The rationale for engaging students in constructing hypermedia artifacts is grounded in recent research on learning that emphasizes the active role of the learner, the importance of collaboration, and the need for authentic or meaningful contexts for problem solving. Building artifacts are one possible means for helping students develop conceptual understanding. Students engage in many elements of design when building artifacts. As students design and construct artifacts, they integrate new information into their existing conceptual framework, developing relationships among ideas. The degree to which students illustrate relationships among ideas within their artifacts provides insights regarding their level of understanding. Constructing artifacts provides the aforementioned learning opportunities both for science learners and preservice science teachers. Artifact building engages students in selecting and organizing concepts, representing those concepts, and developing connections among them. Technological tools and software offer new opportunities for creating artifacts. Technology enhances the value of student-constructed artifacts by allowing easy incorporation and linking multiple representations, interactive testing, and document revision.
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