Beyond Traditional Discussion Boards: Innovative Multimedia Tools Influence Student Outcomes in an Online Learning Environment

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Curriculum & Instruction


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the use of Voicethread and Educreations as multimedia online discussion tools on students’ learning outcomes and selfefficacy. A two-group, pretest-posttest design was employed to assess whether there were significant differences in students' learning outcomes and self-efficacy after engaging in multimedia-based online discussion. Twenty-three graduate students enrolled in a teacher preparation program participated in this study. The results of a paired-samples t-test indicate that there were significant differences in students’ self-efficacy after they created their discussion posts compared to their scores before the discussion activities. Further, the results indicate that, although students in each group improved their learning outcomes, students in the Voicethread group scored higher than students in the Educreations group. Students’ multimedia-based discussion post scores related positively and significantly to their frequency of using computers in online courses. The results suggest that when students engage in online discussion activities that involve the use of audio, video, drawing, or images, their self-efficacy and learning outcomes improve compared to no use of multimedia-based discussion posts. Furthermore, students’ level of success in the use of the multimedia discussion tools depends, in part, on their knowledge of using a computer.

Publication Title

Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators (ArATE) Electronic Journal


Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators