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Enhancement of Presentation of Chinese Narrative Poems--Using a Multimedia Model for 'Mulan Shih'

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Enhancement of Presentation of Chinese Narrative Poems--Using a Multimedia Model for 'Mulan Shih'
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CHEN, MINCHU ( Author, Primary )
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2008

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Audiovisual instruction ( jstor )
Chinese literature ( jstor )
High school students ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Literature ( jstor )
Multimedia materials ( jstor )
Narrative poetry ( jstor )
Poetry ( jstor )
Teachers ( jstor )
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Full Text











ENHANCEMENT OF PRESENTATION OF CHINESE NARRATIVE POEMS-
USING A MULTIMEDIA MODEL FOR "MULAN SHIH"














By

MINCHU CHEN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004

































Copyright 2004

by

Minchu Chen


































This dissertation is dedicated in loving memory of my father, Po-Liang Chen, and my
husband, Chung-Hsing Hsu
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Incessant thanks and praises go to God for all His graces to me throughout the five-

year study in the doctoral program.

Also, I would like to thank many people who played an integral role in helping me

complete my doctoral program and the completion of this dissertation. First of all, I

would like to thank my family for their endless, unwavering mental and financial

supports and for their encouragement. Specifically, I am grateful to my husband, Chung-

Hsing Hsu, for his loving support, patience, tolerance and unconditional love for me

during the difficult time throughout my study. Moreover, I would like to express my

deepest appreciation to my dear sister, Susan Hsieh, whose guidance of English writing is

constant, unique, and superior. A million "thanks" go to Susan, and to her husband, Shi-

Yih Hung, for their generosity in sharing their precious family time with me to navigate

me through the endless editing of my dissertation and to ease my homesick heart.

Secondly, I would like to acknowledge the support and scholarly guidance from my

doctoral advisory committee: Dr. Jeff Hurt, Dr. Mary Kantowski, Dr. David Miller, Dr.

Sebastian Foti. A special "thank you" goes to Dr. Hurt, my advisor; it has been my

pleasure to work with and learn from him. Also, Dr. Kantowski has been a gentle

mentor throughout my graduate study; her compassion as well as her guidance for

graduate students has been an inspiration to me. I am grateful to Dr. Foti for his candid

and constructive comments and for his consideration and appreciation for international










students. In addition, I am blessed to have Dr. Miller as an amazing instructor of

research statistics.

Finally, I would like to mention Dr. Gail Ring and Mr. Noahj ohn Dittmar for their

indispensable technical support in this study. I am grateful to show my heartfelt thank

you to Mr. Dittmar for his permission to conduct this research study in his two English

classes at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville, Florida. Most

of all, I would like to thank Naglaa Ali, my best classmate and friend throughout my

doctoral study, for her unwavering love and support during my sickness and study.

If this program was a success, they deserve all of the credit!




















TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENT S .............. .................... iv


LI ST OF T ABLE S ................. ................. viii.._._ ....


LI ST OF FIGURE S .............. .................... ix


AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ............_........x

CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............1.......... ......


Statement of the Problem ................. ...............1................
Purpose ................ ......... ...............
Significance of the Study ................. ...............4.......... .....
Definition of Selected Terms................ ...............5.
The Hypothesis of the Research ................ ...............6............ ...
Limitations ................. ...............7.................


2 LITERATURE REVIEW .............. ...............8.....


Sequence as An Instructional Variable............... ...............8
Vi sual ly -Enhanced In strcti onal Environm ent .....__.___ ..... ... ._._ ......_.... ....9
The Impact of Multimedia on Academic Instructions ................. .......................1 1
Review of Similar Research .............. .. ...............14...
Constructivism in the Design of Instruction ................. ...._.. ............... ....20
Introduction of Related Materials ............... ..... ......___ ........... ..... ............2
The Narratives, Short Stories, Chinese Literature and Multimedia ....................24

Symbols (%Wilil) and Expressions (WEL 4)~~ in Chinese Poems ....................28
Chinese Students' Learning Experiences in Literature .............. ... .. ..................3
The Learning Pattern of Chinese Students Concerning Moral Poems ................30
Difference between the Learning of a Moral Poem and a Narrative Poem
among Chinese Students .....___.....__.___ .......____ ............3
Selected Examples ........._..... .... ...._ ._ ...............36....
Two Types of Chinese Literature .....___.....__.___ .......____ ...........3
Progress of Chinese Literature .............. ...............37....
History of Chinese Literature .............. ...............37....












The Fundamental Concept for Chinese Phrases, Symbols and Expression ........38
"Mulan Shih" in Chinese and English Version ........._.__......._. ..............40
General Background Information for "Mulan Shih" ................ ............... .....42
Language Arts of "Mulan Shih" ................ ........... .... .......... ........ ....... 4
List of Symbols and Their Definitions in "Mulan Shih" (7ARR)................... ....51

Design of the Educational Software Created for this Study- Mulan Tech-Rich
Lesson ................. ...............5.. 1..............


3 METHODOLOGY .............. ...............54....


Description of Setting ................. ...............54................
Description of Participants .............. ...............55....
Experimental Research Design ........................_. ...............56......
Section Intervention Pattern .............. ...............57....
Pilot Study .............. ...............57....
Participants .............. ...............58....
Procedure ................. ...............58........ ......
Data Analysis............... ...............58
Instruments ................. ... ...............62.
Description of the Test Items ................. ...............62........... ...
Variables ................. ...............64.................
Research Hypothesis............... ...............6
Experimental Procedures ................. ...............65.......... .....
Data Analysis............... ...............66


4 RE SULT S .............. ...............68....


Descriptive Statistics of the Sample .............. ...............68....
Group Formation .............. ...............69....
Treatm ent ................. ...............69.......... ......

Hypothesis Testing .............. ...............69....
Sum m ary ................. ...............74.......... ......


5 DI SCUS SSION ................. ...............75................


Instructional Implications of This Study .............. ...............76....
The Implication for Future Study .............. ...............77....


APPENDIX THE TEST ITEMS OF THE STORY OF MULAN SHIH .......................80


LI ST OF REFERENCE S ................. ...............8.. 2......... ....


References in English ................ ...............82........... ....
References in Chinese............... ...............88


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............. ..............90.....


















LIST OF TABLES


Table pg

3-1 Test Design............... ...............54.

3-2 Quasi-experimental Design for Each Group .............. ...............57....

3-3 Reliability Value of True and False Question ................. ................. ....___.60

3-4 Reliability Value of Fill-in-the-blank Question .............. ...............60....

3-5 Reliability Value of the 22 Items of True-and-false and Fill-in-the-blank Mixed...61

4-1 Demographic Data for the P. K. Yonge Developmental Research School ..............68

4-2 Mauchly's Test of Sphericity .............. ...............70....

4-3 Tests of Within-Subj ect Effects (Huynh-Feldt) ................. ......... ................70

4-4 Descriptive Statistics of the Means and Standard Deviation for Pretest and
Posttest Scores Over Time .............. ...............71....

4-5 Mean S cores Differences B between Tests in Two Group s ................ ................ ..74


















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure pg

2-1 Chinese painting in poem 1 .............. ...............32....

2-2 Chinese painting in poem 2............... ...............33...

2-3 Chinese literature timeline .............. ...............37....

4-1 Sequence effect over time.. ............ ...............71.....

4-2 Mean scores change through tests in two sequences............... ...............7















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

ENHANCEMENT OF PRESENTATION OF CHINESE NARRATIVE POEMS--
USING A MULTIMEDIA MODEL FOR "MULAN SHIH"

By

Minchu Chen

May 2004

Chair: JeffHurt
Maj or Department: Teaching and Learning

The general consensus of educators of Chinese narrative poetry is that students lack

interest in learning classic poetry. Students seem unappreciative of the importance of

morals found in the poetry and seem unable to relate these morals to their personal life

experiences. One of the reasons students lack the motivation to learn Chinese narrative

poetry may be due to the most commonly applied method for teaching poetry, the

expository approach. Possibly as a result of using this method of instruction, students lose

their concern for the importance of the poetic morals behind the narrative poems.

The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of a varied sequence of two

delivery methods--expository and multimedia--applied in the teaching of Chinese

narrative poetry.

Its intent is to generate a more effective instructional framework for the teaching of

Chinese narrative poems. The study's intent is not to decide which method (expository

and multimedia) is better in teaching Chinese narrative poems.









This research concentrates mainly on testing the effects of teaching Chinese

narrative poems through different sequence of the two models in hopes of generating

more interest in Chinese narrative poems' teaching and learning. In this study, a specified

narrative poem, "Mulan Shih," will be taught with a selected multimedia product as well

as traditional printed material.

This study provides a theoretical framework for teaching a Chinese literature

curriculum. This type of study introduces a new approach to Chinese literature teaching.

It is significant in Chinese education in that this study will be extending the perspective

of Chinese literature instructions.

The findings add support to the hypothesis that Chinese literature teaching can be

supported by multimedia technology which encourages interactions between instructors

and students. Alternately using multimedia and expository provides an effective approach

for teaching Chinese narrative poems.















CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

Statement of the Problem

Developments in multimedia technologies are reforming modern literature

education. With modern technology, it is possible to deliver lectures, make assignments

and provide information to anyone who has a modem and a computer (Rose, 1996).

A national report on technological literacy states that "computer skills and the

ability to use computers and other technology to improve learning, productivity, and

performance has become as fundamental to a person's ability to navigate through society

using traditional skills like reading, writing, and arithmetic" (U. S. Dept. of Ed, 1996).

From the instructional perspective, multimedia technologies can positively impact on-

demand services, assessment techniques, and instructional strategies.

Chinese narrative poetry is one area of instruction that could benefit from the

above-stated potential impacts of technology. The study of Chinese narrative poetry is a

very important component of Chinese literature; narrative poems, unlike other poetic

forms, contain the characteristics of poems, literary essence, historical events, Chinese

culture and legends. Moreover, the poetic morals embedded in the poems display a

timeless value (Liu, 1976). Some of the narrative poems have become part of the text

book for middle school and college in Taiwan. For instance, "Mulan Shih" (7ARR) from


the Yueh-Fu (MWi~) in North Dynasty and "Peacocks heading Southeast" (R11 %@9)









from Yueh-Fu in South Dynasty, both became popular and well-known throughout

generations.

The general consensus of educators of Chinese narrative poetry is that students lack

interest in learning classic poetry. Students seem unappreciative of the importance of

morals found in the poetry and seem unable to relate these morals to their personal life

experiences (Liao & Tsang, 1995).

One of the reasons students lack the motivation to leamn Chinese narrative poetry

may be due to the most commonly applied method for teaching poetry, the expository

approach. Possibly as a result of using this method of instruction, students lose their

concern for the importance of the poetic morals behind the narrative poems.

Research shows that students tend to remember characters and phrases as distinct

pictures, and depict the process of content in order to get the exposition of a poem

(Chuang, 1975). Nowadays academic institutions are encouraging the use of pictures for

literature and language instruction (Multimedia Language Center 2004). The key to

successful presentation of a certain literary topic may lie in the instructor' s approach to

instruction. Passively hoping that a student will discover appropriate learning methods

without any guidance is no way to ensure successful learning and development. Instead,

developing and constructing the applications of traditional text and multimedia material

should be considered. Appropriate technologies can be used to enable teachers to provide

students with choices as to when, where, and how they access their knowledge in learning

Chinese narrative poems. These choices allow students to apply techniques that help

organize and advance the learning event (Multimedia Language Center 2004). Therefore,









teaching Chinese literature can be supported by multimedia technology which encourages

interactions between instructors and students (Liao & Tsang, 1995).

Instructors attempt to make a lesson appealing to students by using clear and well-

constructed interaction so students can fully absorb and enj oy the topic. Many of the

printed or hypertext materials concerning Chinese narrative poetry specify the narrative

poem in a traditional way. Graphics from hyper media on the Internet is sometimes used

when conducting a teaching activity in Chinese narrative poetry (Classical Chinese

Poetry, 2004).

Alternately using multimedia and expository may provide a new approach for

teaching Chinese narrative poems. This does not imply that a multimedia approach is

better than expository in teaching Chinese narrative poems, but it suggests that

multimedia can provide a strong support through increasing the students' interest.

Constructivists state that logical analysis of actions and obj ects leads to the growth

of knowledge and one's individual experiences and helps to generate new knowledge

(Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Hargis, 2001). A solid theoretical foundation offers instructors

a good foundation from which to build a series of learning formats in response to

different learning styles. In short, constructivism encourages a wide range of strategies

through the use of multimedia production, which offers increased human interactions

during instruction to encourage successful learning. Moreover, innovative constructt

provides direction to incorporate appropriate technologies that lead to new learning

environments for students. That is, in constructivism, instructional contents are designed

based on the natural development of humans' senses of vision, hearing, touching, taste,

and smell to relate to their learning experience in life (Fabricius, 1983; Hargis, 2001).









There are numerous ways that a teacher can design his/her lectures, and multimedia

is becoming a popular option. However, this study will not discuss the validity of

multimedia supports. Instead, the goal of this research concentrates on the efficiency of

combining both expository and multimedia methods in a classroom instruction, and the

influence of the sequence of the methods involved.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of a varied sequence of two

delivery methods: expository and multimedia.

The intent of this study is to generate a more effective instructional framework for

the teaching of Chinese narrative poems, not to decide which method (expository and

multimedia) is better in teaching Chinese narrative poems.

Although similar topics have been explored by other researchers (Curriculum

Development Committee, 1984, 1990), this research concentrates mainly on testing the

effects of teaching Chinese narrative poems through different sequence of the two models

in hopes of generating more interest in Chinese narrative poems' teaching and learning.

In this study, a specified narrative poem, "Mulan Shih", will be taught with a selected

multimedia product as well as traditional printed material.

Significance of the Study

This study provides a theoretical framework for teaching a Chinese literature

curriculum. This type of study introduces a new approach to Chinese literature teaching.

It is significant in Chinese education in that this study will be extending the perspective

of Chinese literature instructions.

The impact of this study for teaching Chinese literature could be the following:










1. The instructor will make decisions concerning the sequence of the teaching
methods used in the class, which might engage students' interest in learning
literature.

2. The instructor may develop multimedia materials and make decisions concerning
how to apply them to the class.

3. The instructor reorganizes the literature materials in order to integrate them into the
renewed teaching sequence. For instance, the instructor can determine whether a
student has grasped the knowledge or not so as to interpret the complexity of a
narrative poem.

The significance of this study is to offer a conceptual framework for instructors

regarding what they should prepare in order to utilize an innovative approach to literature

instruction and to assist them in deciding what students should know and do in terms of

proj ects, course requirements, and documentation of class notes.

Definition of Selected Terms

For the purpose of this study, the following terms are defined:

Expository approach. A teaching method that uses a lecture or an oral explanation

to illustrate the contents of a given class.

Narrative. A story in a Chinese narrative poem, which may include a historical

event or a legend.

Storyboard. A graphic, sequential depiction of a narrative.

Story. A traditional way of storing and describing memories and experiential

knowledge. Humans give meaning to their experience of temporality and personal

actions. It is humans' innate ability and predisposition to organize and represent the

experiences of their lives.

Symbol. The representation of one thing for another; in Chinese poems it usually

appears in a two-word group.










Symbolism. The art of communicating a message using minimum words; that is,

through the use of semiotics (word symbols). In ancient times, symbols were used to

represent things, especially in art and literature. And the meaning of a certain symbol is

passed down from generation to generation. For example, any obj ect with a dragon

design represents the emperor himself and should be treated with fear and respect.

Expressions. A way to reflect the hidden morals through a pair of five-word-

groups, which are well-known and frequently quoted phrases from Chinese poems.

Metaphor. Use of a word or a phrase to indicate something different from the

literal meaning.

Simile. Use of comparison of one thing with another.

Chinese phrases. Specific descriptions to the literary situation, and can be formed

by nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs.

Multimedia. Supporting-educational materials such as video, audio, slides,

transparencies as well as overhead proj ector equipment, computer software, and CDs.

Electronic storybook. "Stories are represented and integrated through technology

so that the combination can lead to a more multi-literate approach to instruction." (Chen,

Ferdig & Wood, 2003)

The Hypothesis of the Research

The expository approach to teaching has been applied for many years in Chinese

literature classes. However, research suggests that the use of multimedia can augment the

teaching of Chinese literature by employing a range of images, animations, video tapes,

audio tapes, slides, computer software, and/or CDs (Liao & Tsang, 1995). This study will

examine the effectiveness of two different instruction methods that combine expository

and multimedia approaches. Specifically, this study examines whether the sequence of










application of expository and multimedia will have a significant effect on students'

ability to learn a Chinese narrative poem.

Sequence 1. Apply multimedia before expository approach. (multimedia--

expository)

Sequence 2. Apply expository approach before multimedia. (expository--

multimedia)

The hypothesis in this study is that the sequence in which the two methods are

presented will impact students' ability to learn a Chinese narrative poem. Specifically,

using a multimedia presentation before employing an expository presentation is more

effective in teaching a Chinese narrative poem. That is, sequence 1(multimedia--

expository) is more effective than sequence 2 (expository-- multimedia) for students'

learning. The null hypothesis is that there is no impact in sequence of use of multimedia

and expository in students' ability of learning.

Limitations

The limitations of this study are as following:

1. This study utilized fifty students enrolled in an 11Ith grade English literature class.
Thus, the results of the study can be generalized only to students at commensurate
levels.

2. The classroom instructor in this study has significant technological knowledge so
that he can perform the teaching in multimedia method without any problem.
However, we can not assume that every literature teacher has the same skills in
applying multimedia method in the class.

3. Only one literature topic ("Mulan Shih", a Chinese narrative poem) is tested in this
study to examine the effect of the proposed sequences. Different results might be
observed if different topics were involved.















CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Sequence as An Instructional Variable

In modern education, sequencing of teaching methods has been regarded as an

important instructional variable (Tennyson & Tennyson, 1977). An appropriate sequence

will improve the quality of learning significantly. For example, expository teaching

combined with lesson-related activities has been proved to be very effective (Yaden,

Smolkin & Conlon, 1989). In fact, constructive learning theory indicates that sequencing

can lead to the growth of students' knowledge (Cheek, 1992).

The effects of the sequence used in an instructional activity have been addressed in

research literature. A study on teaching mathematics using two methods of presentation

that differed primarily in terms of sequence characteristics reported significant variance

in students' learning (Thomell, 1977). Another study showed that the sequence of an

activity appears to be important, and the sequential approach is an instructional format for

enhancing the ability of students' learning (Renner, 1983).

Tennyson studied the effectiveness of the students' learning experience using three

methods of sequencing coordinate concepts; they are simultaneous method, collective

method, and successive method (Tennyson, 1977& 1985). His data analysis showed that

students' performance is superior in one sequence over the other two. In fact, the study

concluded that the simultaneous sequence was more time efficient in terms of students'

learning (Tennyson, 1985).










Specifically, teachers could test the efficiency of their teaching by alternating the

sequence of their teaching methods as a variable in instruction format. Gulmans and van

den Berg did a similar study about the effectiveness of two different instructional modes

in various sequences and concluded that the sequence is an important variable in

instruction (Gulmans & van den Berg, 1992).

Based on the research, it can be concluded that sequence is a significant

independent variable in instruction which critically impacts the effects of instruction.

Therefore, the decision that is made concluding the sequence of teaching methods can be

a very important element for successful instruction.

Visually-Enhanced Instructional Environment

Paivio defined learning and cognition as a dual coding theory, in which verbal and

image-based information is recognized and perceived by separate, interrelated processes.

The verbal information just mentioned is relatively abstract when compared to the image-

based information and it is also dependent on shared definition for particular terms,

whereas the image-based information is more of a tangible representation of obj ects

presented in a special way. As a result, a verbal system is often learned and used in an

associative mode, while imagery is imitated through referential means. For instance,

conversations rely on common definitions of both the analogue (or similar obj ects) and

the targeted terms (Paivio, 1971; Glynn, 1994). Moreover, the relationship between

elements within the analogue is related to the targeted terms, which determines the

effectiveness and the appropriateness of the analogy. As terms become less relevant, the

use of the analogy is diminishing and can lead to students' misconceptions (Glynn, 1994;

Pyle & Akins-Moffatt, 1999).










Image-based Information. Images play a critical role in how we come to shape

the world around us. Phrases such as "seeing is believing" and "a picture is worth a

thousand words" abound in our language, and they are good examples of the importance

of the image, especially when implied in language instruction (Peterson, 1997; Sutton,

1992; Woodward, 1989). When learning a new language, the image of a new word

deeply affects the vocabulary in terms of students' learning (Sutton, 1992). To be exact

an image requires concrete referential representations in order for a new word to be

understood and, later, implemented correctly.

Images have shown their value as assessment tools in exploring students' learning

and conceptual change (Peterson, 1997). However the role that images serve in this

learning process is not well understood. Traditionally, most learning styles have relied

heavily on language-based forms of teaching and assessment. This practice makes it

ineffective in determining the level of students' understanding of certain concepts if they

have not mastered the language used to represent the concepts (Sutton, 1992). This

situation frequently happens in learning of literatures in a different language. Therefore,

the question as to whether a student' s level of literacy is determined by his fluency in the

language or by his ability to use the concepts which influence decisions, thoughts, and

feelings must be asked. This question relates directly to the topic of this study.

The image of a symbol needs to be a stable element in a student' s mind before he is

able to apply it in future learning experiences. However, if the concept is not associated

properly through the representation of an image, that is, if the image makes an unprecise

connection, the image itself might become the source of misconceptions (Astronomical

Society of the Pacific, 1992). Thus, an image could be worth a thousand words, but it









could also confound students' thinking more than text. The concept expressed through

the vocabulary is the first step for a person in shaping his/her recognition of an obj ect.

During this process, the image acts as an aid in enhancing an understanding of that word.

Normally, verbal and image systems are interrelated, especially at concrete levels (Paivio,

Clark, & Lambert. 1988). As concepts become more complex and abstract, it is difficult to

develop representative images. For example, fear and pain have concrete referents such

as physical feelings, facial expressions, or injury (Koballa & Pyle, 1996); however, it is

difficult to express relief, love, etc. using an image (Paivio, 1971).

The Impact of Multimedia on Academic Instructions

New technologies and multimedia have been playing an increasingly important role

in education (Mayer, 2003). The term "multimedia" refers to the combination of multiple

technical resources for the purpose of presenting information represented in multiple

formats via multiple modalities (Goldman, 2003). Studies exploring the impact of using

multimedia on instruction have been ongoing (Raat, 1992). Efforts to understand how

learners capitalize on verbal and visual information are not new (Levie & Lentz,1982;

Mandl, & Levin, 1989; Willows & Houghton, 1987). However, researchers are concerned

with how students make sense of important concepts based on verbal and visual input

information (Schnotz & Lowe, 2003; Reimann, 2003).

Basically multimedia has been used broadly in three maj or categories: video-audio

materials, visual-enhanced supplement and computer-based learning environment

(Goldman, 2003). Researchers contend that multimedia resources can be categorized into

three different levels: the technical level refers to the technical devices (i.e., computers,

networks, displays, etc.) that are the carriers of instructional signals; the semiotic level

refers to the representational format of those signals (i.e., texts, pictures, and sounds); the









sensory level refers to the sensory modality of signal reception (i.e., visual or auditory

modality). The three levels of multimedia resources just mentioned give instructions a

different perspective in the complex domain of education (Schnotz & Lowe, 2003). This

indicates that multimedia resources have the capability of supporting learning in complex

domains because they could show learners how variables interact and relate to one

another. However, studies also showed that students could fail to leamn what the designers

intended just as easily from multimedia as they could from single media (Cognition,

1996; Kozma, 1994). That is, merely showing the learner a dynamic process does not

effectively guarantee understanding in the process of leaming.

