Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The use of comics-based cases in anchored instruction
by Kneller, Matthew F., Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, 2009, 209; 3390649
Abstract (Summary)

The primary purpose of this research was to understand how comics fulfill the role of anchor in an anchored instruction learning environment. Anchored instruction addresses the inert knowledge problem through the use of realistic multimedia stories, or "anchors," that embed a problem and the necessary data to solve it within the narrative. In the present study, comics-based cases were created to serve as anchors. The approach is grounded in the theory of situated cognition, which suggests that learning is more meaningful when people learn in "authentic" contexts. The anchors are designed in a way as to simulate authentic problems, using comics to provide a likeness of a real-world context.

The study was conducted in an undergraduate communication course and focused on the development of problem-solving skills in interpersonal conflict. It adopted a qualitative research design as a way of exploring a topic that to date has very little empirical literature associated with it. The research was conducted via a case study methodology, which traced the design, development, and implementation of comics-based resources. Several data sources were utilized, including participant- observations by the instructor, observations by secondary researchers, focus groups, and student artifacts.

The comics-based mode of delivery was found to use class time efficiently, facilitating rapid reading and comprehension by students, but was also found to lack some depth in terms of necessary background information. Data suggested that the narrative and visual qualities of comics both worked to foster student participation, engagement, and identification with the characters in the story. Data also indicated that the comics enabled students to develop relevant inferences and solutions for problem solving. Data from focus groups suggested that students found the comics enjoyable and realistic, in addition to finding value in the group-based lesson components. Results supported the proposition that the comics medium is capable of providing suitable contexts to support problem solving.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Robinson, Rhonda
Commitee: Hsu, Pi-Sui, Hung, Wei-Chen
School: Northern Illinois University
Department: Educational Technology, Research and Assessment
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 71/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational technology
Keywords: Anchored instruction, Case-based learning, Comics
Publication Number: 3390649
ISBN: 978-1-109-60191-6
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