Learning History in Middle School by Designing Multimedia in a Project-Based Learning Experience

Winter 2009

Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Volume 42, Number 2 (Winter 2009).

This article describes a study in which eighth grade students in one school learned to create multimedia mini-documentaries in a six-week history unit on early 19th-century U.S. history.

The authors examined content knowledge tests, group projects, and attitude and opinion surveys to determine relative benefits for students who participated in a technology-assisted project-based learning experience. Furthermore, the authors contrasted the students’ experiences to those of students who received a more traditional form of instruction.

Results from content knowledge measures showed significant gains for students in the project-based learning condition as compared to students in the comparison school. Students' work in the intervention condition also revealed growth in their historical thinking skills, as many were able to grasp a fundamental understanding that history is more than presenting facts.

Implications and suggestions for technology-enhanced project-based learning experiences are indicated.

Updated: Mar. 02, 2010