Mayer states that there are three processes in which the student needs to engage if

learning is to occur; those processes are visual information (static or dynamic), verbal

information, and the combination of visual and verbal information. However, these three

processes are difficult to carry out when learners are novices in a domain, because they

often have no experiences or prior knowledge (Mayer, 2003). Mayer's research states

teachers should make arrangements of verbal and visual information, highlight important

relationships, remove irrelevant information, and manage the information so that students

tend to produce better learning. These effects override the static-dynamic dimension of

visual information; Mayer found that there is very little benefit from using dynamic

visuals in some domains that he investigated (physical devices). However, in other

domains (such as chemistry) the dynamic properties of visual displays may be more

powerful since they convey information that is much harder to access from static visuals

or from verbal descriptions (Mayer, 2003). Mayer's contribution focused on multimedia

presentations that contain spoken or written words combined with illustrations or









animations that are designed to foster meaningful definitions. Mayer presented an

assumption of multimedia learning in which the active learning is emphasized. He

predicted that students learn more efficiently from words and pictures than from words

alone. According to Mayer' s study, he found meaningful learning requires that the

student engages in active cognitive processing. Active processing requires the learner

pays attention to relevant words and pictures, and then organizes the corresponding

information into coherent verbal and pictorial mental representations. Finally, all works

were integrated into verbal and pictorial representations. Furthermore, Mayer simulated

the experimental conditions in which students would profit more from multimedia

messages than from verbal-only messages.

Mayer' s research helps us understand some of the consistencies in the processing

of verbal and visual information. The result of his study indicates that the potential

impacts of the instruction might be obvious to students through different media. That is,

computer-based media show support for instruction which is not available in traditional

expository methods. Secondly, it is apparent that during multimedia instruction more

aggressive interactions between the instructor and his/her students take place when the

lecture is delivered through educational technologies.

Mayer's findings are not confined to "high-tech" media; his theory and instructional

principles also apply to both book-based and computer-based learning environments.

Although some forms of advanced technology are compatible to instructional methods,

the general principles of instructional design are more crucial. The potential effectiveness

of educational multimedia materials is therefore likely to be influenced by the teacher' s

design of his/her lecture.









Schnotz and Bannert proposed a combined model of text and picture

comprehension that contributes to a theory of multimedia learning (Schnotz & Bannert,

2003). In contrast to Mayer's model, the model developed by Schnotz and Bannert

includes a basic distinction between descriptive and depictive representations. They

predicted that adding pictures to a text may not always be beneficial for learning but is

rather distracting. This would mean that while task-appropriate illustrations are likely to

support learning, task-inappropriate illustrations may actually interfere with the mental-

model-construction-processes that support effective learning. This assumption contradicts

the traditional implication drawn from Paivio's (1986) dual coding theory that adding

pictures to a text is generally beneficial for learning. Their empirical findings confirm the

prediction of a possible detrimental effect resulting from task-inappropriate illustrations.

Paivio's study suggested that pictures facilitate learning if the individual has limited

background knowledge and the subj ect matter is visualized in a task-appropriate way.

However, if the individual is knowledgeable in the related subj ect, and the subj ect is

visualized in a task-inappropriate way, then these illustrations may actually interfere with

learning. Schnotz and Bannert's findings emphasize the need for careful consideration of

the type of visualization to be used when designing instructional material. Carefully

considered visualizations are important not only for individuals with limited background

knowledge who might need pictorial support in constructing mental models, but also

individuals who are knowledgeable in the subj ect because these individuals may be

hindered in their mental model construction through inappropriate forms of visualization.

Review of Similar Research

During past years, more and more instructors and professionals have been involved

in the design, use, and development of multimedia technology for teaching Chinese.









Meanwhile, the discussion of multimedia technology in the classroom has become

popular for improving Chinese language and literature teaching. There is a trend for a

new approach to teach Chinese literature using computer software instead of a

blackboard, and thus eliminate the need for a textbook and handwriting in the early stage

of learning Chinese literature. To determine whether or not this is feasible or applicable,

more research is needed concerning the integration of multimedia technology with

teaching curriculum.

Chinese Characters as Structured Compositions. Chinese symbols are not

arbitrary aggregates of subjectivity. Many characters are pictographs standing for

obj ects, or pictographs with certain markings added to indicate more abstract concepts

(Shuowenjiezi, 100, Weiger, 1915; Hung & Tseng, 1981).

Studies shows that at an early stage in the learning of Chinese characters, students

tend to remember characters as distinct pictures (Chuang, 1975). Most Chinese

characters are composite logographic forms. In these compound characters, two or more

maj or components are combined to fill an imaginary square block; many of them are

themselves characters. The methods of such composition followed a pre-set standard.

These methods can be repeated and applied in producing different phrases from

characters. In general, the components also contribute to the pronunciation or the

meaning of the compound phrases.

The "logographic information module" contains a database of logograms, including

Chinese characters, definition of Chinese characters (equivalent to the alphabets in

English responsible for pronunciation), graphemes and strokes (Ki, 1994). It records how

each logogram is stepwi se-decomposable into other simpler logograms, and the










composition method. In the case of poctophoneticl composition, it also takes note of the

specific subcomponents. of a Chinese character contributing respectively to the

pronunciation and the definition of the character. Pictorial origins of Chinese characters

are stored as graphic animation where appropriate. The information mentioned above is

stored in the logographic information module and will support the following operations:

1. To give a stroke-by-stroke calligraphic display of the character.

2. To provide a stroke ordering exercise where students can choose the correct stroke
sequence in a character with continuous feedback from the computer.

3. To display the character, highlighting in turn the different components and
subcomponents in the sequence of the stroke-by-stroke order.

4. To support jigsaw-like exercises where the student is asked to assemble characters
from their corresponding components.

5. Partial matching to search for a character based on partial information given about
its structures and components.

6. To present the pictorial origins of some characters. The presentation starts with a
realistic picture, and gradually transforms it to a basic skeleton of an intended
Chinese character, and then to the Einal form of the well-recognized character. The
method is similar to that used in Lam (1993).

The "pronunciation and meaning module" links a set of characters to a set of

phrases which illustrate the definition of the character. In fact, a voice Eile and a

phoneme are stored for the pronunciation of each character in the knowledge-base

database. Also, for the special cases in which a character is pronounced differently and is

used in a different sense, a number of voice Hiles and phonemes will be stored.

Furthermore, for some of the phrases, additional resources are stored including images



SPictophonetic composition means one component represents the meaning while the other component
represents the sound of the compound character. This is the called pictophonetic composition. Over 70%
of Chinese characters are compositions of this sort.









and voice files of sample sentences. In addition, for each selected Chinese character and

phrase, there is information in the Eile concerning its definition and its difficulty level (in

scholastic sense). All in all, the above information mentioned is used to support the

following functions:

1. Display related phrases to illustrate the possible definitions of a Chinese character.

2. Enunciate the selected characters and display associated phrases) stored in the
knowledge-base database.

3. Read aloud example sentences or display a picture that depicts a related example
particular phrase.

4. Search for other Chinese characters that have identical pronunciation (or
homonym) .

5. Search for selected Chinese characters based on given partial information on
phonemes.

6. Search for particular phrases according to their synonyms, and their level of
difficulty (in scholastic sense).

There is a computing module called "Chinese language syllabus for primary

schools", which can provide relevant information for 500 frequently used Chinese

characters selected from the standard school curriculum for native Chinese youths in

HongKong (CDC, 1990). It was assumed that by learning these 500 characters in the

way supported by this computing module, the mental "tool-kit and library" of each

student can be developed and can thus enable him/her to learn related Chinese language

courses proficiently (Shiu & Lau, 1982; Tseng & Wang, 1983)

In an early proj ect working with the software for learning Chinese characters (Lam,

1993), computer animation was used to relate the written form of some Chinese

characters to their pictorial origins. The preliminary evaluation indicated that this kind of

presentation stimulated the student' s mind effectively in helping him/her to remember the










written form as well as the meanings of the characters (CDC, 1984). The available

multimedia technology today, which can be applied in the Chinese language teaching are:

Entry level-pronunciation. There are some computer software program

developed for this purpose. For example, "Hyper Chinese" is a program designed to help

students with their learning and distinguishing various pronunciations of the Chinese

characters. Students learn each sound through voice demonstration, imitation and

comparison. Quizzes are offered as a drill to check their progress. There is also an

educational CD called, "Professional Interaction Chinese for Windows with Speech

Recognition"; which has the added advantage of showing mouth and tongue positions

through animated visual displays. Thus, this CD can place the user in the context of a

particular scenario for visual and audio guidance. (Fu, 1996)

Intermediate and advanced level. The majority of software program available

are designed for this stage. "Chinese Breakthrough" is a set of audio-visual programs for

TV and newspaper reading, and the Chinese version of "WinCalis" is a very useful

programming tool for designing various Chinese exercises. In addition to those programs

mentioned above, there are other electronic materials on the Internet that are popular with

some instructors.

It is widely recognized that the limitation of many teaching and learning materials

is that the program does not really take the student's past experience and competence into

account. There is a computerized system that offers supports to the classes mentioned

above (i.e. form entry to advanced level) and is known as the "knowledge-based

multimedia system," (Ki, and others, 1994). This system has five subcategories.










The first subcategory involves introduction of Chinese characters and is designed

for entry level students.

The second subcategory is "the student progress database" set up to record the

students' progress. The obj ective is to set up a database that records complete record of

each student every time he/she log in, and evaluate his/her competence through his/her

interactions with the system. Data will be automatically sent onto this database when

students use the various modules at this level. This database is to provide feedback to

students, to allow the instructor to monitor the progress of students, and to provide

tangible information to the software developers to create appropriate software for future

use.

The third subcategory of this system is "database tools." This is a set of application

software that allows both teachers and students to modify, customized and accesses the

related programs.

The fourth subcategory is "CAL generation tools." This is a set of software

generation tools that can produce instructional software in specific formats. In fact, the

teacher only has to choose between audio-visual aids or slide type, and specify the

required language elements such as vocabulary, phrases, and expression to be used. As a

result, a customized interactive software will be automatically generated. The teacher

would get the instruction from the software sufficient to generate a CAL program.

The fifth subcategory is "CAL materials." This is a set of example interactive

software and self-learning materials, including both computer-based and non-computer

based. It is developed using the tools provided at lower levels such as: "the student

progress database" and it illustrates how the generic tools used in the lower levels can be









used to achieve specific learning objectives. Moreover, CAL materials include learning

materials that introduce new characters, phrases, and other information that is relevant to

particular topics. These topics involve Chinese characters as new vocabulary, introduce

particular language skills, games for drill or for skill reinforcement, and tests. While

these interactive software programs are being used on the computer, this system is able to

update the student' s progress database at the second level of the system. Therefore,

students can have the option of moving from the interactive software to the student query

tool for reference or for help.

Constructivism in the Design of Instruction

The application of appropriate educational learning theories is very critical for

instruction in any field. A solid theoretical foundation offers teachers a good start from

which they can build a series of learning formats in response to different learning styles

and, hence, encourage a wide range of strategies in order to insure successful learning.

Likewise, innovative construct provides direction to appropriate technologies that lead to

new learning environments, and provide a customized curriculum for all students.

Theories generally have assumed that processes of learning and thinking of average

people are relatively uniform. Meditations derived from knowledge and skills obtained

through hands-on experience are more efficient than the mental image delivered from

theoretical concepts (Schunk, 1996). In fact, Locke (17th to 18th centuries) taught that no

man's knowledge can go beyond his experience.

The basic foundation philosophy of constructivism for modern day is generally

credited to Piaget (1896-1980). In Piaget' s view, human intelligence consists of two

interrelated processes, organization and adaptation. People organize their thoughts so that

they make sense, separating the more important thoughts from the less important ones, as










well as connecting one idea to another. At the same time, people adapt their thinking to

include new ideas, as new experiences provide additional information.

Constructivist theory in education is a branch of neo-Piagetian thought. (Novak,

1977; von Glasersfeld, 1989). The constructivist approach is a view that emphasizes the

active role of the learner in building understanding and making sense of information. In

fact, constructivist approaches to learning assume that subj activity is critical because

learners take in information and process it in unique ways that reflect their needs,

dispositions, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings. That is, constructivism stresses creating

meaning from experience (Jonassen, 1991). Furthermore, constructivism is not a theory

about teaching only; it is a theory about knowledge and learning process that occurs daily

in classrooms. It is a conception that includes knowledge, learning and thinking (Brooks

&Brooks, 1993). Brooks and Brooks compiled a list of characteristics of a constructivist

teacher as following:

Characteristics of a constructivist teacher are as the following:

1. Encourages student autonomy

2. Incorporates manipulative, interactive and physical materials for teaching.

3. Employs cognitive terminology such as classify, analyze and create

4. Focus on students' understanding; encourages engagement of dialogue; asks open-
ended questions; and pursues elaboration of students' responses.

5. Provides time for students to construct relationships among the acquired knowledge
and create metaphors; nurtures students through frequent use of the learning cycle
method.

The essence of constructivism is that the learner must construct knowledge, but the

teacher cannot supply it (Bringuire, 1980). For example, the constructivist approach

requires the teacher to present a puzzling situation for the students to solve through










gathering data and testing their conclusions. Thus, the role of the instructor, as von

Glaserfeld (1996) indicated, is not to dispense knowledge but to provide students with

opportunities and incentives to build up their own. For example, Mayer (1996) depicts

teachers as guides and learners as sense makers also. Gergen (1995) viewed teachers as

coordinators, facilitators, resource advisors, tutors and coaches.

In addition, learning emphasizes the process and not the product, so the focus of

instruction should be students' thorough understanding of a subj ect rather than the

students' learning behaviors or skills. By the same token, the learner must actively

construct new information and add them onto their existing framework for meaningful

learning to occur. In other words, elaboration and relationships between old perceptions

and new ideas must be personally drawn by the student in order for the new idea to

become an integrated, useful part of their memory.

Constructivism emphasizes the interaction between learner and the environment as

learning takes place. Manges and Wigle (1997) believe that through constructivist

teaching, students can tap into their natural learning potential. That is because their

experiences, their prior knowledge, and their personal interpretations are the essential

components of all classroom activities.

Constructivism assumes that thinking takes place in contexts and individuals

mostly construct that cognition as a function of their experiences in situations (Bruning,

Schraw & Ronning, 1995). This theory states that learners form or construct much of

what they leamn and understand as a part of their experiences in a particular situation. And

this is the ideal interaction of people and their environment in the acquisition and










refinement of skills and knowledge. A basic assumption of constructivism is that people

are active learners and must accumulate knowledge for themselves (Geary, 1995).

Constructivism also emphasizes an integrated curriculum where students can study

a topic in various ways. For instance, students can study Chinese literature through

related literature, new vocabulary, hands-on experience, or through research of the related

documents. From a constructivist's perspective, teachers no longer teach while standing

in front of a classroom and deliver lectures. Instead, they use supporting materials (such

as computer) to encourage learners to become actively involved through out-of-class

interaction. On the contrary, activists stress on students' observation and collection of

data, as well as generating and testing hypotheses, and working collaboratively with

others.

According to constructivists, the traditional classroom is not necessary. A class can

take place outdoors, in a studio, in a lab, or in a visual classroom (which conducts the

class through the use of a computer for both on-site and distance education). In fact, a

teacher can integrate curricula in different settings to drive up students' interests in the

subjects so that students can become self-motivated and encouraged to set their own

goals, as well as monitoring and evaluating progress.

Constructivism in the undefined limits of virtual space frees pedagogy. Virtual

space enables faculty to draw resources from anywhere in the world (i.e. via the Internet)

and enables them to access and encourage an endless array of multicultural learning

environments (Winn, 1991). All in all, constructivism is a philosophy that views the

student as a thinker, creator, and constructor of knowledge. This is certainly a

revolutionary change from the traditional view of a student as an owner of knowledge.









Introduction of Related Materials

The Narratives, Short Stories, Chinese Literature and Multimedia

Narratives are as elemental to us as language itself (Shimkin, 1993). This implies

that our minds are structured for storytelling. In fact, "narratives and short stories are

among the most powerful instruments for ordering everyday human experiences.

Narratives can be expressed in oral or written languages, still or moving pictures, or

through a combination of these media. For instances, narratives can be found in myths,

legends, fables, tales, short stories, epics, history, tragedy, drama...etc.. In its almost

infinite varieties of forms, narratives existed since time began. Indeed, narratives start

with the very history of mankind" (Barthes, 1975). Narratives are an interpretative

approach that describes humans' daily activities in a form of symbolic action, which links

the construction of reality with the formation of identity (Nicolopoulou, 1997).

"Narrative usually concerns real or pretend memories of something that happened

and therefore are often largely in the past tense. However, there are also hypothetical,

future tense narratives and others that take place in the present. Narratives often contain

a chronological sequence of events, but one can also find narratives that contain only a

single event or those that skip around in time. Narratives usually are referred to the

written language, rather than the musical, pictorial and silently dramatic narratives"

(McCabe, 1997).

Ancient Chinese narrative poems possess all the narrative qualities mentioned

above. In fact, those poems would describe stories, record history, re-tell human

experiences through alternating first and third person narratives. Sometimes, these poems

were set to music and were sung to tell cultural progress. By the same token, "Mulan









Shih" possesses a folk-song format as well as folklore. Therefore, exploring the story

within this poem is an important step in understanding "Mulan Shih".

Human cultures have maintained their existence through different types of

storytelling. Lock stated that lives are constituted as stories, by stories, and through

stories (Lock, 1998). Humans appear to have an innate ability and predisposition to

organize and represent their experiences in the form of stories. In fact, story telling is

how human beings give meaning to their experience, because stories require less

cognitive efforts and exposition due to the narrative form of presentation (Bruner, 1990).

There are many disciplines that deal with narrative including cognitive psychology,

history, linguistics, literary science, and theology (Quasthoff, 1997).

Short stories and poems are usually perceived as examples of historical and cultural

contexts from the narrative substructures (i.e. storytelling, story reading). In fact, in order

to learn about or understand a new culture and different types of literature in a different

language, it is necessary for a person to be connected to the stories originated in that

culture or folklores (Bruner, 1990). People are surrounded by stories in their everyday

and professional lives. Stories have many functions. Following is a list of several of those

functions:

1. Stories allow us to enter into others' realms of meaning through the messages they
present in their stories (Polkinghorne, 1988).

2. Stories help us find out our roles in a culture (Bruner, 1990; White, 1998).

3. Stories assist us in the recognition of similarities among human diversity (Bruner,
1990).

4. Stories help us retain memories (Bruner, 1990).

5. Stories allow us to explain (Bruner, 1990) and to interpret meaning of life
(Gudmundsdottir, 1995).









6. Stories assist us in understanding human actions, intentionality and temporality
(Bruner, 1990; Huberman, 1995).

7. Stories mediate is the process of articulating out identity so that we can explain to
others who we are with a series of interconnected stories (Polkinghorne, 1988;
Schafer, 1981).

Chinese poems have many similarities to narratives and stories, and narrative is an

effective way of story telling in Chinese poems. Because the sharing of stories through

our lives is so important, we must possess some kind of "narrative intelligence" that

allows us to formulate or follow a story (Bruner, 1990; Randall, 1999; Polkinghorne,

1988).

For those people interested in Chinese literature or Chinese poems, the Internet is a

convenient way to research needed materials. Although Chinese poems have been

available on the Internet for some years, the application of multimedia was not fully

explored in presenting them. In recent years, multimedia has gained attention in literature

teaching because of its potential value in providing human-sense learning, and

encouraging learners' participation. In fact, incorporating technologies in literature

teaching can entice students' interests and enhance their learning experience. For

example, an instructor can introduce a Chinese poem using materials prepared in

multimedia so students can perceive the new subj ect through the audio-video experience.

Since computer technology has become a popular tool for today's education, an

instructor' s presentation can be seen around the world as a corresponding course.

Learning through the Internet provides the flexibility and efficiency of computer

instruction as well as individual attention of traditional education formats (Huang, 1997).

Therefore, it becomes crucially important to facilitate multimedia technologies in

teaching. And the selection of specific software and tools involved should be defined by










the proj ected learning results, desired performance, and various constructions of targeted

subj ects. Another reason that cutting edge technology may provide interesting learning is

the interaction resulting from the interdisciplinary media presentation of the subj ect in a

Chinese poem. This type of study can become a vital and enhancing part of learning

through a computer. All in all, it is appropriate to pursue study interests through

combinations of information in new ways in solving problems and in reaching new

understanding of the old knowledge. That is, multimedia can help instructors to convey

an idea successfully through audio-visual means. Therefore, learning Chinese poems may

be a dynamic, personalized instruction through new combinations of multimedia

technologies rather than the acquisition of a ritual and rigid teaching of facts. Moreover,

teaching and learning can now become a new cycle of exploration and discovery.

Multimedia products such as electronic storybooks are good examples. Electronic

storybooks use traditional lecture or print stories as basic materials; then add or convert

the graphics, animation, sound, and video to produce interactive storybooks for the use in

instruction. In fact, electronic storybooks have become prevalent in literature education

recently, for it is one way to teach students the literature elements, story plots, and even

technology itself different than the traditional lecture (Chen, Ferdig & Wood, 2003).

Electronic storybooks could be widely used by teachers and students in preparation of

teaching materials, schedule planning of classes, design of versatile exercises of new

subj ects, and construction of explicit tutorial context. As one can see, learning or teaching

a Chinese poem need not be boring, intimidating, or complex. There can be two-way

interactions in the learning process, just as today's popular learning software (Mulan-









Animated Storybook, 1998) for youngsters that teach numbers, colors, alphabets, and

shapes.

Multimedia technology such as "A knowledge-based multimedia system to support

the teaching and learning of Chinese characters (Ki, 1994)" can move the learning

process beyond one-way didactic instruction to an interactive mode in the teaching of

Chinese poems. The decision to select a two-dimensional or three-dimensional visual

support is crucial in the presentation of a particular poem. It' s also important to preserve

the original materials to reach the goal of conveying a subj ect to students successfully

during the switching of teaching methods. While the supporting multimedia teaching

material may make it easier for students to understand a subj ect, this teaching method

requires the instructor to put in more time and efforts in the preparation. This study will

focus on the teaching of Chinese poems using the multimedia support rather than

discussing different types of modern technologies.

Symbols (%Alib) and Expressions (%@i 4)~~ in Chinese Poems

Symbolism and expression are the crucial clues in identifying the moral behind any

metaphor and figurative speech in a Chinese poem.

Before symbolism in literature can be applied to a particular work in any language,

there must be a clear understanding of the basic concept about symbolism and symbolic

interactionism (Blumer, 1969). A symbol is the representation of one thing using obj ects,

while symbolic interaction is an interpretation of a symbol. Therefore, symbolism is the

art of communicating a message using minimum words; that is, through the use of

semiotics (word symbols). In the ancient time, symbols were used to represent things,

especially in art and literature. The meaning of a certain symbol is passed down from










generation to generation. For example, any obj ect with a dragon design represents the

emperor himself and should be treated with fear and respect. Symbolism is a tool unlike

any other. The spoken language we use everyday is explicit; however, symbolism is the

hint for what metaphors really meant. In order to make metaphors universal in Chinese

poems, symbolism must become standardized. Symbols are comparable to sentences,

while symbolic elements are comparable to words (Thales, 1999). For example, the

character of hieroglyphics in ancient Chinese is not a conventional language, but rather a

pictorial language of symbolism. Demanded by the need for a completed record of things

happened and done, sentences were formed by groups of characters.

