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Title: Multimodal Representations in Senior Biology Assessments: A Case Study of NSW Australia
Contributor(s): Van Rooy, Wilhelmina Sabina (author); Chan, Eveline  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2017
DOI: 10.1007/s10763-016-9741-y
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Abstract: This paper investigates the use of multimodal representations to assess biological understanding in the final senior secondary school public examination in New South Wales, Australia. The investigation emanates from a larger Australian study concerned with the impact of disciplinary and technological innovations on science pedagogy, particularly in molecular genetics where much knowledge is represented in modalities other than, or in conjunction with, language and traditional print-based texts and visuals. The availability of digital technologies and their affordances for the learning and teaching of senior high school Biology now makes it realistic for examiners to include multimodal representations in assessment tasks. A qualitative analysis of final-year Biology examination papers from 2001 to 2013 identified and classified the multimodal representations included in this written external examination. Findings indicate that despite the ready availability of multimodal, multimedia representations in classroom learning and curriculum materials, and evidence of students' engagement with ICT, the high-stakes examinations make little use of such resources. A consequence of this mismatch between curriculum outcomes and assessment tools is that students may be disadvantaged because their in-depth knowledge and understanding of biological concepts is not effectively demonstrated through traditional pen-and-paper tests. A move towards a range of alternative assessment formats is one way to ensure that assessment aligns with multimodal learning in the classroom.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(7), p. 1237-1256
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1573-1774
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390402 Education assessment and evaluation
390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160301 Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum
160304 Teaching and instruction technologies
160105 Secondary education
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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