Hung, C. M., Hwang, G. J., & Huang, I. (2012). A Project-based digital storytelling approach to improving students’ learning motivation, problem-solving competence and learning achievement. Educational Technology & Society, 15(4), 368–379.
In this article, Hung, Hwang, and Huang share the findings of their quasi-study that combined the use of project-based learning (PBL) with digital storytelling. The authors begin with a review of literature showing the effectiveness of project-based learning in encouraging self-learning and higher-order thinking skills, and they also discuss some of the previous challenges with practicality and implementation. The use of technology-integrated PBL is also briefly discussed from the viewpoint that it has helped to solve some of the challenges associated with implementation. From there, the article reviews the importance of digital storytelling and shares some of its benefits found in previous literature. Next, the authors discuss the design and specifics of their study which was conducted with fifth-grade science students. They used tools such as a science learning motivation scale, a problem-solving competence scale, a science achievement test, and individual student interviews to measure if the combined use of PBL and digital storytelling would improve students’ learning motivation, problem solving competence, and learning achievement in science courses. Finally, the authors share that they found positive associations between all of these factors and the PBL with digital storytelling. They found that the PBL engaged learners and increased achievement while the digital storytelling helped to motivate the students and increase interest. Hung, Hwang, and Huang conclude with a discussion of their study’s limitations, including that generalization to another course content may be challenging.
The authors give a thorough review of previous literature concerning PBL as well as digital storytelling. They also setup an evident need for their research by pointing out the continued challenged with implementing PBL in an effective way. The research questions are clearly defined and the researchers describe their participants, the differences between their control and experimental groups, the use of each of their tools, and the specific learning activities that were conducted with sufficient detail for replication. Their experimental results are shared in a clear and meaningful way with the use of tables and description. Finally, the authors discuss the importance of their positive findings that PBL and digital storytelling can be used to motivate and engage students as well as encourage higher-order thinking and improve learning achievement. They also give an honest discussion of possible limitations and directions that future research may take, such as replications with more flexible digital storytelling software and the learning performance of students with different cognitive profiles and learning styles.
I find this study applicable to my current research interests because of the focus on increasing student motivation, engagement, and critical thinking with use of digital media. My research interests include the use of instructional technology to increase differentiation options across the classroom, and I think that student engagement plays a significant role in the effectiveness of this. If more options for learning differentiation are offered via technology, the options need to be effective options that students will be motivated to participate in and further their learning. I think digital video is an important option to consider and I would be interested in replications of this study that included learners with various needs as the authors suggested.