Symbolic meaning lies in the feelings and memories that associated with the

cultural or language background (Thales, 1999). The elements of symbolism in Chinese

poems have a universal interpretation that almost become a second nature to Chinese. For

example, we translate "canine" and "hound" into "dog" when in Chinese poems the moon

can be represented by the following objects:

1. WM~ ("chang-Jane")- the moon.

2. ffRn ("chang-erh")-- the goddess living on the moon.

3. fMRn ("dan-erh")- another name for the goddess of the moon.

4. WW~V ("chan-chu")- a silver toad.

5. B A ("yu-tu")- a white rabbit made of jade.

6. 19if ("yu-loon")-- a wheel made of white j ade.

There are two terminologies that should be introduced. They are symbol (%@iii])


and expressions (WH Y& #).. Symbols and expressions are the crucial clues in


identifying the moral behind any metaphor and figurative speech in a Chinese poem.










Symbols consist of widely used 2-word-groups in classical Chinese poems, and

expression is usually a pair of 5-word-groups that provide access to the hidden morals

using well known meanings of a particular obj ect. Symbols and expressions are also used

to proj ect the author' s original creation, and they both can appear in any possible order in

a Chinese poem. The symbols could be flexibly varied and possibly non-sequential to

other subject. However, the original metaphor will always be reminded and the moral

will be traced back to generate the exact link to the specified topic. In this study, I will

choosea a partic~ular Chinesea poeml- "MIvulanl Shih"1 (ARRI) as my model to demonstrate

the interaction between the symbolism and the expression in the narrative poem.

Chinese Students' Learning Experiences in Literature

The Learning Pattern of Chinese Students Concerning Moral Poems

Traditional Chinese preferred abstract descriptions when writing ancient poems. In

fact, the best and the most reverend classical model of ancient Chinese poems is

characterized in "read between the lines" and "there's more than what meets the eyes."

Therefore, in terms of poetry, a partial description can actually tell a whole story (just

like the construction & meaning of certain Chinese characters). For instance, whenever

one sees the numbers 3, 6, and/or 9 in a poem, in most cases the author meant to show

quantity or a trend of increasing numbers. This practice of using the increments of 3's in

ancient Chinese poems is common, as well as in the analogy of some Chinese characters.

For example, there is a Chinese character "A" which was made by writing the word "ox"

3 times. The definition of that character is stampede; meaning when 3 oxen run at the

same time they are as fast as running for their lives. There is another Chinese character

composed by writing the word "water" 3 times "E-", anduIL ltits 11~ meaingl can be foo, oceanl,










or running water. Furthermore, the Chinese character that looks like rewriting the word

"fire" 3 times "Ai" really means a big flame or a glorious view. There is another common


practice of using increments of 10's in ancient Chinese poetry. When one sees the

description of ten, one hundred, or one thousand; the meaning is beyond many. It is

rather vast and numerous.

There are frequently quoted phrases using such descriptions. Among Chinese, we

often hear people describe themselves as having a life of "a thousand hammers & a

hundred furnaces," and that' s just a figure of speech for depicting a seasoned life.

Whenever we see "one thousand" and "one hundred" appearing together in Chinese

poems, needless to say, the author is painting a picture of multitude (which is even

countless). By the same token, "a thousand rounds and a hundred turns" scenario of a

drama describes a complicated and complex story plot.

Way Wang is one of the reverend Chinese poets, and he is the one who perfected

the art of "words in the picture, and picture in the words" in writing ancient Chinese

poems. To illustrate this technique, here is a painting that completely expresses the

following poem called SNOWY RIVER.
















































.d
PC


Figure 2-1. Chinese painting in poem 1










*~*~::~;~ir"ri~~~-~i~;?; i ,*:1: 7:-FII;*I
~~;~B1~: -; !:i
B


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Figure 2-2. Chinese painting in poem 2


i~b~9, ~;.~4~3
~~rs~

lal~q ~ .y









SNOWY RIVER


There's no trace of birds among a thousand mountains

Nor that of human on ten thousand trails


Only a boat carrying a man dressed in his straw-poncho and straw-hat

Fishing in a snowy river

Literature teachers would like to point these characteristics out to students, such as

the contrast of "a thousand mountains" and "ten thousand trails" verses the loneliness and

serenity of the fisherman. By human common sense, people expect to see or hear a noisy

crowd or several creatures whenever a big number is used as a description. However,

here people can get the feeling of great vacancy. By the way, this poem was originally

written in Old Chinese (much like that of Shakespearean English), and was completed in

4 sets of 5 words in a rhyme. Such beauty of sweet & short (in another word, abstract &

compact) combined with the art of "picture in the words, and words in the picture" is

truly ingenious. The same theme ties in with the making of the triple-character words

and the composition of the thousand-hundred phrases.

The SNOWY RIVER is an ancient poem that has been passed down from

thousands of years; it has been so popular that it' s taught in the 7th grade as a chapter in

the textbook and not reserved for the college or the graduate students in Chinese literature

classes. In fact, the beauty and the clever abstract structure of SNOWY RIVER is so well

loved and well known to all Chinese educated in Taiwan that other poems in the same

category are often included in the text books for elementary and middle school students.

Therefore, it is common for youngsters in Taiwan to quote phrases from such poems in










their daily conversations. From this example, we see that traditional Chinese value the

abstract & compact expression and this skill is practiced and taught at young age.

Difference between the Learning of a Moral Poem and a Narrative Poem among
Chinese Students

This abstract (or proximity) practice can be illustrated as following. It' s acceptable

for a Chinese cookbook to indicate: Salt--- a little, Black Pepper--- a dash, Soy Sauce---

season to taste; instead of : Salt---2 tsp, Black Pepper---1 tsp, Soy Sauce--- 2 Tbsp. It's

easy to see how "a little, a dash, & season to taste" associate with the custom practice of

the abstract (or proximity). Even during the on-site demonstration, a chef would use

terms "a little, a dash, and season to taste" as he/she prepares a dish. This kind of

abstract & proximity expression is well accepted and practiced in everyday life and was

never been objected or questioned among Chinese. However, this custom became a

notable issue when an American student (studying abroad in Taiwan) tried to cook a

Chinese dish by following a Chinese cookbook. He was looking for definite amount of

condiments in tsp and Tbsp but all he saw was those abstract & proximity indication.

The clear difference between Chinese and American cultures is perfectly illustrated in

this case of abstract-verses-definite cooking lesson.

All in all, the abstract concept in Chinese poems is never an obstacle in learning

among Chinese students. On the contrary, it's the subjective poems with defined objects

that pose more resistance in learning. That' s because the defined characters, obj ects, &

backgrounds do not allow any room for imagination; and instead, the instructor has to

provide precise descriptions of all that are involved and caused the unbearable boredom

among the audience (one-way instruction is never fun)(Mayer, 2003).









In conclusion, incorporating the appropriate images of people & obj ects in a

learning experience will certainly improve the efficiency in learning & entice the

students' appetite in a new subject (Schnotz & Bannert, 2003). Thus, bring out the

desirable outcome of a complete text material perception. As my favorite Chinese

proverb says, "a picture is worth a thousand words!" (Mayer & Gallini, 1990).

Selected Examples

Two Types of Chinese Literature

Two distinct traditions exist in Chinese literature: the literary (fhJAAS) and the


vernacular, or colloquial (a88f@AS). The literary literature is mainly for the scholars and

noblemen in Chinese society. It involves the materials compiled by Confucius called the

formal literature. One typical example is Shih (IG) or poetry. Shih is derived from the


Shih Ching (!48~, Book of Poetry), one of the five Classics (1Z~) compiled by Confucius.

Shih is an important subj ect to master for all scholars and noblemen, and knowing and

memorizing Shih as well as composing Shih are some required skill for the elite group. In

fact, Confucius stated: Shih makes you think, helps you observe, teaches you etiquette,

expresses your emotions. In short with enough knowledge in Shih, one can act properly

in his family, in the emperor' s court, and even became well educated in nature sciences.

(Confucius, Mill).

The colloquial literature can be traced back more than a thousand years before the

Christian era, and it lasted until now. Started with poetry and later includes drama and

fictions, the colloquial grew to include history and folklore. The vernacular is also an

important sect in Chinese literature, because it had been popular and recognized by the










public as well as the members of the scholar-official class, the arbiters of literary

committee. This committee is made up of members who were well respected for their

achievements in literature, and they also set the standards for the orthodox literary

tradition that began about 2000 years ago. In addition, in some rare cases an excellent

colloquial literature can become a literary literature. (Liu, 1976)

Progress of Chinese Literature

The progress of Chinese literature may be illustrated in the following diagram.


Western
Literary Period
Classical Medieval Modern
Chinese
Dynasty
Han Dynasty North& Tang Song
(gg8) South Dynasty Dynasty
Dynasty (IgB) (5gB)



Time Line
202 B.C. 208 A.D. 589 904 A.D. 1279 A.D.
A.D.
Figure 2-3. Chinese literature timeline

History of Chinese Literature

When one refers to classical Chinese Literature, it' s inevitable to talk about its

origin. Let' s begin with the discovery of the earlier form of Chinese characters. The

primary form of Chinese writing had been found in the inscriptions on bones and tortoise

shells (E992), dating probably from the 1400 B.C. to 1300 B.C.

From 1027 B.C. to 256 B.C., this period encompassed the work of four influential

philosophers: Confucius (RT), Mencius (ET), Lao-tuz (AT~), Chuang- tuz (ET~). The










compilation of the Confucius Classics became the orthodox teaching, which established a

classical tradition that was to last until the present time.

One of the Confucian Classics -Shih Ching (!48~, Book of Poetry) is one of the


most important poetic works ever produced. It is made up of dynastic songs, court

poems, and peasant poems. A new style in prose poem started around 200 B.C., which

was irregular in form and initiated a new literary genre called the Chu-Tz'u (jTA ~). These


poems were set to music and were collected in Yueh-Fu (@&!4$,~ the Music Bureau).

The Fundamental Concept for Chinese Phrases, Symbols and Expression

Chinese phrases in widely are consisted of individual words with specific meaning,

most of the time their meanings adhere to the meaning of a single word, but sometimes

they have specific meaning to particular literary setting. In general, phrases in Chinese

literature are made in group of two to seven words, which form the main meaning of a

sentence or a paragraph, though we see most of them in four-word phrases. However, it is

easy to find that five-word or seven-word phrases are more popular in poems. A phrase

contains meanings beyond the expressed words. In many examples, a phrase corresponds

diversely both in meaning and pronunciation. For example, the idea of walking,

corresponding to the word "8i~", is well defined and is a common sense in everyday life


with the pronunciation of "hsing/." However, the word "8i~" in the phrase "HAi~" carries


the general or abstract notion of a person's "action." In another use, when the word "8i~"


in the phrase "a88i~"carries the notion of a person's character "behavior," with the sound


of "hsing\." Furthermore, the phrase "HEi-" carries the meaning of military services in










Chinese literature and the phrase "HOMii~i itZ" carries the meaning of that everyone can

be successful by their intelligence and diligence regardless of their specialty. Another

phrase "-HQiXI- El llUE" ll means lthat: there areCL bird in t oneW ralylf ing into h sky wherelt


the word"Oi~" in the meaning of "raw" with the pronunciation of "hang/." Probably the

learners could learn the various meanings of a word from its constructed phrases in the

way of exploring the illustrations of a number of commonly used phrases. A word in

various phrases may contain different meanings and pronunciations, and we can collect

every meaning related to this word. Although we can traditionally catch up the different

meanings of a word or a phrase through written explanation in the textbook; however, we

would like to entice the students' interest and curiosity for learning literature. The study

of literature today in every level is primarily a study of exposition and explanation. The

emphasis falls on making sensible meanings through textual analyses. The learning

mode itself, prompts students to judge a literature work from an expository point of view.

Moreover, the thoroughness to which our emphasis on explanation and argument might

work against students' efforts to make meaning out of narratives or lyrics.









"Mulan Shih" in Chinese and English Version (Li, 1995;
Disney, 1999)

"Mulan Shih"

Tick tick and tick tick,
Mulan weaves by the door.
You don't hear the shuttle of a loom,
only a lady's sighs.
One may ask, "Who's on her heart?"
One may ask, "What occupies her mind?"
(Mulan answered) "No one is on my heart.
& Nothing occupies my mind.
Only last night I saw the draft,
The Khan is calling all troops,
The army list fills twelve scrolls,
& My father's name is on the recruitment of every
battle.
(Besides) My father has no grown-up sons,
& I, Mulan, have no older brothers.
So, I want to buy a horse and a saddle,
To serve in the army in my father's place."


Go to the East, she buys a good horse,
Go to the West, she buys a saddle,
Go to the South, she buys a bridle,
& Go to the North, she buys a whip.
At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents,
In the evening, she camps by the Yellow River.
(in the wilderness)Mulan can't hear her parents calling
her name.
Only the Yellow River flowing by.


She left the Yellow River the next morning,
By sunset, she arrives at Black Mountain.


Jiang, Chiang & Jian, 1997;










Bo'kgigs ?
Bo' k gggi ?



& #ggs ,


~amga ,





TAiWas ,
agyag~j ,

Bmi9ggyB ,




a~ggagS ,









(in the wilderness)Mulan can't hear her parents calling
her name.
Only the horses' neighs of the nomad's army from
Mount Yen.



Mulan goes ten thousand miles on top secret mission,
& She crosses massive mountains like flying.
Gusts of cold air from the north carry the sound of
time-telling gong.
The reflection of armors in the snow sends out chills,
Casualties are high even among Generals,
Brave warriors return ten years later.


When Mulan returns from the war, the Emperor
summoned her.
The Emperor sits in his court.
To meet with his officials,
& award hundreds and thousands in treasure.
The Khan asks Mulan what she desires.
(She replied)"Mulan has no need for an official title.
But, only wish for a swift & healthy camel,
To take me home."



Mulan's parents heard about her homecoming,
They hurried out to the city gate to meet her in their
old & frail frame.
Mulan has an older sister,
Immediately she dressed up to meet her.
Mulan has a younger brother,
He whets the knife, shrill, shrill, to prepare a dinner.
(Mulan said) "I open my bedroom door,
& I sit on my old bed,
Then, I take off my armor;


gagggi~ ,






agaggJi ,
;I+4SoP~


gjetra~k ,


PMiya;Bgg~ ,


/Jagapgt; g ,








aa~~jsb ,









& put on my civilian clothes. WR i@Ro
I fix my hair by the window, M~t
& I put on my make-up by the mirror. ~ i~SatWETEo
(When I'm properly dressed) I went out to greet my
comrades,
They were all shocked and perplexed. k@WRs"~B o
Traveling together for twelve years, 40+=~ #
& None knew Mulan is a girl." ygggAi~l~kg



"The he-hare's feet are clumsy, "g g
The she-hare's eyes are blurry. g gg
& When these two hares run side by side, M~h
Who can tell it's a He or a She?" a g g i

General Background Information for "Mulan Shih"

"Mulan Shih" is the longest and the most respected narrative poem among the

literature dated in the North Dynasty (J201420 A.D 589 A.D.). It is significant in its

many wars against different nomadic tribes in the northern part of China and in its own

invasion, dominance and ruling over indigenous Chinese people.

This poem was originally cited in the "Song (5R960 A.D.-1279 A.D.) Anthology of

lyrics,,,,, songs and, poem Yueh-Fu @&!$). In this poem, the history, geography, social


values, of North Dynasty are depicted clearly. It highlights and reflects the aesthetics and

talents of North Dynasty. And the aesthetic value and liberal arts of that era were

beautifully and skillfully displayed. (@%2R~ Ho, 1988; A~IR Chou, 1997).

Just as the scholar Shen Ta-Chien (Shen, 11Ith century) commended: "brilliant

(Ai~tAM)" (Tf5454+5t), this poem based on a fourteen-hundred-year-old Chinese

folklore "Mulan Shih" which tells the story of Mulan, the legendary heroine who went










into the recruitment of Khan (4#~f, the emperor) in her father' s place and fought the

invaders courageously. She defended her country with superior skills in martial arts, and

returned home triumphantly. Her comrades did not know her as a woman for all the years

they spent together on the battlefield and were totally shocked when she finally appeared

in a lady's outfit. (unlike the Disney's version of Mulan' s story).

With the determination of fulfilling her father' s military duty, Mulan proved to be a

formidable worrier and helped to win the war--and impossible task for a woman in an

old and conservative era. She overcame the society's constraints and the hardships in a

practical way. After her triumphant return, her true identity was revealed, and she

resumed her original identity and duty of a graceful lady.

The legend of Mulan has been popular for generations in China (@Wi##).)

Although there is no clue as to whether Mulan is surnamed Fa, or Chu, or Mu itself, after

all, the assumption is that no body knows her real name (Tft##e, @&!4#).) However

most drama based on the poem ascribed Fa as her surname. Even though Mulan is a

fictitious character, her story has inspired many Chinese girls to achieve goals and realize

dreams. Moreover, Mulan is addressed and interpreted in many books in different

language in modern time (Kingston, 1976; Chin & Arai, 1993; Lee, 1995; Jiang, 1997;

Zhang, 1998; Souci & Tseng, 1998). And the products related to this topic have also been

created in multimedia such as the Disney movie "Mulan" and the animated storybook

"Mul an."

The value of this poem ("Mulan Shih") lies on the organized arrangement and

description by the author (WW~Hsieh, 15th century). Due to the popularity of the heroine









image of Mulan, "Mulan Shih" (a folk song) becomes a narrative poem in Chinese

literature (@@8$).~) The poem displayed the nature and simplicity of a folk song and a


complex, and, yet harmonious, structure of a story (WW~ Hsieh, 15th century). Mulan

lived in the era of the most delicate and complicated period of China that different tribes

have severe conflicts and so, "Mulan Shih" was created under such upheaval age. The

history background helped establish the heroine model of Mulan, and the author reflected

the reality through every single detail in this poem to paint the pictures of this story

(A8ii[R Mo, 1986). The poet Wei Yuan-Fu (RftM Wei, 8th century) of Tang Dynasty

praised Mulan's sentiment in his poem about her honoring her family and her father and

her loyalty to her king. In addition, her love for her aged father, her brave heart as a

warrior, and her disinterest in fame and wealth have shaped the respectable sentiment in

this poem. Finally, the highlight of this poem lies in Mulan' s pure love for her parents

(PPXW Kuo, 10th century). By: Anonymous (5th or 6th century A.D.)

Language Arts of "Mulan Shih"

Mulan was born in a time plagued by wars and battles between different nations

and tribes, and "Mulan Shih" was composed in this period. (Originally a popular folk

song was later polished by scholars to be a narrative poem.) Through this narrative poem,

the anonymous author created a heroine. This poem vividly described her culture

background as well as the scenarios of the story. Moreover, the poem was composed with

a rhyme in every line using a folk song pattern. The language arts used in "Mulan Shih"

can be discussed in 6 sections according to the 6 paragraphs in this poem (RM@P Chiang,


1999).









Paragraph one basically sets the stage for why Mulan responded to the draft in her

father' s place. In ancient time, women were not allowed to j oin in the armed forces;

therefore, this poem started with 4 lines describing a typical scenario of a lady weaving

cloth. And in Mulan's case, her mind was preoccupied and one only hears her sighs and

not the noise of the loom. The English translation is as follows:

Tick tick and tick tick,
Mulan weaves by the door.
You don't hear the shuttle of a loom,
only a lady's sighs.

Moreover, there's a folk song (~iffWPi) in Liang Dynasty (#$1 534 A.D.-556


A.D.) that has a similar rhyme structure and story description to these opening 4 lines in

"Mulan Shih". It goes:

Shoo Shoo and tick tick,
Lady weaves by the window.
You don't hear the shuttle's sound,
Only the lady's sighs. (Liu, 1976)

It' s interesting to see a question and answer format in a poem, and "Mulan Shih"

employs this technique to tell the reason for Mulan to j oin the army.

One may ask, "Who's on her heart?"
One may ask, "What occupies her mind?"

And Mulan answered,

My father has no grown-up sons,
& I, Mulan, have no older brothers.
Mulan' s love for her father and her country and her courage to enlist in her father' s

place showed through the quote above. She described her father in his old age and has an

underaged son and neither is qualified to fight in any battle. This awkward situation left

Mulan to decide what could be done by her or her older sister. In the North Dynasty,









Mulan and other women can be taught to ride horses and handle weapon, but to answer

the draft in a father' s place is never heard of. Furthermore, to disguise as a man to fight in

an army is an outrageous idea in Mulan's era. However, this idea was realized by

Mulan's determination when she mentioned:

So, I want to buy a horse and a saddle,
To serve in the army in my father's place.

We also see this determination actually sustained her through 12 years of harsh

military life during wartime.

The second paragraph of "Mulan Shih" described how Mulan' s plan to j oin the

army was accomplished:

Go to the East, she buys a good horse,
Go to the West, she buys a saddle,
Go to the South, she buys a bridle,
& Go to the North, she buys a whip.

The author used of a set of 4 opening lines, like those in the first paragraph,

appeared here to describe Mulan's preparation. She might not have acquired those items

from different stores located in 4 different directions. This is just a common practice in

folk songs to use a recursive format to emphasize a particular action. In this case, the

focus is on the hectic preparation before Mulan's departure before she enlists in the army.

This repetition format is needed to put the emphasis on the scenario of Mulan' s

preparation; it is also needed for the rhyme structure of the lyrics. This task is done

skillfully and carefully here to avoid boredom and stress (PRMAJ Chen, 2000 ). This


portion of the poem also depicts the pro-active attitude of Mulan' s personality and her

determination (a heroine quality) through the description of her preparation. In addition,

one can also sense the urgency of the draft. (@%2R~ Ho, 1988; #t # & Hung, 2000).









The following quote is the second half of the second paragraph:

At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents,
In the evening, she camps by the Yellow River.
(in the wilderness) Mulan can't hear her parents calling her name.
Only the Yellow River flowing by.
She left the Yellow River the next morning,
By sunset, she arrives at Black Mountain.
(in the wilderness) Mulan can't hear her parents calling her name.
Only the horses' neighs of the nomad's army from Mount Yen.

This part is made of 2 sets of 4 lines in the form of comparison. It describes

Mulan' s physical and emotional journey. We see how Mulan was struggling between her

homesickness and her sense of responsibility through the contrasting terms of "dawn" &

"evening", "morning" & "sunset", "can't hear" & "only (hear)", and "Yellow River" &

"Black Mountain." These are a few sets of comparisons used here to narrate the story

vividly displaying Mulan's transition.

At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents,
She left the Yellow River the next morning,

We see Mulan forfeits her comfort zones in both small and big scale. First time, she

left home; second time she left the boundary of her country. And, and interesting point

here is she departs twice in the early part of the day: first time, dawn, and second time,

morning. We also see contrast terms juxtaposed in story telling:

(*1) At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents,
In the evening, she camps by the Yellow River.
(*2) She left the Yellow River the next morning,
By sunset, she arrives at Black Mountain.

From (*1), we see the contrast of "dawn" & "evening". And in (*2), we not only

see the repetition of the same concept ("morning" & "sunset"), we also see the color

contrast of "Yellow" & "Black". There are also the opposites of "left" & "arrives", and










"River" & "Mountain". These comparisons mentioned above bring out the changes in

time, distance, location, and geography. Moreover Mulan' s determination is emphasized

as she travels through rivers and mountains.

