The creation of digital artefacts as a mechanism to engage students in studying literature

Walton, Geoff; Childs, Mark and Jugo, Gordana (2019). The creation of digital artefacts as a mechanism to engage students in studying literature. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(3) pp. 1060–1086.



The aim of the project was to motivate school students to learn about the national literature of their own and others’ countries. Engagement was fostered via the creation of digital artefacts (or “e‐artefacts”) such as online comic strips, live videos or animations. The pedagogical rationale was based on Papert’s constructionism and Bloom’s revised taxonomy. Participatory action research put school teachers at the centre of the research process. School teachers from five schools (Croatia, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and the UK) chose their own pedagogical approaches for classroom activities. Data on how teachers viewed the use of e‐artefacts in their classroom practice were gathered using focus groups. Teachers in all five schools identified the same process for relating texts to activities: involving a close reading of the text, collaborative formatting for the e‐artefact, and points for reflection and discussion. Students and staff were not only more excited with studying the literature, learners also showed improvement in language learning. Teachers also reported that specific students showed noticeable increases in self‐efficacy and classroom participation. By providing alternative means for students to excel and show competencies beyond academic capabilities, more students feel included and valued. Furthermore, the process of creating e‐artefacts demanded greater reflection from students, which was a result of greater engagement with the materials. Finally, including the creation of e‐artefacts in the curriculum, while maintaining more traditional approaches, offers a more inclusive and rewarding provision of learning for both students and staff.

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