and processes found on biology examination specifications [2][3]. PowerPoint animated models were developed with pre-service teachers at a qualified teacher status (QTS) provider in the northwest of England and the construction, manner of use, advantages and disadvantages of two examples are discussed. The main advantage of using a homemade animation was identified as the opportunity to construct it to fit with the key points in the specification to be examined. The main disadvantage was the time taken to make the animation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: secondary school biology; learning; teaching; assessment; PowerPoint; animation; representative models; pedagogies; public examinations; pre-service teachers
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T58.5 Information Technology
Divisions: Education
Publisher: IATED
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2023 16:03
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2024 08:43
DOI or ID number: 10.21125/iceri.2023
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21957
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