The third paragraph in "Mulan Shih", which starts with:

Mulan goes ten thousand miles on top secret mission,
and ends with:

Brave warriors return ten years later.

basically describes the triumphant return on Mulan. The language arts incorporated here

is the most skillful, because the essence of this story was told in 6 short sentences:

Mulan's contribution and accomplishment in the war, and brilliantly sums up her 10

years of soldier' s life.

The opening sentence quoted above,

Mulan goes ten thousand miles on top-secret mission,
& She crosses massive mountains like flying.


described Mulan's continuous victory.

The following sentence:

Gusts of cold air from the north carry the sound of time-telling gong.
The reflection of armors in the snow sends out chills,


depicts the battles taking place in the cold, snowy front. And Mulan' s 10 years of military

life is sensed in the next sentences.

Casualties are high even among Generals,
Brave warriors return ten years later.

One thing to point out in Chinese literature is: the numbers used in a poem may not

necessarily be the "exact" number targeted. There are many examples that use "12









scrolls", "12 turns", "12 years" only emphasize on the large number. Moreover, the

number "10", 100", "1000", "3", "6", "9", and "12" are some of the abj sections

frequently used in Chinese poems. A good example is:

#)0 AWI~~if R Peach Blossom Lake may be a thousand feet deep,
FR~tE1 MR'@~ but not as deep as my friend's love for me
(by ;ea Li Bai, from ";eA 0 ")

In this poem, the Peach Blossom Lake may not be 1000 feet deep, it' s only said so to

fathom the depth of their friendship.

The forth section of "Mulan Shih" starts with "When Mulan returns from the war,

the Emperor summoned her." And ends with "...to take me home." This section describe

how the Emperor awarded Mulan but the offer was declined since Mulan prefers to return

to her hometown soon. From "(the Emperor) To meet with his officials, to promote

brave warriors & award hundreds and thousands in treasure." We see an exaggerated

description which stresses Mulan's bravery and collective contributions during her

service in the military. And "Mulan has no need for an official title." clearly

communicates Mulan's desire and motivation is not in the reward but is a pure patriotism

and love for her father. Finally, "But, only wish for a swift & healthy camel, to take

me home." depicts the strong emotion Mulan fells after the war ends.

The opening and the closing sentences of the fifth section are marked by

Mulan's parents heard about her homecoming,
and


& None knew Mulan is a girl.









This part paints a joyful picture of a family reunion and so if I may describe this happy
and warm scenario with a melody it'll have an "allegro" tempo. This is a sharp contrast

compared to previous scenarios, such as:

only a lady's sighs.
(in the wilderness) Mulan can't hear her parents calling her name.
and

To take me home.

Also, we can see the above quotes as the progress of a story from departure to reunion.
Furthermore, we see the author reminds readers of the femininity of Mulan in

I fix my hair by the window, & I put on my make-up by the mirror.

This is also a contrast from earlier description of her determination to take her father' s

place in the army, when we read

So, I want to buy a horse and a saddle.
It' s interesting to see how the author starts out this poem painting Mulan as a typical
maiden.

Mulan weaves by the door.
And the author restates Mulan's femininity to end this poem. Last, but not least, this
section is ended by a comic relief which stresses Mulan' s wit in hiding her true identity
as a girl for 12 years while provides a happy ending.

They were all shocked and perplexed.
Traveling together for twelve years,
& None knew Mulan is a girl."

Section six, the shortest section of "Mulan Shih", is Mulan's soliloquy. This is a

clever way to emphasize Mulan's shrewdness. Moreover, the metaphor of a he-hare's feet

being clumsy by nature and a she-hare's blurry vision as a hereditary trait is ingenious.

"The he-hare's feet are clumsy,
The she-hare's eyes are blurry.
& When these two hares run side by side,
Who can tell it's a He or a She?"










List of Symbols and Their Definitions in "Mulan Shih" (7AMM)


Chinese


Pronunciation

Tsiek-tsiek
Ch-chu

Chung-te
Khan

Rong-chi
Kuang-shang
Su-chee

Ching-toal

The-yee
Jong-she
Tien-tze

Ming-tong

Ming-toh
Huo-huo

Hua-huang

Yeh-niang
Hoo-Jee

Hung-tzang
Hsiung-tu-
chiao-pu-shuo,
Tzu-tu-yen-mi-


Definition

Noise of a loom
Shuttle of a loom
Draft or conscription notice
The Emperor
Top secret mission
Massive mountains
Gusts of cold air, typical of the North
A time-telling gong, (gong-a musical
instrument)
Armor
Brave warrior
The Emperor
The emperor' s Court where the emperor
meets with his offieals
A swift and healthy camel
Noise of sharpening a knife--shrill, shrill
A kind of cosmetic for women, often worn
on the forehead
Father and mother, or parents
Hun people's army
Cosmetics used by women

The he-hare's feet are clumsy
The she-hare's eyes are blurry


AM ~








Ela


Design of the Educational Software Created for this Study- Mulan Tech-Rich
Lesson

This is a tech-rich learning model designed to test the efficiency of multimedia

support in Chinese literature classes. There are six categories in this demonstration model

based on the constructivist's principle of instruction that stimulate the Hyve human senses


(i.e. vision, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling.).


Lggggg ~









The design of this model integrated a selected Chinese narrative poem ("Mulan

Shih") into a multimedia-technology-support-presentation The mission of this audio-

visual material is to entice students' interest in learning an unfamiliar subj ect through the

stimulation of vision, hearing, and touch (i.e. images, sounds, and typing/ mouse-clicking

movements).

The first category is the introduction of the lesson, which includes background

knowledge of "Mulan Shih" in terms of historical and literature reviews. This section

covers the hypertext, the resource page, the hyperlink, and the audio description.

The second category is the lesson plan itself, which describes the rationale, the

content, and the obj ect of "Mulan Shih".

The third category is the text of "Mulan Shih" in English; this section uses color

coding to illustrate the different plots of this poem. Moreover, there is a recording of a

teacher' s rhythmic reading of "Mulan Shih" playing simultaneously with the English text

to help the students learn the poem (the phonetic way). A vocabulary listing is also

included, which explains the phrases, the expressions, and their definitions in both

hypertext and audio presentations.

The fourth category explains the symbols in "Mulan Shih" through several audio-

visual products including the original Chinese text of "Mulan Shih" displayed in a scroll

animation. This animation is user-friendly and it simply allows the learner to move

his/her computer-mouse to browse the text back and forth.

The fifth section consists of follow-up questions, which contains several short

essay questions to test the students' comprehension after they Einish the tech-rich lesson.

The students are asked to answer the questions based on the knowledge they learned from










the tech-rich lesson and to return their answers to the teacher through the internet instead

of the traditional paper-and-pencil-response in the classroom.

Finally, the sixth section records the communications between the teacher and

his/her students.















CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

This chapter is devoted to the description of the design and methodology used to

investigate the effects of varied sequences of two delivery methods (expository and

multimedia), in presenting a Chinese literature lecture. The investigation will use a Split-

plot ANOVA analysis to answer questions about the benefits of the sequence applied.

The purpose of this study is to improve students' literature learning at the high

school level and to provide teachers with a low-cost, ubiquitous, hands-on technology

and an instructional design through an audio-visual classroom.

Description of Setting

Two teaching sequences with the same subject will be taught using multimedia

material and traditional text material. The Treatment group will have the teaching

sequence in the reverse order from the Control group. Each group will take a post-test

after each specific teaching method. The assumption is that higher scores will result from

the group which uses the multimedia teaching method first, because it entices students'

appetite for an unfamiliar subj ect.

Table 3-1. Test Design
Pre-test Order of teaching methods Post-test
Treatment Yes Multimedia-Expository (Text material) Yes
group
Control Yes Expository (Text material)-Multimedia Yes
group

The setting for the study is in a public high school language art class in the state of

Florida (P. K. Yonge developmental research school in Gainesville, Florida). This school









has an "A" grade in the Florida School Indicators Report. The average class size for

grades K to 3rd is 21.81; 4th to 8th is 27.49; and 9th to 12th is 23.69, and the average

class size for language art classes is 24. Moreover, the English teachers' average years of

experience are 3-4 years.

Description of Participants

Participants were selected for the study from a sample chosen by the investigator as

a representative sample of public school students and teachers in Florida. The chosen

school is a developmental research school, and it is an experimental school associated

with the College of Education at University of Florida located in Gainesville, Florida.

This school was chosen for two reasons: first, the students who attend this developmental

research school are demographically representatives of the population in North Central

Florida. In fact, this school ensures a fair distribution of students based on gender, race,

socioeconomic status, and academic ability. Second, a majority of this developmental

research school students started and commenced their education there, and there were

rarely any disruptive school transitions from elementary to middle school and from

middle school to high school that could contribute to error.

The percentage of white students is 60.12 %; Black, 23.99 %; Hispanic, 10.12 %;

Asian, 1.65 %; Native American Indian, .52 %; and Multiracial, 3.57 %. And the pupil:

teacher ratio is 24:1 from grades K to 12th.

Two high school language arts classes were randomly chosen to participate in this

study, and the classes were also randomly assigned to the two experimental groups. The

age of the 11Ith graders in the participating language arts classes ranges from 17 to 18

years and the average size of the language art class is 24.










The participants were taught a Chinese literature poem-"Mulan Shih" by the

English teacher who conducted this experiment in his two language arts classes. There

will be 50 of the 11Ith grade students participating in this study. There is no monetary

compensation for participating in this research study.

Experimental Research Design

Thi s research was designed as a pretest-posttest-treatment- study (Isaac & Mi chael,

1981), and it used a Split-plot ANOVA to provide the quantitative data that could be used

to answer questions about the efficiency of the sequence of the multimedia and

expository methods used. Specifically, this study performed a pre-test before the class,

and conducted two post-tests at the end of each applied method regardless of the

sequence used. A pre-test of the selected topic was given to students before the lesson to

test the knowledge level of the students. Posttest 1 shall tell which method is better after

the lecture is given on a Chinese narrative poem. The posttest 2 shall indicate which

sequence of these two methods work better for the students.

This experiment was designed to help to answer questions about the method effect

of a treatment and the effects of a treatment that varies only in the sequence of

presentation. The study was called Split-plot ANOVA with sequence and tests as

repeated measures to test the two experimental groups. This measurement was selected

because the policy of the state law indicates that the investigator cannot split a class to

test the students, therefore, individual random assignment within groups is not possible,

and the random assignment in this study is only at the class level, so Quasi-experimental

design was used to conduct this measurement. The main effect of this design is to

compare the mean scores on the dependent variables which were collected from three

occasions pretestt, posttest 1, and posttest 2). This way, we expect the results to come









from a more powerful test with a treatment effect. Moreover, if the correlation between

the protests and posttests of the two experimental groups is significant, then we can

conclude that this particular sequence results in ANOVA power advantages. Finally, the

description of our study is specified in the following sections.

Section Intervention Pattern

Two intact high school language arts classes were randomly assigned to the two

experimental groups, and such assignment was done so the students of each class stay in

the same experimental group. The policy of the state law also requires that a responsible

teacher musts monitor his/her students during class time. Table 2 provides the quasi-

experimental design for this study. Treatment group students were given Treatment 1 (the

multimedia material preceded the lecture) while the control group receives Treatment 2

(the lecture preceded the multimedia material). The students for both of the experimental

groups were given a pretest prior to the initial treatments. The treatment group will have

the teaching sequence in reverse order from control group. Each group will take a post-

test after each specific teaching method. The general design of the study followed the

following format.

Table 3-2. Quasi-experimental Design for Each Group
Treatment 1 Or X1 02 X2 03
Group
Treatment 2
Group Or X2 02 X1 03

Pilot Study

A pilot study was conducted to identify the validity and the reliability of the test

items for the 11Ith grade students. The subj ect and questionnaires used in the pilot study

of this research were selected by the investigator from related study materials suitable for

middle school students in Taiwan. In fact, "Mulan Shih" is one of the subjects in the









Chinese literature text book at middle school level in Taiwan. The selected questionnaires

were compiled through different research channels and then translated into English after

being validated by a junior high school Chinese literature instructor who has more than

ten years of experience. The questionnaires were also approved by a high school

language arts teacher before the research was conducted. They include true-and-false and

fill-in-blank questions. These two kinds of questions allow participants to respond

quickly to the selected topic, a Chinese narrative poem--"Mulan Shih".

Participants

Ten 11Ith grade students (6 males and 4 females) (a developmental research school

associated with the College of Education at University of Florida) were selected to

participate in this pilot study.

Procedure

The pilot study test items (See Appendix A) were administered to the ten 11Ith grade

students who had returned their parental consent forms. The students were asked to recall

the knowledge of the Chinese narrative poem-"Mulan Shih" through 20 true-and false

questions and 20 fill-in-the-blank questions. The students were told that the research was

really concerned with the efficiency of the teaching method.

Data Analysis

Holsti (1969) described content analysis as a technique for making inferences by

obj ectively and systematically identifying specified characteristics of messages. In

accordance with the guidelines for this type of analysis, students' responses were checked

independently by two reviewers including the research investigator and a second

independent reviewer. The internal consistency is calculated and used in the analysis.

Two types of test items, True-and-false and Fill-in-the-blank, were also analyzed










respectively. Based on the results of the respective analysis of each part, inappropriate

items were dropped accordingly to increase the reliability to the required standard

(Cronbach's a is no less than 0.7). And then the remaining items were put together to be

analyzed again. At last, the test items were Einalized into a reasonable number with the

highest reliability value generated from the statistical measurement (Cronbach's Alpha).

True-and-false question. The 20 true-and-false items in this analysis were labeled

as Q1-Q20 in part 1 of the test. As a result, the analysis of the value of the Cronbach's a

(reliability) of the part 1 increased (specified in the table below), when certain questions

were dropped.

Some of the original test items were found to have overly long descriptions that

might impact students' abilities to understand the questions. Some of the questions used

advanced vocabulary in description which might be beyond the students' knowledge base

in understanding those questions. These items were dropped based on the statistic

analysis of the items' reliability and the expert' s review in order to get the adequate

validity of the test items.

Basically the value for the Cronbach's a should be no less than 0.7 to ensure the

reliability of these test items.

Fill-in-the-blank question. The 20 fill-in-the-blank questions in this analysis were

labeled as Pl-P20 in part 2 of the test. As a result, the value of the Cronbach' s a 0

(reliability) of part 2 increased (specified in the table below) when certain question were

dropped. Basically the value for the Cronbach's a should be no less than 0.7 to ensure the

reliability of these test items.









Table 3-3. Reliability Value of True and False Question
1Dropped variables Cronbach'soe Nunber of iterns

None (All items *) -.470 20

Q1, Q6, Q12 .349 17

Q16, 18 .600 15

Qil0 .634 14

Q20 .660 13

Q5 .675 12

Q14 .693 11

Q15 .725 10

* "All items" mean the original amount of questions before screening out any one.

Table 3-4. Reliability Value of Fill-in-the-blank Question
Dropped variables Cronbach's o Number of items

P8, P9, P11, Pl7* .703 16

P8 .703 16

P9 .703 16

P11 .703 16

Pl7 .703 16

P2 .732 15

P7 .760 14

Pl4 .794 13

Pl6 .806 12

* In the analysis of Cronbach' s oc, P8, P9, P1 1, Pl7 were automatically removed by a

specific computer program because the statistics analysis showed that they have low

variance and their determinant of the covariance matrix is approximately zero.










Combination of the two parts of test items. Twenty-two items were selected from

the original 40 items including the true-and-false and fill-in-the-blank questions,

according to the reliability of the statistic analyses shown above. There are 10 true-and-

false questions and 12 fill-in-the-blank questions. As a result, the value of the Cronbach' s

a of the combination items increased (specified in the table below) when some

inappropriate items which badly relate to the others were dropped. Basically the adequate

value for the Cronbach' s a should be no less than 0.7 to ensure the reliability of these test

items.

Table 3-5. Reliability Value of the 22 Items of True-and-false and Fill-in-the-blank
Mixed.
Dropped variables Cronbach's a Number of items

None (All items*) .673 22

Q7 .714 21

Pl3 .719 20

* "All items" mean the original amount of question before screening out any.

The Cronbach's a increased to an acceptable value .714 when item Q7 was

dropped. Moreover, when item Pl3 was dropped along with item Q7, the value of

Cronbach's a increased to .719. Although there is no big difference in the value of

Cronbach's a between dropping Q7 only and dropping both Q7 and Pl3; however, the

decision was made based on general preference of having an even number questionnaire.

Therefore, the Einal decision is that the test items were to have 20 items total with 9 of the

true-and-false questions and 11 fill-in-the-blank questions. The reliability of the test items

was adequate according to the value of Cronbach' s a at .719. The selected 20 items were

finally reviewed by a Chinese literature teacher and the investigator to evaluate their









content validity as well as the level of difficulty of the items. The reviewers rated the

tests as valid as well as having the appropriate difficulty.

Instruments

The pretest and the two posttests used in this study were done as paper-and-pencil-

tests developed by the researcher. The same instrument is used for the pretest and the

posttests to ensure the equivalence for each group. Each test instrument consisted of the

same paper and pencil test items about the concept of the Chinese narrative poem--

"Mulan Shih". Tests were given to examine the high school students' knowledge about

the concept of a story plot based on a Chinese narrative poem. Specifically, the test

measures the efficiency of multimedia material in the varied sequence. Furthermore, the

teacher and the students in high school level language arts classes used multimedia

material and expository teaching methods to study the assigned literature topic.

Illustrations were used in the historical-content questions to present a complete

hi story-and-literature concept. Participants were asked to answer each question based on

their knowledge, and the test questions were reviewed by two Chinese literature teachers

and one English teacher who teach middle-school in Taiwan.

Description of the Test Items

The original 40 test items were selected and reviewed by two Chinese literature

teachers and one English teacher who have, individually, more than 10-years of teaching

experience in Taiwan. After the pilot study, one Chinese literature teacher and

investigator reviewed the selected items according to the statistical analysis of item

reliability in order to ensure the item validity. There are two sections in the paper-and-

pencil-test, and the test items were true-and-false and fill-in-blank questions, which

requires students to respond based on a conceptual understanding and instant reaction. To










answer the questions, students need to recall and apply their knowledge based on general

understanding of the concept.

Advantages and limitations of the selected test formats. True-and-false and fill-

in-the-blank questions, like every assessment technique, have their advantages and

limitations. The advantages are as following:

* A broader content can be sampled because it takes little time to answer and thus
increase the validity.

* Scores won't be influenced by the scorer' s impression of students' writing ability.

* The results can yield reliable scores since there is no difference in the scoring
sy stem.

* True-and-false and fill-in-the-blank questions are timesaving in grading.

On the other hand, the limitations of true-and-false and fill-in-the-blank questions are as
follows:

* True-and-false and fill-in-the-blank questions cannot test complex learning
concepts which could only be measurable by an essay question.

* The true-and-false questions sometimes confuse the students.

* The true-and-false questions could be answered correctly by guessing.

* The questions cannot be constructed relatively quickly.

The questions in this study were derived from similar tests found in the standard

middle school instructors' handbook in Taiwan. In addition, true-and-false questions are

used to test the students' concept of the story plot in "Mulan Shih" while the fill-in-the-

blank questions are used to test the students' vocabulary which they learned from "Mulan

Shih".

The-Story-of-Mulan-Shih-test was given as a pretest prior to the lecture to all

participants. The researcher took adequate steps to insure the integrity of the test

administration. Directions were read aloud by the classroom teacher to ask the










participants to complete the pretest on their own without getting help from outside

resources. Participants were advised orally that the evaluation is part of a research

program, and it is not an individual assessment for any other study. The students were

given 10 minutes to complete the pretest, as well as the two posttests followed each

appropriate treatment (i.e. either the multimedia or the lecture). The test items are

provided in Appendix (A).

Variables

The following dependent variables were used in the study:

Pretest score-the story of "Mulan Shih". This variable is defined by the students'

score (0-20) on the pencil-and-paper-instrument, which was designed to determine the

participants' general knowledge of the story plot in "Mulan Shih" before they receive the

subj ect lecture.

Posttest score-the story of "Mulan Shih". This variable is defined by the

students' score (0-20) on the pencil-and-paper-instrument, which was designed to

determine the participants' general knowledge of the story plot in "Mulan Shih". There

are two posttests: Posttest I was conducted after the first teaching method was applied;

Posttest 2 was conducted after the teacher applied the second teaching method.

The following independent variables were used in the study:

Method Treatment. This variable refers to the first teaching method in each

sequence treatment, either expository or multimedia. Sequence 1 (multimedia--

expository) first applies multimedia method in teaching the selected topic-"Mulan Shih".

Sequence 2 (expository-- multimedia) first applies the expository method in teaching on

the same subject.









The sequence of the instructional activity. This variable is consisted of two

teaching methods: the expository and multimedia. Sequence 1 (multimedia--

expository) applies multimedia presentation before using the expository approach in

teaching the selected topic-"Mulan Shih". Sequence 2 (expository-- multimedia) applies

the expository approach before using multimedia presentation on the same subj ect.

Research Hypothesis

Our hypotheses assumed that the difference in instructional sequence has maj or

impact on the efficacy of the lecture concerning the selected Chinese narrative poem--

"Mulan Shih". And the following two hypotheses are formulated and assessed by a Split-

Plot ANOVA statistical procedures at the 0.05 level of significance (ot).

Hypothesis. There is significant difference in sequence effect over time between

the two treatments (multimedia and expository) for students to learn the selected narrative

poem-"Mulan Shih".

Null hypothesis. There is no significant difference in sequence effect over time in

the application of the two treatments (multimedia and expository) in students' ability of

learning.

The following are the two instruction sequences involved in this study:

Sequence 1. Apply multimedia before expository approach. (multimedia--

expository)

Sequence 2. Apply expository approach before multimedia. (expository--

multimedia)

Experimental Procedures

Pretest administration. A pretest of the story of "Mulan Shih" was given to all

participants prior to the subj ect lecture. Directions were read aloud by the teacher to ask










the participants to complete the pretest (as well as the two posttests) without extra help

from outside sources. Participants were also advised orally that the evaluation for the

pretest (as well as the two posttests) is for a research program, and it is not an individual

assessment that would be used for any other studies. Moreover, all tests were also coded

for anonymity.

Treatment 1. Defined as a series of teaching methods using multimedia

presentation to introduce an ancient Chinese narrative poem ("Mulan Shih") followed by

the expository method on the same subject. (Sequence 1: multimedia-- expository)

Treatment 2. Defined as a series of teaching methods using the expository

approach for the same topic used in Treatment 1 followed by the multimedia

presentation. (Sequence 2: expository-- multimedia)

Posttest 1. This was administered immediately to both experimenting groups after

the application of the first teaching method of each treatment to evaluate the efficiency of

the first teaching method.

Posttest 2. This was administered immediately to both experimenting groups after

the application of the second teaching method of each treatment to evaluate the efficiency

of the specified sequence.

Data Analysis

Analysis of data was completed in the following manner. A Split-plot ANOVA was

used to compare the test item means on the dependent variable since there is no random

assignment to groups. Because the treatments were conducted in intact classes, a Split-

plot ANOVA was used to analyze the data in students' ability level.

Split-plot ANOVA was selected for use since it estimates the treatment effect. This

results in a more powerful test of the treatment effect. In face, any correlation (between a






67


pretest and a posttest or between two posttests) that is significant will result in a Split-plot

ANOVA power advantage.















CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

This experiment was designed to investigate the effectiveness of alternating

sequences of two teaching methods (expository and multimedia) in terms of the students'

improvement in their test scores. The research question described in chapter 3

concentrated on whether the alternating instructional sequences of a multimedia and an

expository method can effectively make content knowledge of literature more learner-

friendly.

This chapter presents the descriptive statistics of the participants, and the results of

the Split-plot ANOVA analysis, and concludes with a summary of maj or findings.

Descriptive Statistics of the Sample

Participants for this study were selected from a sample chosen by the investigator

as a representative sample of public school students in North Florida. All 50 participants

in this study came from two 11Ith grade language arts classes at P.K. Yonge

developmental research school, Gainesville, Florida. The pupil/teacher ratio for each

class is 24 students per teacher.

Table 4-1. Demographic Data for the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School
white Black Hispanic Asian India Multi- Pupil/teac
racial her ratio
Grade 11Ith
60.12% 23.99 % 10.12% 1.65 % .52 % 3.57 % 24










Group Formation

The researcher randomly assigned two intact language arts classes to two

experimental groups (one Treatment group and one Control group). However, the

students were not randomly assigned for either the Treatment group or the Control group.

Treatment

All protests and posttests in this study were paper and pencil tests (see Appendix

A). A high school language arts teacher used a multimedia and an expository teaching

method alternately in two sequences to test their efficiency. The selected topic of

instruction was a Chinese narrative poem, "Mulan Shih". The Treatment group started

with a pretest followed by a lesson taught through a multimedia presentation. Then the

students were administered posttest 1. A week later, the students were taught the same

topic by the same teacher through the expository method, and they were administered

posttest 2. The Control group followed the same pattern but reversed the sequence of the

two teaching methods.

Hypothesis Testing

Analysis of a Split-plot ANOVA was used to compare the mean scores on the

dependent variables (the pretest and the two posttests). The Split-plot ANOVA extends

the ANOVA measurement by including information on some predictor, often a pretest

measure. The study used Quasi-experimental design for the experimental groups since

that random assignment is not possible. A Split-plot ANOVA estimates the difference

between the treatments through tests. This results in a more powerful test of the treatment

effect. The power advantages of a Split-plot ANOVA accrue to the extent that the pretest

to posttest 1 and posttest 1 to posttest 2 are related.










A Split-plot ANOVA model analysis was done for three test scores pretestt,

posttest 1, posttest 2). Descriptive statistics for test results are presented in the following

tables.

Mauchly's test showed the value of Sphericity to be 0.022 (see Table 4-2), which

violates the assumption of Sphericity. Therefore, Sphericity was no longer assumed. The

Huynh-Feldt method was used instead to adjust the degree of freedom (df). Moreover, the

value of df was changed to 1.837 after the adjustment so that the split-plot ANOVA test

results could be used. (see Table 4-3)

Table 4-2. Mauchly's Test of Sphericity
Within Approx.
Subjects Effect Macl'W Chi-Square d i
Test .850 7.631 2 .022

Table 4-3. Tests of Within-Subj ect Effects (Huynh-Feldt)
Source DF Type III SS Mean Square F Value Sig. (p-value)
Test 1.837 1656.373 901.831 198.039 .000
Test* 1.837 140.160 76.312 16.758 .000
sequence
Significant at the 0.05 level

The research hypothesis was used to test the efficacy of the sequence treatment on

the students' comprehension of "Mulan Shih".

Hypothesis. Statistical analysis reported that there is significant difference in the

students' test scores in sequence effect over time (as mentioned in chapter 3) between the

Treatments (multimedia and expository) in learning the selected narrative poem-"Mulan

Shih". The Treatment group was first administrated with the multimedia presentation and

then the expository approach, while the Control group was treated in the reverse order.

After the treatment, each group was tested (posttest 1& posttest 2). The pretest scores

were used as one of the dependent variables which reflected the students' knowledge










level before they receive a subj ect lecture. The test scores were assessed by an analysis of

interaction statistical procedure at the 0.05 level of significance (alpha). The p-value of

this test is 0.000 (p< 0.05). The study result indicates that there is an interaction between

the test and sequence. That is, the sequence effect over time is significant since the

students' mean scores changed over the course of 3 consecutive tests in a positive

tendency. The sequence effect over time is presented in table 4-3, 4-4 and figure 4-1.

Table 4-4. Descriptive Statistics of the Means and Standard Deviation for Pretest and
Posttest Scores over Time
Sequence Pretest (01) Posttest1 (02) Posttest2 (03)
N M SD N M SD N M SD
Treatment 1 25 5.68 1.887 25 12.96 2.59 25 15.64 1.68
Control 2 25 8.6 2.483 25 11.56 3.01 25 14.72 1.969
Significant at the 0.05 level


Estimated Marginal Means of MEASURE_1

sequence
3 1-2


test


Figure 4-1. Sequence effect over time. test 1: pretest. test 2: posttest 1. test 3: posttest 2.
Sequence 1: Treatment group. Sequence 2: Control group.

However, the students' mean score (15.64) of posttest 2 in sequence 1

(multimedia-- expository) is not significantly different from that (14.72) of posttest 2 in










sequence 2 (expository-- multimedia). In other words, the sequence difference (i.e. the

Einal value of each graph in the above diagram) of the two methods (Multimedia and

expository) does not have a significant effect on students' learning (sequence 1= 15.64,

sequence 2= 14.72).

The result of the statistical report (see Eigure 4-2) did show that there was

significant difference between the two testing teaching methods (multimedia and

expository). The Treatment group was treated with a multimedia experiment, while the

Control group was treated with an expository experiment. The test scores were then

assessed by an analysis of comparing mean scores difference of each treatment group for

its improvement from pretest to posttestl. Also, to compare the efficiency of each group

for the same time frame, the table in figure 4-2 showed the Treatment group improved

from the average score of 5.68 to 12.96 while the Control group only progressed from 8.6

to 1 1.56. The improvement of the students' scores from pretest to posttest 1 in Treatment

group is significant different from that of the Control group. That means the different

teaching methods do make significant difference in the students' comprehension. In

addition, the graphs in figure 4-2, it appears that sequence 1 (multimedia-- expository) is

partially more efficient than sequence 2 (expository-- multimedia). In conclusion,

although sequence I was hypothesized to be more efficient than sequence 2, the statistical

analysis showed that the efficiency of sequence 1 did not make a significant difference in

the final score.











18
16
14 ;
12




2---



1 2 3
-* 15.68 12.96 15.64
--,---2 8.6 1 1.56 14.72
test

Figure 4-2. Mean scores change through tests in two sequences.

In examining the interaction between test and sequence, the significant value in

table 4-3 indicated that the sequence effect over time is significant since the p-value is

less than 0.05.

All in all, the statistical analysis in the Split-plot ANOVA model showed that

sequence difference was not proven to have a significant effect in the final scores

(posttest 2), but the sequence effect over time was proven to be significant. Therefore,

sequence is a relatively unimportant factor in explaining the variations between the two

groups' final scores, but it is still important in explaining the improvement of the

students' scores through the experiment since both the graphs in figure 4-2 slope upward.

Table 4-5 demonstrates the comparison of the two experimental groups in their test

scores, from pretest to posttest 2. Sequence 1 (multimedia-- expository) is shown to be

more effective than sequence 2 (expository-- multimedia).









Table 4-5. Mean Scores Differences Between Tests in Two Groups
Group Mean Score Mean Score difference
01 02 03 02-01 03-01
Treatment group 5.68 12.96 15.64 7.28 9.96
Control group 8.6 11.56 14.72 2.96 6.12
01: pretest, 02: posttest 1, OS: posttest 2

Both method and sequence have a positive effect on students' scores. That is, the

effect of sequence of two methods tested over tests is significant in enhancing the

efficiency of instruction in the specified Chinese literature topic.

Summary

This study investigated the sequence effect of a multimedia presentation verses an

expository teaching method involving a Chinese narrative poem ("Mulan Shih") at the

high school level. The statistical analysis showed that there is significant difference in the

students' test scores in the sequence over time between the two experimental groups.

In addition, different teaching methods do make a significant difference in the

effect of the students' comprehension of selected topic. The statistical report indicated

that the multimedia presentation was more efficient in conveying a selected subj ect.

The comparison of the improvement of the two experimental groups in their test

scores (from pretest to posttest 2) showed that sequence 1 (multimedia-- expository) is

more effective than sequence 2 (expository-- multimedia).















CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

This study investigated how the presentation sequence of two different instructional

methods (multimedia and expository) impacted high school students' ability to learn the

Chinese narrative poem "Mulan Shih." Empirical tests demonstrated that students' scores

increased in sequence over time. The statistical report indicates that the improvement of

the students' scores (from pretest to posttest 2) for the Treatment group (i.e. sequence 1:

multimedia- expository) was significantly different than that of the Control group (i.e.

sequence 2: expository-- multimedia). The test results also show that the multimedia

method is more efficient than the expository method.

Since the study results indicated that multimedia was effective in enhancing

students' learning ability in a selected literature topic, multimedia technology was

evidenced to become an important tool in helping improve Chinese literature instruction.

In this study, a multimedia product, "Mulan-tech-rich lesson" was used as the multimedia

presentation. Based upon attempts to improve learner-friendliness, the researcher created

the Mulan multimedia product, which includes moveable parts to animate illustrations

and buttons that deliver songs and sound effects. Thus, the content in "Mulan-tech-rich

lesson" is interactive and fully animated. The story of "Mulan Shih" was presented in

terms of a storybook in this multimedia product. In other words, the electronic storybook

played an important role in this multimedia product of the selected literature topic. Before

the investigator' s "Mulan-tech-rich lesson" was made, Mulan' s story had been included

in children' s storybooks of various types of multimedia technology (Mulan animated










storybook, 1998). Meanwhile, with an increased emphasis on learning interest and human

learning, storybooks have become a natural and powerful tool in instruction (Jonassen &

Hernandez, 2002). A research proj ect concerned with the application of various

electronic storybooks in language and literature instruction also confirmed the

effectiveness of electronic storybooks in literature instruction (Chen, Ferdig & Wood,

2003).

Instructional Implications of This Study

In this study, the alternative sequences of two delivery methods (multimedia and

expository) were applied in the two experimental groups. The instructional design of this

study was composed of a traditional teaching method accompanied by a computer-based

multimedia presentation to demonstrate a selected literature topic. Although the result of

this study showed a positive effect in the instructional sequence, some changes and

advanced improvements in the design of the instructional structure might lead to a better

effect in Chinese literature instruction in the future.

This study showed that multimedia was a powerful tool for enhancing the students'

learning ability. Accordingly, more printed material in traditional lectures could be

incorporated into the multimedia resources for students to browse instead of being taught

by the teacher in limited class time. These technology-based resources may include

background information and vocabulary or the symbols and expressions of a selected

literature topic for students to preview before the class. Consequently, students would

receive the outline of the concept of what they are going to learn in the selected literature

topic. The benefits of these multimedia resources are that the students receive the

peripheral information in advance so that the teacher can save time in introducing the

background information in class. In other words, students do not passively accept









knowledge from their teacher as part of the lesson. Instead, they are responsible for

learning the literature material before the class through multimedia resources.

Second, the electronic storybook designed for a specific literature topic could be

presented through computers in the classroom. More specified categories related to the

selected literature topic would be included in the electronic storybook. In the second

stage, the teacher in the classroom assists his/her students in learning the subj ect with the

multimedia product.

Finally, instead of lecturing the subject content which has been posted online to

his/her students, the teacher reviews and summarizes the content of the subject for his/her

students in an interactive way to help them remember the important elements of the

subject content.

This would results in teachers having fewer lectures in their class, allowing them

the time to assist their students through the learning process. That is, literature teachers

should gradually change their teaching approach and their roles in the setting of a

traditional literature class. To the end, multimedia technology is an important tool in

providing different teaching methods for literature instruction.

The Implication for Future Study

This study was done without randomly assigning subj ect to groups. The lack of

random assignment may have contributed to the results obtained. As a result, the

researcher suggests the application of individual random assignment in the future

replication of the study.

This study also showed that multimedia material did effectively improve students'

learning and entices their interest in the selected Chinese literature topic. The result of









this study also implied that the electronic storybooks have potential in improving the

Chinese literature instruction.

However, researchers should be concerned about how to make electronic

storybooks meet the needs of effective literature instruction. In other words, how

electronic storybooks could work for the improvement of literature instruction becomes

an important issue to be considered. That means that researchers need to explore ways

that electronic storybooks have been applied in literature or language instruction

successfully, and test whether or not similar models of electronic storybooks work for the

specified literature topic. That is, the evaluation and assessment of electronic storybooks

are the prerequisite for preparing effective multimedia material in literature instruction.

Additionally, the study results indicated that instructional sequence has significant

importance in affecting students' scores in learning a selected literature topic. The study

results also implied that instructional sequence affected students' learning interest. When

the multimedia presentation was presented prior to the expository method in a sequence,

students tended to better understand the selected topic. Based on the statistical results, the

expository method was proved to be less effective than the multimedia method in the first

stage in the sequence. That is, the expository method may not be as effective as the

multimedia presentation in the beginning of the instruction; however, it was still effective

when it was applied after a multimedia presentation in an instructional sequence. The

point is, if the expository method was arranged well in the sequence, it helped the

multimedia method in the whole instructional process and finally resulted in an

improvement of students' learning. In other words, the expository method may not be the

best choice at the beginning of a literature instruction, but it was a stable and acceptable










way to support other teaching methods. Accordingly, researchers should explore the

effectiveness of an expository method, which is applied in the literature cases. In

addition, the renovation of the expository method is also significant in improving the

instructional effectiveness. Likewise, research related to the effective instructional

sequence including the expository method should be explored in view of the integration

of effective instructional strategies. In future studies, the researcher should consider the

issue of arranging proper methods in different time frames in order to get the effective

instructional sequence (Jalongo, M., Dragich, D., Conrad, N. & Zhang, A., 2002).

This study demonstrated that Chinese literature instruction could be improved

through the integration of human learning, electronic storybooks and literature elements

in an effective instructional sequence. Future studies may target the possibility of

designing Chinese literature instruction in terms of integrating literature elements and

electronic storybooks. At the same time, researchers need to analyze interactions among

technology application, literature elements, and storybook literacy in the instructional

sequence. This study also indicates that additional research regarding the effectiveness of

sequence and the relationship between integrating literature elements and electronic

storybook should be performed.

Another issue to be explored is how individuals will interact with the computer

presentation with the same ease as the traditional classroom instruction. In other words,

how the interface design of the computer simulation of teaching fits these human sense

operations of the learners so to reduce their apprehension in learning through computer

presentation.















APPENDIX
THE TEST ITEMS OF THE STORY OF MULAN SHIH

I. True and false: write your answer to each question in the blank provided.


1. Mulan has an older brother.

2. The she-hare's eyes are sharp.

3. Go to the East, Mulan buys a good horse.

4. Mulan fixed her hair by the door.

5. Mulan weaves by the window.

6. Mulan's comrades were not shocked to find out her true gender.

7. At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents.

8. Mulan can hear her parents calling her in the wilderness.

9. Mulan can't concentrate on weaving because she's in love with a man.

10. Mulan Shih is a folksong written in North Dynasty.

II. Fill in the Blanks: write the correct answer in the space provided.


* Mulan answered the draft in 1 's place.

* Mulan Shih later became a narrative poem, but it still retains the simplicity nature of a


* In the ancient China, the Emperor meets his officials at the 3

* Go to the East, Mulan buys a 4

* In the ancient wild West of China and among other Northern tribes, the people
address their King as 5

* When Mulan weaves one hears 6 instead of the shuttle
of a loom.

* After Mulan left home, she travels through the 7 Mountain.











* Casualties are 8 even among Generals.

* Mulan's parents meet her at the 9

* Mulan's military life lasted 10 years.


when she returns.















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Full Text

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ENHANCEMENT OF PRESENTATION OF CHINESE NARRATIVE POEMS USING A MULTIMEDIA MODEL FOR MULAN SHIH By MINCHU CHEN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by Minchu Chen

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This dissertation is dedicate d in loving memory of my father, Po-Liang Chen, and my husband, Chung-Hsing Hsu

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Incessant thanks and praises go to God for all His graces to me throughout the five-year study in the doctoral program. Also, I would like to thank many people who played an integral role in helping me complete my doctoral program and the completion of this dissertation. First of all, I would like to thank my family for their endless, unwavering mental and financial supports and for their encouragement. Specifically, I am grateful to my husband, Chung-Hsing Hsu, for his loving support, patience, tolerance and unconditional love for me during the difficult time throughout my study. Moreover, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to my dear sister, Susan Hsieh, whose guidance of English writing is constant, unique, and superior. A million thanks go to Susan, and to her husband, ShiYih Hung, for their generosity in sharing their precious family time with me to navigate me through the endless editing of my dissertation and to ease my homesick heart. Secondly, I would like to acknowledge the support and scholarly guidance from my doctoral advisory committee: Dr. Jeff Hurt, Dr. Mary Kantowski, Dr. David Miller, Dr. Sebastian Foti. A special thank you goes to Dr. Hurt, my advisor; it has been my pleasure to work with and learn from him. Also, Dr. Kantowski has been a gentle mentor throughout my graduate study; her compassion as well as her guidance for graduate students has been an inspiration to me. I am grateful to Dr. Foti for his candid and constructive comments and for his consideration and appreciation for international iv

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students. In addition, I am blessed to have Dr. Miller as an amazing instructor of research statistics. Finally, I would like to mention Dr. Gail Ring and Mr. Noahjohn Dittmar for their indispensable technical support in this study. I am grateful to show my heartfelt thank you to Mr. Dittmar for his permission to conduct this research study in his two English classes at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville, Florida. Most of all, I would like to thank Naglaa Ali, my best classmate and friend throughout my doctoral study, for her unwavering love and support during my sickness and study. If this program was a success, they deserve all of the credit! v

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES...........................................................................................................viii LIST OF FIGURES...........................................................................................................ix ABSTRACT.........................................................................................................................x CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem..............................................................................................1 Purpose.........................................................................................................................4 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................4 Definition of Selected Terms........................................................................................5 The Hypothesis of the Research...................................................................................6 Limitations....................................................................................................................7 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................8 Sequence as An Instructional Variable.........................................................................8 Visually-Enhanced Instructional Environment.............................................................9 The Impact of Multimedia on Academic Instructions................................................11 Review of Similar Research.......................................................................................14 Constructivism in the Design of Instruction...............................................................20 Introduction of Related Materials...............................................................................24 The Narratives, Short Stories, Chinese Literature and Multimedia....................24 Symbols () and Expressions () in Chinese Poems....................28 Chinese Students Learning Experiences in Literature..............................................30 The Learning Pattern of Chinese Students Concerning Moral Poems................30 Difference between the Learning of a Moral Poem and a Narrative Poem among Chinese Students..................................................................................35 Selected Examples......................................................................................................36 Two Types of Chinese Literature........................................................................36 Progress of Chinese Literature............................................................................37 History of Chinese Literature..............................................................................37 vi

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The Fundamental Concept for Chinese Phrases, Symbols and Expression........38 Mulan Shih in Chinese and English Version...................................................40 General Background Information for Mulan Shih...........................................42 Language Arts of Mulan Shih..........................................................................44 List of Symbols and Their Definitions in Mulan Shih ().......................51 Design of the Educational Software Created for this Study Mulan Tech-Rich Lesson....................................................................................................................51 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................54 Description of Setting.................................................................................................54 Description of Participants.........................................................................................55 Experimental Research Design...................................................................................56 Section Intervention Pattern.......................................................................................57 Pilot Study..................................................................................................................57 Participants..........................................................................................................58 Procedure.............................................................................................................58 Data Analysis.......................................................................................................58 Instruments.................................................................................................................62 Description of the Test Items......................................................................................62 Variables.....................................................................................................................64 Research Hypothesis...................................................................................................65 Experimental Procedures............................................................................................65 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................66 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................68 Descriptive Statistics of the Sample...........................................................................68 Group Formation........................................................................................................69 Treatment....................................................................................................................69 Hypothesis Testing.....................................................................................................69 Summary.....................................................................................................................74 5 DISCUSSION.............................................................................................................75 Instructional Implications of This Study....................................................................76 The Implication for Future Study...............................................................................77 APPENDIX THE TEST ITEMS OF THE STORY OF MULAN SHIH.......................80 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................82 References in English.................................................................................................82 References in Chinese.................................................................................................88 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................90 vii

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Test Design...............................................................................................................54 3-2 Quasi-experimental Design for Each Group............................................................57 3-3 Reliability Value of True and False Question..........................................................60 3-4 Reliability Value of Fill-in-the-blank Question......................................................60 3-5 Reliability Value of the 22 Items of True-and-false and Fill-in-the-blank Mixed...61 4-1 Demographic Data for the P. K. Yonge Developmental Research School..............68 4-2 Mauchlys Test of Sphericity...................................................................................70 4-3 Tests of Within-Subject Effects (Huynh-Feldt).......................................................70 4-4 Descriptive Statistics of the Means and Standard Deviation for Pretest and Posttest Scores Over Time.......................................................................................71 4-5 Mean Scores Differences Between Tests in Two Groups........................................74 viii

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Chinese painting in poem 1......................................................................................32 2-2 Chinese painting in poem 2......................................................................................33 2-3 Chinese literature timeline.......................................................................................37 4-1 Sequence effect over time........................................................................................71 4-2 Mean scores change through tests in two sequences................................................73 ix

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ENHANCEMENT OF PRESENTATION OF CHINESE NARRATIVE POEMSUSING A MULTIMEDIA MODEL FOR MULAN SHIH By Minchu Chen May 2004 Chair: Jeff Hurt Major Department: Teaching and Learning The general consensus of educators of Chinese narrative poetry is that students lack interest in learning classic poetry. Students seem unappreciative of the importance of morals found in the poetry and seem unable to relate these morals to their personal life experiences. One of the reasons students lack the motivation to learn Chinese narrative poetry may be due to the most commonly applied method for teaching poetry, the expository approach. Possibly as a result of using this method of instruction, students lose their concern for the importance of the poetic morals behind the narrative poems. The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of a varied sequence of two delivery methodsexpository and multimediaapplied in the teaching of Chinese narrative poetry. Its intent is to generate a more effective instructional framework for the teaching of Chinese narrative poems. The studys intent is not to decide which method (expository and multimedia) is better in teaching Chinese narrative poems. x

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This research concentrates mainly on testing the effects of teaching Chinese narrative poems through different sequence of the two models in hopes of generating more interest in Chinese narrative poems teaching and learning. In this study, a specified narrative poem, Mulan Shih, will be taught with a selected multimedia product as well as traditional printed material. This study provides a theoretical framework for teaching a Chinese literature curriculum. This type of study introduces a new approach to Chinese literature teaching. It is significant in Chinese education in that this study will be extending the perspective of Chinese literature instructions. The findings add support to the hypothesis that Chinese literature teaching can be supported by multimedia technology which encourages interactions between instructors and students. Alternately using multimedia and expository provides an effective approach for teaching Chinese narrative poems. xi

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Statement of the Problem Developments in multimedia technologies are reforming modern literature education. With modern technology, it is possible to deliver lectures, make assignments and provide information to anyone who has a modem and a computer (Rose, 1996). A national report on technological literacy states that computer skills and the ability to use computers and other technology to improve learning, productivity, and performance has become as fundamental to a persons ability to navigate through society using traditional skills like reading, writing, and arithmetic (U.S. Dept. of Ed, 1996). From the instructional perspective, multimedia technologies can positively impact on-demand services, assessment techniques, and instructional strategies. Chinese narrative poetry is one area of instruction that could benefit from the above-stated potential impacts of technology. The study of Chinese narrative poetry is a very important component of Chinese literature; narrative poems, unlike other poetic forms, contain the characteristics of poems, literary essence, historical events, Chinese culture and legends. Moreover, the poetic morals embedded in the poems display a timeless value (Liu, 1976). Some of the narrative poems have become part of the text book for middle school and college in Taiwan. For instance, Mulan Shih () from the Yueh-Fu () in North Dynasty and Peacocks heading Southeast () 1

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2 from Yueh-Fu in South Dynasty, both became popular and well-known throughout generations. The general consensus of educators of Chinese narrative poetry is that students lack interest in learning classic poetry. Students seem unappreciative of the importance of morals found in the poetry and seem unable to relate these morals to their personal life experiences (Liao & Tsang, 1995). One of the reasons students lack the motivation to learn Chinese narrative poetry may be due to the most commonly applied method for teaching poetry, the expository approach. Possibly as a result of using this method of instruction, students lose their concern for the importance of the poetic morals behind the narrative poems. Research shows that students tend to remember characters and phrases as distinct pictures, and depict the process of content in order to get the exposition of a poem (Chuang, 1975). Nowadays academic institutions are encouraging the use of pictures for literature and language instruction (Multimedia Language Center 2004). The key to successful presentation of a certain literary topic may lie in the instructors approach to instruction. Passively hoping that a student will discover appropriate learning methods without any guidance is no way to ensure successful learning and development. Instead, developing and constructing the applications of traditional text and multimedia material should be considered. Appropriate technologies can be used to enable teachers to provide students with choices as to when, where, and how they access their knowledge in learning Chinese narrative poems. These choices allow students to apply techniques that help organize and advance the learning event (Multimedia Language Center 2004). Therefore,

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3 teaching Chinese literature can be supported by multimedia technology which encourages interactions between instructors and students (Liao & Tsang, 1995). Instructors attempt to make a lesson appealing to students by using clear and well-constructed interaction so students can fully absorb and enjoy the topic. Many of the printed or hypertext materials concerning Chinese narrative poetry specify the narrative poem in a traditional way. Graphics from hyper media on the Internet is sometimes used when conducting a teaching activity in Chinese narrative poetry (Classical Chinese Poetry, 2004). Alternately using multimedia and expository may provide a new approach for teaching Chinese narrative poems. This does not imply that a multimedia approach is better than expository in teaching Chinese narrative poems, but it suggests that multimedia can provide a strong support through increasing the students interest. Constructivists state that logical analysis of actions and objects leads to the growth of knowledge and ones individual experiences and helps to generate new knowledge (Brooks & Brooks, 1993; Hargis, 2001). A solid theoretical foundation offers instructors a good foundation from which to build a series of learning formats in response to different learning styles. In short, constructivism encourages a wide range of strategies through the use of multimedia production, which offers increased human interactions during instruction to encourage successful learning. Moreover, innovative construct provides direction to incorporate appropriate technologies that lead to new learning environments for students. That is, in constructivism, instructional contents are designed based on the natural development of humans senses of vision, hearing, touching, taste, and smell to relate to their learning experience in life (Fabricius, 1983; Hargis, 2001).

