Tomi Jaakkola: Use of external representations in (science) learning: how to support learning, transfer and interest?
In our increasingly multimedia-centric society, the use of external representations (such as image, video, symbol, or text) in learning, teaching, and communication has increased dramatically. As a result, there’s an increasing need to use and interpret a large variety of external representational forms, some of which are more concrete than others, and to understand how different forms shape learning. In my talk, I examine the benefits and challenges of (static and dynamic) concrete and abstract external representations (and their intermediate forms and combinations) in teaching and learning, particularly from the perspective of learning, transfer, and interest. I also deal with the subjective nature of the concept of concreteness and its various dimensions, and present and discuss some of our research findings on the topic.