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Vassilakis, P.N. (2007c).  Assessment- and multimedia-driven course design that aims at collaborative learning.  Paper presented at the 50th National Conference of the College Music Society, Salt Lake City.

Abstract
  
Recent research indicates several areas in which traditional music courses fail, blaming lack of proper assessment tools and an apparent reluctance to using multimedia. It is argued that multimedia instructional materials and systematic and well-designed assessments are necessary to, rather than simply enhance instruction, especially as the time devoted to individual courses shrinks and the amount of material to be covered grows. The presentation examines evidence of the failure of traditional courses to support learning, addresses possible reasons for this failure, and argues that appropriate incorporation of a) multimedia instructional materials and b) frequent assessment of learning throughout the duration of a course can help combat this failure.
Course examples presented incorporate multiple instructional modes and media in order to tap into students' learning-style strengths, use multi-sensory/multimodal stimulation to facilitate understanding of concepts, and present information in a multitude of relevant contexts. Such design affords opportunities for students to develop intuition on the subject at hand, using analogies, interactive demonstrations, games, etc.
In addition, the proposed course design fosters an active learning environment, where students a) take responsibility for the success of a course by supporting the work of their peers (individually graded collaborative assignments; peer review) and receive immediate, constructive, and detailed feedback (pretests; online communication; suggestions for further study), b) have opportunities to learn through trial and error (frequent practice assessments) and be rewarded (frequent graded assessments), and c) can get motivated by being able to easily monitor their progress and compare it to that of their fellow students.

  


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