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4 There are numerous ways that a teacher can design his/her lectures, and multimedia is becoming a popular option. However, this study will not discuss the validity of multimedia supports. Instead, the goal of this research concentrates on the efficiency of combining both expository and multimedia methods in a classroom instruction, and the influence of the sequence of the methods involved. Purpose The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of a varied sequence of two delivery methods: expository and multimedia. The intent of this study is to generate a more effective instructional framework for the teaching of Chinese narrative poems, not to decide which method (expository and multimedia) is better in teaching Chinese narrative poems. Although similar topics have been explored by other researchers (Curriculum Development Committee, 1984, 1990), this research concentrates mainly on testing the effects of teaching Chinese narrative poems through different sequence of the two models in hopes of generating more interest in Chinese narrative poems teaching and learning. In this study, a specified narrative poem, Mulan Shih, will be taught with a selected multimedia product as well as traditional printed material. Significance of the Study This study provides a theoretical framework for teaching a Chinese literature curriculum. This type of study introduces a new approach to Chinese literature teaching. It is significant in Chinese education in that this study will be extending the perspective of Chinese literature instructions. The impact of this study for teaching Chinese literature could be the following:

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5 1. The instructor will make decisions concerning the sequence of the teaching methods used in the class, which might engage students' interest in learning literature. 2. The instructor may develop multimedia materials and make decisions concerning how to apply them to the class. 3. The instructor reorganizes the literature materials in order to integrate them into the renewed teaching sequence. For instance, the instructor can determine whether a student has grasped the knowledge or not so as to interpret the complexity of a narrative poem. The significance of this study is to offer a conceptual framework for instructors regarding what they should prepare in order to utilize an innovative approach to literature instruction and to assist them in deciding what students should know and do in terms of projects, course requirements, and documentation of class notes. Definition of Selected Terms For the purpose of this study, the following terms are defined: Expository approach. A teaching method that uses a lecture or an oral explanation to illustrate the contents of a given class. Narrative. A story in a Chinese narrative poem, which may include a historical event or a legend. Storyboard. A graphic, sequential depiction of a narrative. Story. A traditional way of storing and describing memories and experiential knowledge. Humans give meaning to their experience of temporality and personal actions. It is humans innate ability and predisposition to organize and represent the experiences of their lives. Symbol. The representation of one thing for another; in Chinese poems it usually appears in a two-word group.

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6 Symbolism. The art of communicating a message using minimum words; that is, through the use of semiotics (word symbols). In ancient times, symbols were used to represent things, especially in art and literature. And the meaning of a certain symbol is passed down from generation to generation. For example, any object with a dragon design represents the emperor himself and should be treated with fear and respect. Expressions. A way to reflect the hidden morals through a pair of five-word-groups, which are well-known and frequently quoted phrases from Chinese poems. Metaphor. Use of a word or a phrase to indicate something different from the literal meaning. Simile. Use of comparison of one thing with another. Chinese phrases. Specific descriptions to the literary situation, and can be formed by nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. Multimedia. Supporting-educational materials such as video, audio, slides, transparencies as well as overhead projector equipment, computer software, and CDs. Electronic storybook. Stories are represented and integrated through technology so that the combination can lead to a more multi-literate approach to instruction. (Chen, Ferdig & Wood, 2003) The Hypothesis of the Research The expository approach to teaching has been applied for many years in Chinese literature classes. However, research suggests that the use of multimedia can augment the teaching of Chinese literature by employing a range of images, animations, video tapes, audio tapes, slides, computer software, and/or CDs (Liao & Tsang, 1995). This study will examine the effectiveness of two different instruction methods that combine expository and multimedia approaches. Specifically, this study examines whether the sequence of

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7 application of expository and multimedia will have a significant effect on students ability to learn a Chinese narrative poem. Sequence 1. Apply multimedia before expository approach. (multimedia expository) Sequence 2. Apply expository approach before multimedia. (expository multimedia) The hypothesis in this study is that the sequence in which the two methods are presented will impact students ability to learn a Chinese narrative poem. Specifically, using a multimedia presentation before employing an expository presentation is more effective in teaching a Chinese narrative poem. That is, sequence 1(multimedia expository) is more effective than sequence 2 (expository multimedia) for students learning. The null hypothesis is that there is no impact in sequence of use of multimedia and expository in students ability of learning. Limitations The limitations of this study are as following: 1. This study utilized fifty students enrolled in an 11th grade English literature class. Thus, the results of the study can be generalized only to students at commensurate levels. 2. The classroom instructor in this study has significant technological knowledge so that he can perform the teaching in multimedia method without any problem. However, we can not assume that every literature teacher has the same skills in applying multimedia method in the class. 3. Only one literature topic (Mulan Shih, a Chinese narrative poem) is tested in this study to examine the effect of the proposed sequences. Different results might be observed if different topics were involved.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Sequence as An Instructional Variable In modern education, sequencing of teaching methods has been regarded as an important instructional variable (Tennyson & Tennyson, 1977). An appropriate sequence will improve the quality of learning significantly. For example, expository teaching combined with lesson-related activities has been proved to be very effective (Yaden, Smolkin & Conlon, 1989). In fact, constructive learning theory indicates that sequencing can lead to the growth of students knowledge (Cheek, 1992). The effects of the sequence used in an instructional activity have been addressed in research literature. A study on teaching mathematics using two methods of presentation that differed primarily in terms of sequence characteristics reported significant variance in students learning (Thornell, 1977). Another study showed that the sequence of an activity appears to be important, and the sequential approach is an instructional format for enhancing the ability of students learning (Renner, 1983). Tennyson studied the effectiveness of the students learning experience using three methods of sequencing coordinate concepts; they are simultaneous method, collective method, and successive method (Tennyson, 1977& 1985). His data analysis showed that students performance is superior in one sequence over the other two. In fact, the study concluded that the simultaneous sequence was more time efficient in terms of students learning (Tennyson, 1985). 8

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9 Specifically, teachers could test the efficiency of their teaching by alternating the sequence of their teaching methods as a variable in instruction format. Gulmans and van den Berg did a similar study about the effectiveness of two different instructional modes in various sequences and concluded that the sequence is an important variable in instruction (Gulmans & van den Berg, 1992). Based on the research, it can be concluded that sequence is a significant independent variable in instruction which critically impacts the effects of instruction. Therefore, the decision that is made concluding the sequence of teaching methods can be a very important element for successful instruction. Visually-Enhanced Instructional Environment Paivio defined learning and cognition as a dual coding theory, in which verbal and image-based information is recognized and perceived by separate, interrelated processes. The verbal information just mentioned is relatively abstract when compared to the image-based information and it is also dependent on shared definition for particular terms, whereas the image-based information is more of a tangible representation of objects presented in a special way. As a result, a verbal system is often learned and used in an associative mode, while imagery is imitated through referential means. For instance, conversations rely on common definitions of both the analogue (or similar objects) and the targeted terms (Paivio, 1971; Glynn, 1994). Moreover, the relationship between elements within the analogue is related to the targeted terms, which determines the effectiveness and the appropriateness of the analogy. As terms become less relevant, the use of the analogy is diminishing and can lead to students misconceptions (Glynn, 1994; Pyle & Akins-Moffatt, 1999).

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10 Image-based Information. Images play a critical role in how we come to shape the world around us. Phrases such as seeing is believing and a picture is worth a thousand words abound in our language, and they are good examples of the importance of the image, especially when implied in language instruction (Peterson, 1997; Sutton, 1992; Woodward, 1989). When learning a new language, the image of a new word deeply affects the vocabulary in terms of students learning (Sutton, 1992). To be exact an image requires concrete referential representations in order for a new word to be understood and, later, implemented correctly. Images have shown their value as assessment tools in exploring students learning and conceptual change (Peterson, 1997). However the role that images serve in this learning process is not well understood. Traditionally, most learning styles have relied heavily on language-based forms of teaching and assessment. This practice makes it ineffective in determining the level of students understanding of certain concepts if they have not mastered the language used to represent the concepts (Sutton, 1992). This situation frequently happens in learning of literatures in a different language. Therefore, the question as to whether a students level of literacy is determined by his fluency in the language or by his ability to use the concepts which influence decisions, thoughts, and feelings must be asked. This question relates directly to the topic of this study. The image of a symbol needs to be a stable element in a students mind before he is able to apply it in future learning experiences. However, if the concept is not associated properly through the representation of an image, that is, if the image makes an unprecise connection, the image itself might become the source of misconceptions (Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1992). Thus, an image could be worth a thousand words, but it

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11 could also confound students thinking more than text. The concept expressed through the vocabulary is the first step for a person in shaping his/her recognition of an object. During this process, the image acts as an aid in enhancing an understanding of that word. Normally, verbal and image systems are interrelated, especially at concrete levels (Paivio, Clark, & Lambert.1988). As concepts become more complex and abstract, it is difficult to develop representative images. For example, fear and pain have concrete referents such as physical feelings, facial expressions, or injury (Koballa & Pyle, 1996); however, it is difficult to express relief, love, etc. using an image (Paivio, 1971). The Impact of Multimedia on Academic Instructions New technologies and multimedia have been playing an increasingly important role in education (Mayer, 2003). The term "multimedia" refers to the combination of multiple technical resources for the purpose of presenting information represented in multiple formats via multiple modalities (Goldman, 2003). Studies exploring the impact of using multimedia on instruction have been ongoing (Raat, 1992). Efforts to understand how learners capitalize on verbal and visual information are not new (Levie & Lentz,1982; Mandl, & Levin, 1989; Willows & Houghton, 1987). However, researchers are concerned with how students make sense of important concepts based on verbal and visual input information (Schnotz & Lowe, 2003; Reimann, 2003). Basically multimedia has been used broadly in three major categories: video-audio materials, visual-enhanced supplement and computer-based learning environment (Goldman, 2003). Researchers contend that multimedia resources can be categorized into three different levels: the technical level refers to the technical devices (i.e., computers, networks, displays, etc.) that are the carriers of instructional signals; the semiotic level refers to the representational format of those signals (i.e., texts, pictures, and sounds); the

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12 sensory level refers to the sensory modality of signal reception (i.e., visual or auditory modality). The three levels of multimedia resources just mentioned give instructions a different perspective in the complex domain of education (Schnotz & Lowe, 2003). This indicates that multimedia resources have the capability of supporting learning in complex domains because they could show learners how variables interact and relate to one another. However, studies also showed that students could fail to learn what the designers intended just as easily from multimedia as they could from single media (Cognition, 1996; Kozma, 1994). That is, merely showing the learner a dynamic process does not effectively guarantee understanding in the process of learning. Mayer states that there are three processes in which the student needs to engage if learning is to occur; those processes are visual information (static or dynamic), verbal information, and the combination of visual and verbal information. However, these three processes are difficult to carry out when learners are novices in a domain, because they often have no experiences or prior knowledge (Mayer, 2003). Mayer's research states teachers should make arrangements of verbal and visual information, highlight important relationships, remove irrelevant information, and manage the information so that students tend to produce better learning. These effects override the static-dynamic dimension of visual information; Mayer found that there is very little benefit from using dynamic visuals in some domains that he investigated (physical devices). However, in other domains (such as chemistry) the dynamic properties of visual displays may be more powerful since they convey information that is much harder to access from static visuals or from verbal descriptions (Mayer, 2003). Mayer's contribution focused on multimedia presentations that contain spoken or written words combined with illustrations or

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13 animations that are designed to foster meaningful definitions. Mayer presented an assumption of multimedia learning in which the active learning is emphasized. He predicted that students learn more efficiently from words and pictures than from words alone. According to Mayers study, he found meaningful learning requires that the student engages in active cognitive processing. Active processing requires the learner pays attention to relevant words and pictures, and then organizes the corresponding information into coherent verbal and pictorial mental representations. Finally, all works were integrated into verbal and pictorial representations. Furthermore, Mayer simulated the experimental conditions in which students would profit more from multimedia messages than from verbal-only messages. Mayers research helps us understand some of the consistencies in the processing of verbal and visual information. The result of his study indicates that the potential impacts of the instruction might be obvious to students through different media. That is, computer-based media show support for instruction which is not available in traditional expository methods. Secondly, it is apparent that during multimedia instruction more aggressive interactions between the instructor and his/her students take place when the lecture is delivered through educational technologies. Mayer's findings are not confined to "high-tech" media; his theory and instructional principles also apply to both book-based and computer-based learning environments. Although some forms of advanced technology are compatible to instructional methods, the general principles of instructional design are more crucial. The potential effectiveness of educational multimedia materials is therefore likely to be influenced by the teachers design of his/her lecture.

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14 Schnotz and Bannert proposed a combined model of text and picture comprehension that contributes to a theory of multimedia learning (Schnotz & Bannert, 2003). In contrast to Mayer's model, the model developed by Schnotz and Bannert includes a basic distinction between descriptive and depictive representations. They predicted that adding pictures to a text may not always be beneficial for learning but is rather distracting. This would mean that while task-appropriate illustrations are likely to support learning, task-inappropriate illustrations may actually interfere with the mentalmodel-construction-processes that support effective learning. This assumption contradicts the traditional implication drawn from Paivio's (1986) dual coding theory that adding pictures to a text is generally beneficial for learning. Their empirical findings confirm the prediction of a possible detrimental effect resulting from task-inappropriate illustrations. Paivio's study suggested that pictures facilitate learning if the individual has limited background knowledge and the subject matter is visualized in a task-appropriate way. However, if the individual is knowledgeable in the related subject, and the subject is visualized in a task-inappropriate way, then these illustrations may actually interfere with learning. Schnotz and Bannert's findings emphasize the need for careful consideration of the type of visualization to be used when designing instructional material. Carefully considered visualizations are important not only for individuals with limited background knowledge who might need pictorial support in constructing mental models, but also individuals who are knowledgeable in the subject because these individuals may be hindered in their mental model construction through inappropriate forms of visualization. Review of Similar Research During past years, more and more instructors and professionals have been involved in the design, use, and development of multimedia technology for teaching Chinese.

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15 Meanwhile, the discussion of multimedia technology in the classroom has become popular for improving Chinese language and literature teaching. There is a trend for a new approach to teach Chinese literature using computer software instead of a blackboard, and thus eliminate the need for a textbook and handwriting in the early stage of learning Chinese literature. To determine whether or not this is feasible or applicable, more research is needed concerning the integration of multimedia technology with teaching curriculum. Chinese Characters as Structured Compositions. Chinese symbols are not arbitrary aggregates of subjectivity. Many characters are pictographs standing for objects, or pictographs with certain markings added to indicate more abstract concepts (Shuowenjiezi, 100, Weiger, 1915; Hung & Tseng, 1981). Studies shows that at an early stage in the learning of Chinese characters, students tend to remember characters as distinct pictures (Chuang, 1975). Most Chinese characters are composite logographic forms. In these compound characters, two or more major components are combined to fill an imaginary square block; many of them are themselves characters. The methods of such composition followed a pre-set standard. These methods can be repeated and applied in producing different phrases from characters. In general, the components also contribute to the pronunciation or the meaning of the compound phrases. The logographic information module contains a database of logograms, including Chinese characters, definition of Chinese characters (equivalent to the alphabets in English responsible for pronunciation), graphemes and strokes (Ki, 1994). It records how each logogram is stepwise-decomposable into other simpler logograms, and the

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16 composition method. In the case of poctophonetic 1 composition, it also takes note of the specific subcomponents of a Chinese character contributing respectively to the pronunciation and the definition of the character. Pictorial origins of Chinese characters are stored as graphic animation where appropriate. The information mentioned above is stored in the logographic information module and will support the following operations: 1. To give a stroke-by-stroke calligraphic display of the character. 2. To provide a stroke ordering exercise where students can choose the correct stroke sequence in a character with continuous feedback from the computer. 3. To display the character, highlighting in turn the different components and subcomponents in the sequence of the stroke-by-stroke order. 4. To support jigsaw-like exercises where the student is asked to assemble characters from their corresponding components. 5. Partial matching to search for a character based on partial information given about its structures and components. 6. To present the pictorial origins of some characters. The presentation starts with a realistic picture, and gradually transforms it to a basic skeleton of an intended Chinese character, and then to the final form of the well-recognized character. The method is similar to that used in Lam (1993). The pronunciation and meaning module links a set of characters to a set of phrases which illustrate the definition of the character. In fact, a voice file and a phoneme are stored for the pronunciation of each character in the knowledge-base database. Also, for the special cases in which a character is pronounced differently and is used in a different sense, a number of voice files and phonemes will be stored. Furthermore, for some of the phrases, additional resources are stored including images 1 Pictophonetic composition means one component represents the meaning while the other component represents the sound of the compound character. This is the called pictophonetic composition. Over 70% of Chinese characters are compositions of this sort.

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17 and voice files of sample sentences. In addition, for each selected Chinese character and phrase, there is information in the file concerning its definition and its difficulty level (in scholastic sense). All in all, the above information mentioned is used to support the following functions: 1. Display related phrases to illustrate the possible definitions of a Chinese character. 2. Enunciate the selected characters and display associated phrase(s) stored in the knowledge-base database. 3. Read aloud example sentences or display a picture that depicts a related example particular phrase. 4. Search for other Chinese characters that have identical pronunciation (or homonym). 5. Search for selected Chinese characters based on given partial information on phonemes. 6. Search for particular phrases according to their synonyms, and their level of difficulty (in scholastic sense). There is a computing module called Chinese language syllabus for primary schools, which can provide relevant information for 500 frequently used Chinese characters selected from the standard school curriculum for native Chinese youths in HongKong (CDC, 1990). It was assumed that by learning these 500 characters in the way supported by this computing module, the mental tool-kit and library of each student can be developed and can thus enable him/her to learn related Chinese language courses proficiently (Shiu & Lau, 1982; Tseng & Wang, 1983) In an early project working with the software for learning Chinese characters (Lam, 1993), computer animation was used to relate the written form of some Chinese characters to their pictorial origins. The preliminary evaluation indicated that this kind of presentation stimulated the students mind effectively in helping him/her to remember the

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18 written form as well as the meanings of the characters (CDC, 1984). The available multimedia technology today, which can be applied in the Chinese language teaching are: Entry level-pronunciation. There are some computer software program developed for this purpose. For example, Hyper Chinese is a program designed to help students with their learning and distinguishing various pronunciations of the Chinese characters. Students learn each sound through voice demonstration, imitation and comparison. Quizzes are offered as a drill to check their progress. There is also an educational CD called, Professional Interaction Chinese for Windows with Speech Recognition; which has the added advantage of showing mouth and tongue positions through animated visual displays. Thus, this CD can place the user in the context of a particular scenario for visual and audio guidance. (Fu, 1996) Intermediate and advanced level. The majority of software program available are designed for this stage. Chinese Breakthrough is a set of audio-visual programs for TV and newspaper reading, and the Chinese version of WinCalis is a very useful programming tool for designing various Chinese exercises. In addition to those programs mentioned above, there are other electronic materials on the Internet that are popular with some instructors. It is widely recognized that the limitation of many teaching and learning materials is that the program does not really take the students past experience and competence into account. There is a computerized system that offers supports to the classes mentioned above (i.e. form entry to advanced level) and is known as the knowledge-based multimedia system, (Ki, and others, 1994). This system has five subcategories.

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19 The first subcategory involves introduction of Chinese characters and is designed for entry level students. The second subcategory is the student progress database set up to record the students progress. The objective is to set up a database that records complete record of each student every time he/she log in, and evaluate his/her competence through his/her interactions with the system. Data will be automatically sent onto this database when students use the various modules at this level. This database is to provide feedback to students, to allow the instructor to monitor the progress of students, and to provide tangible information to the software developers to create appropriate software for future use. The third subcategory of this system is database tools. This is a set of application software that allows both teachers and students to modify, customized and accesses the related programs. The fourth subcategory is CAL generation tools. This is a set of software generation tools that can produce instructional software in specific formats. In fact, the teacher only has to choose between audio-visual aids or slide type, and specify the required language elements such as vocabulary, phrases, and expression to be used. As a result, a customized interactive software will be automatically generated. The teacher would get the instruction from the software sufficient to generate a CAL program. The fifth subcategory is CAL materials. This is a set of example interactive software and self-learning materials, including both computer-based and non-computer based. It is developed using the tools provided at lower levels such as: the student progress database and it illustrates how the generic tools used in the lower levels can be

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20 used to achieve specific learning objectives. Moreover, CAL materials include learning materials that introduce new characters, phrases, and other information that is relevant to particular topics. These topics involve Chinese characters as new vocabulary, introduce particular language skills, games for drill or for skill reinforcement, and tests. While these interactive software programs are being used on the computer, this system is able to update the students progress database at the second level of the system. Therefore, students can have the option of moving from the interactive software to the student query tool for reference or for help. Constructivism in the Design of Instruction The application of appropriate educational learning theories is very critical for instruction in any field. A solid theoretical foundation offers teachers a good start from which they can build a series of learning formats in response to different learning styles and, hence, encourage a wide range of strategies in order to insure successful learning. Likewise, innovative construct provides direction to appropriate technologies that lead to new learning environments, and provide a customized curriculum for all students. Theories generally have assumed that processes of learning and thinking of average people are relatively uniform. Meditations derived from knowledge and skills obtained through hands-on experience are more efficient than the mental image delivered from theoretical concepts (Schunk, 1996). In fact, Locke (17th to 18th centuries) taught that no mans knowledge can go beyond his experience. The basic foundation philosophy of constructivism for modern day is generally credited to Piaget (1896-1980). In Piagets view, human intelligence consists of two interrelated processes, organization and adaptation. People organize their thoughts so that they make sense, separating the more important thoughts from the less important ones, as

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21 well as connecting one idea to another. At the same time, people adapt their thinking to include new ideas, as new experiences provide additional information. Constructivist theory in education is a branch of neo-Piagetian thought. (Novak, 1977; von Glasersfeld, 1989). The constructivist approach is a view that emphasizes the active role of the learner in building understanding and making sense of information. In fact, constructivist approaches to learning assume that subjectivity is critical because learners take in information and process it in unique ways that reflect their needs, dispositions, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings. That is, constructivism stresses creating meaning from experience (Jonassen, 1991). Furthermore, constructivism is not a theory about teaching only; it is a theory about knowledge and learning process that occurs daily in classrooms. It is a conception that includes knowledge, learning and thinking (Brooks &Brooks, 1993). Brooks and Brooks compiled a list of characteristics of a constructivist teacher as following: Characteristics of a constructivist teacher are as the following: 1. Encourages student autonomy 2. Incorporates manipulative, interactive and physical materials for teaching. 3. Employs cognitive terminology such as classify, analyze and create 4. Focus on students understanding; encourages engagement of dialogue; asks open-ended questions; and pursues elaboration of students responses. 5. Provides time for students to construct relationships among the acquired knowledge and create metaphors; nurtures students through frequent use of the learning cycle method. The essence of constructivism is that the learner must construct knowledge, but the teacher cannot supply it (Bringuire, 1980). For example, the constructivist approach requires the teacher to present a puzzling situation for the students to solve through

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22 gathering data and testing their conclusions. Thus, the role of the instructor, as von Glaserfeld (1996) indicated, is not to dispense knowledge but to provide students with opportunities and incentives to build up their own. For example, Mayer (1996) depicts teachers as guides and learners as sense makers also. Gergen (1995) viewed teachers as coordinators, facilitators, resource advisors, tutors and coaches. In addition, learning emphasizes the process and not the product, so the focus of instruction should be students thorough understanding of a subject rather than the students learning behaviors or skills. By the same token, the learner must actively construct new information and add them onto their existing framework for meaningful learning to occur. In other words, elaboration and relationships between old perceptions and new ideas must be personally drawn by the student in order for the new idea to become an integrated, useful part of their memory. Constructivism emphasizes the interaction between learner and the environment as learning takes place. Manges and Wigle (1997) believe that through constructivist teaching, students can tap into their natural learning potential. That is because their experiences, their prior knowledge, and their personal interpretations are the essential components of all classroom activities. Constructivism assumes that thinking takes place in contexts and individuals mostly construct that cognition as a function of their experiences in situations (Bruning, Schraw & Ronning, 1995). This theory states that learners form or construct much of what they learn and understand as a part of their experiences in a particular situation. And this is the ideal interaction of people and their environment in the acquisition and

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23 refinement of skills and knowledge. A basic assumption of constructivism is that people are active learners and must accumulate knowledge for themselves (Geary, 1995). Constructivism also emphasizes an integrated curriculum where students can study a topic in various ways. For instance, students can study Chinese literature through related literature, new vocabulary, hands-on experience, or through research of the related documents. From a constructivists perspective, teachers no longer teach while standing in front of a classroom and deliver lectures. Instead, they use supporting materials (such as computer) to encourage learners to become actively involved through out-of-class interaction. On the contrary, activists stress on students observation and collection of data, as well as generating and testing hypotheses, and working collaboratively with others. According to constructivists, the traditional classroom is not necessary. A class can take place outdoors, in a studio, in a lab, or in a visual classroom (which conducts the class through the use of a computer for both on-site and distance education). In fact, a teacher can integrate curricula in different settings to drive up students interests in the subjects so that students can become self-motivated and encouraged to set their own goals, as well as monitoring and evaluating progress. Constructivism in the undefined limits of virtual space frees pedagogy. Virtual space enables faculty to draw resources from anywhere in the world (i.e. via the Internet) and enables them to access and encourage an endless array of multicultural learning environments (Winn, 1991). All in all, constructivism is a philosophy that views the student as a thinker, creator, and constructor of knowledge. This is certainly a revolutionary change from the traditional view of a student as an owner of knowledge.

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24 Introduction of Related Materials The Narratives, Short Stories, Chinese Literature and Multimedia Narratives are as elemental to us as language itself (Shimkin, 1993). This implies that our minds are structured for storytelling. In fact, narratives and short stories are among the most powerful instruments for ordering everyday human experiences. Narratives can be expressed in oral or written languages, still or moving pictures, or through a combination of these media. For instances, narratives can be found in myths, legends, fables, tales, short stories, epics, history, tragedy, dramaetc.. In its almost infinite varieties of forms, narratives existed since time began. Indeed, narratives start with the very history of mankind (Barthes, 1975). Narratives are an interpretative approach that describes humans daily activities in a form of symbolic action, which links the construction of reality with the formation of identity (Nicolopoulou, 1997). Narrative usually concerns real or pretend memories of something that happened and therefore are often largely in the past tense. However, there are also hypothetical, future tense narratives and others that take place in the present. Narratives often contain a chronological sequence of events, but one can also find narratives that contain only a single event or those that skip around in time. Narratives usually are referred to the written language, rather than the musical, pictorial and silently dramatic narratives (McCabe, 1997). Ancient Chinese narrative poems possess all the narrative qualities mentioned above. In fact, those poems would describe stories, record history, re-tell human experiences through alternating first and third person narratives. Sometimes, these poems were set to music and were sung to tell cultural progress. By the same token, Mulan

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25 Shih possesses a folk-song format as well as folklore. Therefore, exploring the story within this poem is an important step in understanding Mulan Shih. Human cultures have maintained their existence through different types of storytelling. Lock stated that lives are constituted as stories, by stories, and through stories (Lock, 1998). Humans appear to have an innate ability and predisposition to organize and represent their experiences in the form of stories. In fact, story telling is how human beings give meaning to their experience, because stories require less cognitive efforts and exposition due to the narrative form of presentation (Bruner, 1990). There are many disciplines that deal with narrative including cognitive psychology, history, linguistics, literary science, and theology (Quasthoff, 1997). Short stories and poems are usually perceived as examples of historical and cultural contexts from the narrative substructures (i.e. storytelling, story reading). In fact, in order to learn about or understand a new culture and different types of literature in a different language, it is necessary for a person to be connected to the stories originated in that culture or folklores (Bruner, 1990). People are surrounded by stories in their everyday and professional lives. Stories have many functions. Following is a list of several of those functions: 1. Stories allow us to enter into others realms of meaning through the messages they present in their stories (Polkinghorne, 1988). 2. Stories help us find out our roles in a culture (Bruner, 1990; White, 1998). 3. Stories assist us in the recognition of similarities among human diversity (Bruner, 1990). 4. Stories help us retain memories (Bruner, 1990). 5. Stories allow us to explain (Bruner, 1990) and to interpret meaning of life (Gudmundsdottir, 1995).

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26 6. Stories assist us in understanding human actions, intentionality and temporality (Bruner, 1990; Huberman, 1995). 7. Stories mediate is the process of articulating out identity so that we can explain to others who we are with a series of interconnected stories (Polkinghorne, 1988; Schafer, 1981). Chinese poems have many similarities to narratives and stories, and narrative is an effective way of story telling in Chinese poems. Because the sharing of stories through our lives is so important, we must possess some kind of narrative intelligence that allows us to formulate or follow a story (Bruner, 1990; Randall, 1999; Polkinghorne, 1988). For those people interested in Chinese literature or Chinese poems, the Internet is a convenient way to research needed materials. Although Chinese poems have been available on the Internet for some years, the application of multimedia was not fully explored in presenting them. In recent years, multimedia has gained attention in literature teaching because of its potential value in providing human-sense learning, and encouraging learners participation. In fact, incorporating technologies in literature teaching can entice students interests and enhance their learning experience. For example, an instructor can introduce a Chinese poem using materials prepared in multimedia so students can perceive the new subject through the audio-video experience. Since computer technology has become a popular tool for todays education, an instructors presentation can be seen around the world as a corresponding course. Learning through the Internet provides the flexibility and efficiency of computer instruction as well as individual attention of traditional education formats (Huang, 1997). Therefore, it becomes crucially important to facilitate multimedia technologies in teaching. And the selection of specific software and tools involved should be defined by

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27 the projected learning results, desired performance, and various constructions of targeted subjects. Another reason that cutting edge technology may provide interesting learning is the interaction resulting from the interdisciplinary media presentation of the subject in a Chinese poem. This type of study can become a vital and enhancing part of learning through a computer. All in all, it is appropriate to pursue study interests through combinations of information in new ways in solving problems and in reaching new understanding of the old knowledge. That is, multimedia can help instructors to convey an idea successfully through audio-visual means. Therefore, learning Chinese poems may be a dynamic, personalized instruction through new combinations of multimedia technologies rather than the acquisition of a ritual and rigid teaching of facts. Moreover, teaching and learning can now become a new cycle of exploration and discovery. Multimedia products such as electronic storybooks are good examples. Electronic storybooks use traditional lecture or print stories as basic materials; then add or convert the graphics, animation, sound, and video to produce interactive storybooks for the use in instruction. In fact, electronic storybooks have become prevalent in literature education recently, for it is one way to teach students the literature elements, story plots, and even technology itself different than the traditional lecture (Chen, Ferdig & Wood, 2003). Electronic storybooks could be widely used by teachers and students in preparation of teaching materials, schedule planning of classes, design of versatile exercises of new subjects, and construction of explicit tutorial context. As one can see, learning or teaching a Chinese poem need not be boring, intimidating, or complex. There can be two-way interactions in the learning process, just as todays popular learning software (Mulan

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28 Animated Storybook, 1998) for youngsters that teach numbers, colors, alphabets, and shapes. Multimedia technology such as A knowledge-based multimedia system to support the teaching and learning of Chinese characters (Ki, 1994) can move the learning process beyond one-way didactic instruction to an interactive mode in the teaching of Chinese poems. The decision to select a two-dimensional or three-dimensional visual support is crucial in the presentation of a particular poem. Its also important to preserve the original materials to reach the goal of conveying a subject to students successfully during the switching of teaching methods. While the supporting multimedia teaching material may make it easier for students to understand a subject, this teaching method requires the instructor to put in more time and efforts in the preparation. This study will focus on the teaching of Chinese poems using the multimedia support rather than discussing different types of modern technologies. Symbols () and Expressions () in Chinese Poems Symbolism and expression are the crucial clues in identifying the moral behind any metaphor and figurative speech in a Chinese poem. Before symbolism in literature can be applied to a particular work in any language, there must be a clear understanding of the basic concept about symbolism and symbolic interactionism (Blumer, 1969). A symbol is the representation of one thing using objects, while symbolic interaction is an interpretation of a symbol. Therefore, symbolism is the art of communicating a message using minimum words; that is, through the use of semiotics (word symbols). In the ancient time, symbols were used to represent things, especially in art and literature. The meaning of a certain symbol is passed down from

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29 generation to generation. For example, any object with a dragon design represents the emperor himself and should be treated with fear and respect. Symbolism is a tool unlike any other. The spoken language we use everyday is explicit; however, symbolism is the hint for what metaphors really meant. In order to make metaphors universal in Chinese poems, symbolism must become standardized. Symbols are comparable to sentences, while symbolic elements are comparable to words (Thales, 1999). For example, the character of hieroglyphics in ancient Chinese is not a conventional language, but rather a pictorial language of symbolism. Demanded by the need for a completed record of things happened and done, sentences were formed by groups of characters. Symbolic meaning lies in the feelings and memories that associated with the cultural or language background (Thales, 1999). The elements of symbolism in Chinese poems have a universal interpretation that almost become a second nature to Chinese. For example, we translate canine and hound into dog when in Chinese poems the moon can be represented by the following objects: 1. (chang-Jane) the moon. 2. (chang-erh) the goddess living on the moon. 3. (dan-erh) another name for the goddess of the moon. 4. (chan-chu) a silver toad. 5. (yu-tu) a white rabbit made of jade. 6. (yu-loon) a wheel made of white jade. There are two terminologies that should be introduced. They are symbol () and expressions (). Symbols and expressions are the crucial clues in identifying the moral behind any metaphor and figurative speech in a Chinese poem.

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30 Symbols consist of widely used 2-word-groups in classical Chinese poems, and expression is usually a pair of 5-word-groups that provide access to the hidden morals using well known meanings of a particular object. Symbols and expressions are also used to project the authors original creation, and they both can appear in any possible order in a Chinese poem. The symbols could be flexibly varied and possibly non-sequential to other subject. However, the original metaphor will always be reminded and the moral will be traced back to generate the exact link to the specified topic. In this study, I will choose a particular Chinese poemMulan Shih () as my model to demonstrate the interaction between the symbolism and the expression in the narrative poem. Chinese Students Learning Experiences in Literature The Learning Pattern of Chinese Students Concerning Moral Poems Traditional Chinese preferred abstract descriptions when writing ancient poems. In fact, the best and the most reverend classical model of ancient Chinese poems is characterized in read between the lines and theres more than what meets the eyes. Therefore, in terms of poetry, a partial description can actually tell a whole story (just like the construction & meaning of certain Chinese characters). For instance, whenever one sees the numbers 3, 6, and/or 9 in a poem, in most cases the author meant to show quantity or a trend of increasing numbers. This practice of using the increments of 3s in ancient Chinese poems is common, as well as in the analogy of some Chinese characters. For example, there is a Chinese character which was made by writing the word ox 3 times. The definition of that character is stampede; meaning when 3 oxen run at the same time they are as fast as running for their lives. There is another Chinese character composed by writing the word water 3 times , and its meaning can be flood, ocean,

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31 or running water. Furthermore, the Chinese character that looks like rewriting the word fire 3 times really means a big flame or a glorious view. There is another common practice of using increments of 10s in ancient Chinese poetry. When one sees the description of ten, one hundred, or one thousand; the meaning is beyond many. It is rather vast and numerous. There are frequently quoted phrases using such descriptions. Among Chinese, we often hear people describe themselves as having a life of a thousand hammers & a hundred furnaces, and thats just a figure of speech for depicting a seasoned life. Whenever we see one thousand and one hundred appearing together in Chinese poems, needless to say, the author is painting a picture of multitude (which is even countless). By the same token, a thousand rounds and a hundred turns scenario of a drama describes a complicated and complex story plot. Way Wang is one of the reverend Chinese poets, and he is the one who perfected the art of words in the picture, and picture in the words in writing ancient Chinese poems. To illustrate this technique, here is a painting that completely expresses the following poem called SNOWY RIVER.

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32 Figure 2-1. Chinese painting in poem 1

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33 Figure 2-2. Chinese painting in poem 2

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34 SNOWY RIVER Theres no trace of birds among a thousand mountains Nor that of human on ten thousand trails Only a boat carrying a man dressed in his straw-poncho and straw-hat Fishing in a snowy river Literature teachers would like to point these characteristics out to students, such as the contrast of a thousand mountains and ten thousand trails verses the loneliness and serenity of the fisherman. By human common sense, people expect to see or hear a noisy crowd or several creatures whenever a big number is used as a description. However, here people can get the feeling of great vacancy. By the way, this poem was originally written in Old Chinese (much like that of Shakespearean English), and was completed in 4 sets of 5 words in a rhyme. Such beauty of sweet & short (in another word, abstract & compact) combined with the art of picture in the words, and words in the picture is truly ingenious. The same theme ties in with the making of the triple-character words and the composition of the thousand-hundred phrases. The SNOWY RIVER is an ancient poem that has been passed down from thousands of years; it has been so popular that its taught in the 7th grade as a chapter in the textbook and not reserved for the college or the graduate students in Chinese literature classes. In fact, the beauty and the clever abstract structure of SNOWY RIVER is so well loved and well known to all Chinese educated in Taiwan that other poems in the same category are often included in the text books for elementary and middle school students. Therefore, it is common for youngsters in Taiwan to quote phrases from such poems in

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35 their daily conversations. From this example, we see that traditional Chinese value the abstract & compact expression and this skill is practiced and taught at young age. Difference between the Learning of a Moral Poem and a Narrative Poem among Chinese Students This abstract (or proximity) practice can be illustrated as following. Its acceptable for a Chinese cookbook to indicate: Salt--a little, Black Pepper--a dash, Soy Sauce---season to taste; instead of : Salt---2 tsp, Black Pepper---1 tsp, Soy Sauce--2 Tbsp. Its easy to see how a little, a dash, & season to taste associate with the custom practice of the abstract (or proximity). Even during the on-site demonstration, a chef would use terms a little, a dash, and season to taste as he/she prepares a dish. This kind of abstract & proximity expression is well accepted and practiced in everyday life and was never been objected or questioned among Chinese. However, this custom became a notable issue when an American student (studying abroad in Taiwan) tried to cook a Chinese dish by following a Chinese cookbook. He was looking for definite amount of condiments in tsp and Tbsp but all he saw was those abstract & proximity indication. The clear difference between Chinese and American cultures is perfectly illustrated in this case of abstract-verses-definite cooking lesson. All in all, the abstract concept in Chinese poems is never an obstacle in learning among Chinese students. On the contrary, its the subjective poems with defined objects that pose more resistance in learning. Thats because the defined characters, objects, & backgrounds do not allow any room for imagination; and instead, the instructor has to provide precise descriptions of all that are involved and caused the unbearable boredom among the audience (one-way instruction is never fun)(Mayer, 2003).

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36 In conclusion, incorporating the appropriate images of people & objects in a learning experience will certainly improve the efficiency in learning & entice the students appetite in a new subject (Schnotz & Bannert, 2003). Thus, bring out the desirable outcome of a complete text material perception. As my favorite Chinese proverb says, a picture is worth a thousand words! (Mayer & Gallini, 1990). Selected Examples Two Types of Chinese Literature Two distinct traditions exist in Chinese literature: the literary () and the vernacular, or colloquial (). The literary literature is mainly for the scholars and noblemen in Chinese society. It involves the materials compiled by Confucius called the formal literature. One typical example is Shih () or poetry. Shih is derived from the Shih Ching (, Book of Poetry), one of the five Classics () compiled by Confucius. Shih is an important subject to master for all scholars and noblemen, and knowing and memorizing Shih as well as composing Shih are some required skill for the elite group. In fact, Confucius stated: Shih makes you think, helps you observe, teaches you etiquette, expresses your emotions. In short with enough knowledge in Shih, one can act properly in his family, in the emperors court, and even became well educated in nature sciences. (Confucius, ). The colloquial literature can be traced back more than a thousand years before the Christian era, and it lasted until now. Started with poetry and later includes drama and fictions, the colloquial grew to include history and folklore. The vernacular is also an important sect in Chinese literature, because it had been popular and recognized by the

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37 public as well as the members of the scholar-official class, the arbiters of literary committee. This committee is made up of members who were well respected for their achievements in literature, and they also set the standards for the orthodox literary tradition that began about 2000 years ago. In addition, in some rare cases an excellent colloquial literature can become a literary literature. (Liu, 1976) Progress of Chinese Literature The progress of Chinese literature may be illustrated in the following diagram. Western Literary Period Classical Medieval Modern Chinese Dynasty Han Dynasty () North& South Dynasty () Tang Dynasty () Song Dynasty () Time Line 202 B.C. 208 A.D. 589 A.D. 904 A.D. 1279 A.D. Figure 2-3. Chinese literature timeline History of Chinese Literature When one refers to classical Chinese Literature, its inevitable to talk about its origin. Lets begin with the discovery of the earlier form of Chinese characters. The primary form of Chinese writing had been found in the inscriptions on bones and tortoise shells (), dating probably from the 1400 B.C. to 1300 B.C. From 1027 B.C. to 256 B.C., this period encompassed the work of four influential philosophers: Confucius (), Mencius (), Lao-tuz (), Chuangtuz (). The

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38 compilation of the Confucius Classics became the orthodox teaching, which established a classical tradition that was to last until the present time. One of the Confucian Classics Shih Ching (, Book of Poetry) is one of the most important poetic works ever produced. It is made up of dynastic songs, court poems, and peasant poems. A new style in prose poem started around 200 B.C., which was irregular in form and initiated a new literary genre called the Chu-Tzu (). These poems were set to music and were collected in Yueh-Fu (, the Music Bureau). The Fundamental Concept for Chinese Phrases, Symbols and Expression Chinese phrases in widely are consisted of individual words with specific meaning, most of the time their meanings adhere to the meaning of a single word, but sometimes they have specific meaning to particular literary setting. In general, phrases in Chinese literature are made in group of two to seven words, which form the main meaning of a sentence or a paragraph, though we see most of them in four-word phrases. However, it is easy to find that five-word or seven-word phrases are more popular in poems. A phrase contains meanings beyond the expressed words. In many examples, a phrase corresponds diversely both in meaning and pronunciation. For example, the idea of walking, corresponding to the word , is well defined and is a common sense in everyday life with the pronunciation of hsing/. However, the word in the phrase carries the general or abstract notion of a persons action. In another use, when the word in the phrase carries the notion of a persons character behavior, with the sound of hsing\. Furthermore, the phrase carries the meaning of military services in

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39 Chinese literature and the phrase carries the meaning of that everyone can be successful by their intelligence and diligence regardless of their specialty. Another phrase means that there are birds in one raw flying into the sky where the word in the meaning of raw with the pronunciation of hang/. Probably the learners could learn the various meanings of a word from its constructed phrases in the way of exploring the illustrations of a number of commonly used phrases. A word in various phrases may contain different meanings and pronunciations, and we can collect every meaning related to this word. Although we can traditionally catch up the different meanings of a word or a phrase through written explanation in the textbook; however, we would like to entice the students interest and curiosity for learning literature. The study of literature today in every level is primarily a study of exposition and explanation. The emphasis falls on making sensible meanings through textual analyses. The learning mode itself, prompts students to judge a literature work from an expository point of view. Moreover, the thoroughness to which our emphasis on explanation and argument might work against students efforts to make meaning out of narratives or lyrics.

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40 Mulan Shih in Chinese and English Version (Li, 1995; Jiang, Chiang & Jian, 1997; Disney, 1999) Mulan Shih Tick tick and tick tick, Mulan weaves by the door. You don't hear the shuttle of a loom, only a lady's sighs. One may ask, Who's on her heart? One may ask, What occupies her mind? (Mulan answered) No one is on my heart. & Nothing occupies my mind. Only last night I saw the draft, The Khan is calling all troops, The army list fills twelve scrolls, & My father's name is on the recruitment of every battle. (Besides) My father has no grown-up sons, & I, Mulan, have no older brothers. So, I want to buy a horse and a saddle, To serve in the army in my father's place." Go to the East, she buys a good horse, Go to the West, she buys a saddle, Go to the South, she buys a bridle, & Go to the North, she buys a whip. At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents, In the evening, she camps by the Yellow River. (in the wilderness)Mulan can't hear her parents calling her name. Only the Yellow River flowing by. She left the Yellow River the next morning, By sunset, she arrives at Black Mountain.

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41 (in the wilderness)Mulan can't hear her parents calling her name. Only the horses neighs of the nomads army from Mount Yen. Mulan goes ten thousand miles on top secret mission, & She crosses massive mountains like flying. Gusts of cold air from the north carry the sound of time-telling gong. The reflection of armors in the snow sends out chills, Casualties are high even among Generals, Brave warriors return ten years later. When Mulan returns from the war, the Emperor summoned her. The Emperor sits in his court. To meet with his officials, & award hundreds and thousands in treasure. The Khan asks Mulan what she desires. (She replied)"Mulan has no need for an official title. But, only wish for a swift & healthy camel, To take me home." Mulans parents heard about her homecoming, They hurried out to the city gate to meet her in their old & frail frame. Mulan has an older sister, Immediately she dressed up to meet her. Mulan has a younger brother, He whets the knife, shrill, shrill, to prepare a dinner. (Mulan said) "I open my bedroom door, & I sit on my old bed, Then, I take off my armor;

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42 & put on my civilian clothes. I fix my hair by the window, & I put on my make-up by the mirror. (When Im properly dressed) I went out to greet my comrades, They were all shocked and perplexed. Traveling together for twelve years, & None knew Mulan is a girl. "The he-hare's feet are clumsy, The she-hare's eyes are blurry. & When these two hares run side by side, Who can tell its a He or a She?" General Background Information for Mulan Shih Mulan Shih is the longest and the most respected narrative poem among the literature dated in the North Dynasty (420 A.D 589 A.D.). It is significant in its many wars against different nomadic tribes in the northern part of China and in its own invasion, dominance and ruling over indigenous Chinese people. This poem was originally cited in the Song (960 A.D.-1279 A.D.) Anthology of lyrics songs and poems Yueh-Fu (). In this poem, the history, geography, social values, of North Dynasty are depicted clearly. It highlights and reflects the aesthetics and talents of North Dynasty. And the aesthetic value and liberal arts of that era were beautifully and skillfully displayed. ( Ho, 1988; Chou, 1997). Just as the scholar Shen Ta-Chien (Shen, 11th century) commended: brilliant () (), this poem based on a fourteen-hundred-year-old Chinese folklore Mulan Shih which tells the story of Mulan, the legendary heroine who went

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43 into the recruitment of Khan (, the emperor) in her fathers place and fought the invaders courageously. She defended her country with superior skills in martial arts, and returned home triumphantly. Her comrades did not know her as a woman for all the years they spent together on the battlefield and were totally shocked when she finally appeared in a ladys outfit. (unlike the Disneys version of Mulans story). With the determination of fulfilling her fathers military duty, Mulan proved to be a formidable worrier and helped to win the warand impossible task for a woman in an old and conservative era. She overcame the societys constraints and the hardships in a practical way. After her triumphant return, her true identity was revealed, and she resumed her original identity and duty of a graceful lady. The legend of Mulan has been popular for generations in China (). Although there is no clue as to whether Mulan is surnamed Fa, or Chu, or Mu itself, after all, the assumption is that no body knows her real name (, ). However most drama based on the poem ascribed Fa as her surname. Even though Mulan is a fictitious character, her story has inspired many Chinese girls to achieve goals and realize dreams. Moreover, Mulan is addressed and interpreted in many books in different language in modern time (Kingston, 1976; Chin & Arai, 1993; Lee, 1995; Jiang, 1997; Zhang, 1998; Souci & Tseng, 1998). And the products related to this topic have also been created in multimedia such as the Disney movie Mulan and the animated storybook Mulan. The value of this poem (Mulan Shih) lies on the organized arrangement and description by the author (Hsieh, 15th century). Due to the popularity of the heroine

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44 image of Mulan, Mulan Shih (a folk song) becomes a narrative poem in Chinese literature (). The poem displayed the nature and simplicity of a folk song and a complex, and, yet harmonious, structure of a story ( Hsieh, 15th century). Mulan lived in the era of the most delicate and complicated period of China that different tribes have severe conflicts and so, Mulan Shih was created under such upheaval age. The history background helped establish the heroine model of Mulan, and the author reflected the reality through every single detail in this poem to paint the pictures of this story ( Mo, 1986). The poet Wei Yuan-Fu ( Wei, 8th century) of Tang Dynasty praised Mulans sentiment in his poem about her honoring her family and her father and her loyalty to her king. In addition, her love for her aged father, her brave heart as a warrior, and her disinterest in fame and wealth have shaped the respectable sentiment in this poem. Finally, the highlight of this poem lies in Mulans pure love for her parents ( Kuo, 10th century). By: Anonymous (5th or 6th century A.D.) Language Arts of Mulan Shih Mulan was born in a time plagued by wars and battles between different nations and tribes, and Mulan Shih was composed in this period. (Originally a popular folk song was later polished by scholars to be a narrative poem.) Through this narrative poem, the anonymous author created a heroine. This poem vividly described her culture background as well as the scenarios of the story. Moreover, the poem was composed with a rhyme in every line using a folk song pattern. The language arts used in Mulan Shih can be discussed in 6 sections according to the 6 paragraphs in this poem ( Chiang, 1999).

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45 Paragraph one basically sets the stage for why Mulan responded to the draft in her fathers place. In ancient time, women were not allowed to join in the armed forces; therefore, this poem started with 4 lines describing a typical scenario of a lady weaving cloth. And in Mulans case, her mind was preoccupied and one only hears her sighs and not the noise of the loom. The English translation is as follows: Tick tick and tick tick, Mulan weaves by the door. You don't hear the shuttle of a loom, only a lady's sighs. Moreover, theres a folk song () in Liang Dynasty ( 534 A.D.-556 A.D.) that has a similar rhyme structure and story description to these opening 4 lines in Mulan Shih. It goes: Shoo Shoo and tick tick, Lady weaves by the window. You dont hear the shuttles sound, Only the ladys sighs. (Liu, 1976) Its interesting to see a question and answer format in a poem, and Mulan Shih employs this technique to tell the reason for Mulan to join the army. One may ask, Who's on her heart? One may ask, What occupies her mind? And Mulan answered, My father has no grown-up sons, & I, Mulan, have no older brothers. Mulans love for her father and her country and her courage to enlist in her fathers place showed through the quote above. She described her father in his old age and has an underaged son and neither is qualified to fight in any battle. This awkward situation left Mulan to decide what could be done by her or her older sister. In the North Dynasty,

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46 Mulan and other women can be taught to ride horses and handle weapon, but to answer the draft in a fathers place is never heard of. Furthermore, to disguise as a man to fight in an army is an outrageous idea in Mulans era. However, this idea was realized by Mulans determination when she mentioned: So, I want to buy a horse and a saddle, To serve in the army in my father's place. We also see this determination actually sustained her through 12 years of harsh military life during wartime. The second paragraph of Mulan Shih described how Mulans plan to join the army was accomplished: Go to the East, she buys a good horse, Go to the West, she buys a saddle, Go to the South, she buys a bridle, & Go to the North, she buys a whip. The author used of a set of 4 opening lines, like those in the first paragraph, appeared here to describe Mulans preparation. She might not have acquired those items from different stores located in 4 different directions. This is just a common practice in folk songs to use a recursive format to emphasize a particular action. In this case, the focus is on the hectic preparation before Mulans departure before she enlists in the army. This repetition format is needed to put the emphasis on the scenario of Mulans preparation; it is also needed for the rhyme structure of the lyrics. This task is done skillfully and carefully here to avoid boredom and stress ( Chen, 2000 ). This portion of the poem also depicts the pro-active attitude of Mulans personality and her determination (a heroine quality) through the description of her preparation. In addition, one can also sense the urgency of the draft. ( Ho, 1988; Hung, 2000).

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47 The following quote is the second half of the second paragraph: At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents, In the evening, she camps by the Yellow River. (in the wilderness) Mulan can't hear her parents calling her name. Only the Yellow River flowing by. She left the Yellow River the next morning, By sunset, she arrives at Black Mountain. (in the wilderness) Mulan can't hear her parents calling her name. Only the horses neighs of the nomads army from Mount Yen. This part is made of 2 sets of 4 lines in the form of comparison. It describes Mulans physical and emotional journey. We see how Mulan was struggling between her homesickness and her sense of responsibility through the contrasting terms of dawn & evening, morning & sunset, cant hear & only (hear), and Yellow River & Black Mountain. These are a few sets of comparisons used here to narrate the story vividly displaying Mulans transition. At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents She left the Yellow River the next morning, We see Mulan forfeits her comfort zones in both small and big scale. First time, she left home; second time she left the boundary of her country. And, and interesting point here is she departs twice in the early part of the day: first time, dawn, and second time, morning. We also see contrast terms juxtaposed in story telling: (*1) At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents, In the evening, she camps by the Yellow River. (*2) She left the Yellow River the next morning, By sunset, she arrives at Black Mountain From (*1), we see the contrast of dawn & evening. And in (*2), we not only see the repetition of the same concept (morning & sunset), we also see the color contrast of Yellow & Black. There are also the opposites of left & arrives, and

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48 River & Mountain. These comparisons mentioned above bring out the changes in time, distance, location, and geography. Moreover Mulans determination is emphasized as she travels through rivers and mountains. The third paragraph in Mulan Shih, which starts with: Mulan goes ten thousand miles on top secret mission, and ends with: Brave warriors return ten years later. basically describes the triumphant return on Mulan. The language arts incorporated here is the most skillful, because the essence of this story was told in 6 short sentences: Mulans contribution and accomplishment in the war, and brilliantly sums up her 10 years of soldiers life. The opening sentence quoted above, Mulan goes ten thousand miles on top-secret mission, & She crosses massive mountains like flying. described Mulans continuous victory. The following sentence: Gusts of cold air from the north carry the sound of time-telling gong. The reflection of armors in the snow sends out chills, depicts the battles taking place in the cold, snowy front. And Mulans 10 years of military life is sensed in the next sentences. Casualties are high even among Generals, Brave warriors return ten years later. One thing to point out in Chinese literature is: the numbers used in a poem may not necessarily be the exact number targeted. There are many examples that use

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49 scrolls, turns, years only emphasize on the large number. Moreover, the number , , , , , , and are some of the abjections frequently used in Chinese poems. A good example is: Peach Blossom Lake may be a thousand feet deep, but not as deep as my friends love for me (by Bai, from ) In this poem, the Peach Blossom Lake may not be 1000 feet deep, its only said so to fathom the depth of their friendship. The forth section of Mulan Shih starts with When Mulan returns from the war, the Emperor summoned her. And ends with to take me home. This section describe how the Emperor awarded Mulan but the offer was declined since Mulan prefers to return to her hometown soon. From (the Emperor) To meet with his officials, to promote brave warriors & award hundreds and thousands in treasure. We see an exaggerated description which stresses Mulans bravery and collective contributions during her service in the military. And Mulan has no need for an official title. clearly communicates Mulans desire and motivation is not in the reward but is a pure patriotism and love for her father. Finally, But, only wish for a swift & healthy camel, to take me home. depicts the strong emotion Mulan fells after the war ends. The opening and the closing sentences of the fifth section are marked by Mulans parents heard about her homecoming, and & None knew Mulan is a girl.

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50 This part paints a joyful picture of a family reunion and so if I may describe this happy and warm scenario with a melody itll have an allegro tempo. This is a sharp contrast compared to previous scenarios, such as: only a lady's sighs. (in the wilderness) Mulan can't hear her parents calling her name. and To take me home. Also, we can see the above quotes as the progress of a story from departure to reunion. Furthermore, we see the author reminds readers of the femininity of Mulan in I fix my hair by the window, & I put on my make-up by the mirror. This is also a contrast from earlier description of her determination to take her fathers place in the army, when we read So, I want to buy a horse and a saddle. Its interesting to see how the author starts out this poem painting Mulan as a typical maiden. Mulan weaves by the door. And the author restates Mulans femininity to end this poem. Last, but not least, this section is ended by a comic relief which stresses Mulans wit in hiding her true identity as a girl for 12 years while provides a happy ending. They were all shocked and perplexed. Traveling together for twelve years, & None knew Mulan is a girl. Section six, the shortest section of Mulan Shih, is Mulans soliloquy. This is a clever way to emphasize Mulans shrewdness. Moreover, the metaphor of a he-hares feet being clumsy by nature and a she-hares blurry vision as a hereditary trait is ingenious. "The he-hare's feet are clumsy, The she-hare's eyes are blurry. & When these two hares run side by side, Who can tell its a He or a She?"

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51 List of Symbols and Their Definitions in Mulan Shih () Chinese Pronunciation Definition Tsiek-tsiek Noise of a loom Ch-chu Shuttle of a loom Chung-te Draft or conscription notice Khan The Emperor Rong-chi Top secret mission Kuang-shang Massive mountains Su-chee Gusts of cold air, typical of the North Ching-toal A time-telling gong, (gonga musical instrument) The-yee Armor Jong-she Brave warrior Tien-tze The Emperor Ming-tong The emperors Court where the emperor meets with his officals Ming-toh A swift and healthy camel Huo-huo Noise of sharpening a knifeshrill, shrill Hua-huang A kind of cosmetic for women, often worn on the forehead Yeh-niang Father and mother, or parents Hoo-Jee Hun peoples army Hung-tzang Cosmetics used by women Hsiung-tu-chiao-pu-shuo, Tzu-tu-yen-mi-li The he-hares feet are clumsy The she-hares eyes are blurry Design of the Educational Software Created for this Study Mulan Tech-Rich Lesson This is a tech-rich learning model designed to test the efficiency of multimedia support in Chinese literature classes. There are six categories in this demonstration model based on the constructivists principle of instruction that stimulate the five human senses (i.e. vision, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling.).

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52 The design of this model integrated a selected Chinese narrative poem (Mulan Shih) into a multimedia-technology-support-presentation. The mission of this audio-visual material is to entice students interest in learning an unfamiliar subject through the stimulation of vision, hearing, and touch (i.e. images, sounds, and typing/ mouse-clicking movements). The first category is the introduction of the lesson, which includes background knowledge of Mulan Shih in terms of historical and literature reviews. This section covers the hypertext, the resource page, the hyperlink, and the audio description. The second category is the lesson plan itself, which describes the rationale, the content, and the object of Mulan Shih. The third category is the text of Mulan Shih in English; this section uses color coding to illustrate the different plots of this poem. Moreover, there is a recording of a teachers rhythmic reading of Mulan Shih playing simultaneously with the English text to help the students learn the poem (the phonetic way). A vocabulary listing is also included, which explains the phrases, the expressions, and their definitions in both hypertext and audio presentations. The fourth category explains the symbols in Mulan Shih through several audio-visual products including the original Chinese text of Mulan Shih displayed in a scroll animation. This animation is user-friendly and it simply allows the learner to move his/her computer-mouse to browse the text back and forth. The fifth section consists of follow-up questions, which contains several short essay questions to test the students comprehension after they finish the tech-rich lesson. The students are asked to answer the questions based on the knowledge they learned from

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53 the tech-rich lesson and to return their answers to the teacher through the internet instead of the traditional paper-and-pencil-response in the classroom. Finally, the sixth section records the communications between the teacher and his/her students.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This chapter is devoted to the description of the design and methodology used to investigate the effects of varied sequences of two delivery methods (expository and multimedia), in presenting a Chinese literature lecture. The investigation will use a Split-plot ANOVA analysis to answer questions about the benefits of the sequence applied. The purpose of this study is to improve students literature learning at the high school level and to provide teachers with a low-cost, ubiquitous, hands-on technology and an instructional design through an audio-visual classroom. Description of Setting Two teaching sequences with the same subject will be taught using multimedia material and traditional text material. The Treatment group will have the teaching sequence in the reverse order from the Control group. Each group will take a post-test after each specific teaching method. The assumption is that higher scores will result from the group which uses the multimedia teaching method first, because it entices students appetite for an unfamiliar subject. Table 3-1. Test Design Pre-test Order of teaching methods Post-test Treatment group Yes MultimediaExpository (Text material) Yes Control group Yes Expository (Text material)Multimedia Yes The setting for the study is in a public high school language art class in the state of Florida (P. K. Yonge developmental research school in Gainesville, Florida). This school 54

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55 has an A grade in the Florida School Indicators Report. The average class size for grades K to 3rd is 21.81; 4th to 8th is 27.49; and 9 th to 12th is 23.69, and the average class size for language art classes is 24. Moreover, the English teachers average years of experience are 3-4 years. Description of Participants Participants were selected for the study from a sample chosen by the investigator as a representative sample of public school students and teachers in Florida. The chosen school is a developmental research school, and it is an experimental school associated with the College of Education at University of Florida located in Gainesville, Florida. This school was chosen for two reasons: first, the students who attend this developmental research school are demographically representatives of the population in North Central Florida. In fact, this school ensures a fair distribution of students based on gender, race, socioeconomic status, and academic ability. Second, a majority of this developmental research school students started and commenced their education there, and there were rarely any disruptive school transitions from elementary to middle school and from middle school to high school that could contribute to error. The percentage of white students is 60.12 %; Black, 23.99 %; Hispanic, 10.12 %; Asian, 1.65 %; Native American Indian, .52 %; and Multiracial, 3.57 %. And the pupil: teacher ratio is 24:1 from grades K to 12 th Two high school language arts classes were randomly chosen to participate in this study, and the classes were also randomly assigned to the two experimental groups. The age of the 11 th graders in the participating language arts classes ranges from 17 to 18 years and the average size of the language art class is 24.

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56 The participants were taught a Chinese literature poem-Mulan Shih by the English teacher who conducted this experiment in his two language arts classes. There will be 50 of the 11th grade students participating in this study. There is no monetary compensation for participating in this research study. Experimental Research Design This research was designed as a pretest-posttest-treatment-study (Isaac & Michael, 1981), and it used a Split-plot ANOVA to provide the quantitative data that could be used to answer questions about the efficiency of the sequence of the multimedia and expository methods used. Specifically, this study performed a pre-test before the class, and conducted two post-tests at the end of each applied method regardless of the sequence used. A pre-test of the selected topic was given to students before the lesson to test the knowledge level of the students. Posttest 1 shall tell which method is better after the lecture is given on a Chinese narrative poem. The posttest 2 shall indicate which sequence of these two methods work better for the students. This experiment was designed to help to answer questions about the method effect of a treatment and the effects of a treatment that varies only in the sequence of presentation. The study was called Split-plot ANOVA with sequence and tests as repeated measures to test the two experimental groups. This measurement was selected because the policy of the state law indicates that the investigator cannot split a class to test the students, therefore, individual random assignment within groups is not possible, and the random assignment in this study is only at the class level, so Quasi-experimental design was used to conduct this measurement. The main effect of this design is to compare the mean scores on the dependent variables which were collected from three occasions (pretest, posttest 1, and posttest 2). This way, we expect the results to come

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57 from a more powerful test with a treatment effect. Moreover, if the correlation between the pretests and posttests of the two experimental groups is significant, then we can conclude that this particular sequence results in ANOVA power advantages. Finally, the description of our study is specified in the following sections. Section Intervention Pattern Two intact high school language arts classes were randomly assigned to the two experimental groups, and such assignment was done so the students of each class stay in the same experimental group. The policy of the state law also requires that a responsible teacher musts monitor his/her students during class time. Table 2 provides the quasi-experimental design for this study. Treatment group students were given Treatment 1 (the multimedia material preceded the lecture) while the control group receives Treatment 2 (the lecture preceded the multimedia material). The students for both of the experimental groups were given a pretest prior to the initial treatments. The treatment group will have the teaching sequence in reverse order from control group. Each group will take a post-test after each specific teaching method. The general design of the study followed the following format. Table 3-2. Quasi-experimental Design for Each Group Treatment 1 Group O 1 X 1 O 2 X 2 O 3 Treatment 2 Group O 1 X 2 O 2 X 1 O 3 Pilot Study A pilot study was conducted to identify the validity and the reliability of the test items for the 11th grade students. The subject and questionnaires used in the pilot study of this research were selected by the investigator from related study materials suitable for middle school students in Taiwan. In fact, Mulan Shih is one of the subjects in the

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58 Chinese literature text book at middle school level in Taiwan. The selected questionnaires were compiled through different research channels and then translated into English after being validated by a junior high school Chinese literature instructor who has more than ten years of experience. The questionnaires were also approved by a high school language arts teacher before the research was conducted. They include true-and-false and fill-in-blank questions. These two kinds of questions allow participants to respond quickly to the selected topic, a Chinese narrative poemMulan Shih. Participants Ten 11 th grade students (6 males and 4 females) (a developmental research school associated with the College of Education at University of Florida) were selected to participate in this pilot study. Procedure The pilot study test items (See Appendix A) were administered to the ten 11 th grade students who had returned their parental consent forms. The students were asked to recall the knowledge of the Chinese narrative poem-Mulan Shih through 20 true-and false questions and 20 fill-in-the-blank questions. The students were told that the research was really concerned with the efficiency of the teaching method. Data Analysis Holsti (1969) described content analysis as a technique for making inferences by objectively and systematically identifying specified characteristics of messages. In accordance with the guidelines for this type of analysis, students responses were checked independently by two reviewers including the research investigator and a second independent reviewer. The internal consistency is calculated and used in the analysis. Two types of test items, True-and-false and Fill-in-the-blank, were also analyzed

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59 respectively. Based on the results of the respective analysis of each part, inappropriate items were dropped accordingly to increase the reliability to the required standard (Cronbachs is no less than 0.7). And then the remaining items were put together to be analyzed again. At last, the test items were finalized into a reasonable number with the highest reliability value generated from the statistical measurement (Cronbachs Alpha). True-and-false question. The 20 true-and-false items in this analysis were labeled as Q1-Q20 in part 1 of the test. As a result, the analysis of the value of the Cronbachs (reliability) of the part 1 increased (specified in the table below), when certain questions were dropped. Some of the original test items were found to have overly long descriptions that might impact students abilities to understand the questions. Some of the questions used advanced vocabulary in description which might be beyond the students knowledge base in understanding those questions. These items were dropped based on the statistic analysis of the items reliability and the experts review in order to get the adequate validity of the test items. Basically the value for the Cronbachs should be no less than 0.7 to ensure the reliability of these test items. Fill-in-the-blank question. The 20 fill-in-the-blank questions in this analysis were labeled as P1-P20 in part 2 of the test. As a result, the value of the Cronbachs (reliability) of part 2 increased (specified in the table below) when certain question were dropped. Basically the value for the Cronbachs should be no less than 0.7 to ensure the reliability of these test items.

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60 Table 3-3. Reliability Value of True and False Question Dropped variables Cronbachs Number of items None (All items *) -.470 20 Q1, Q6, Q12 .349 17 Q16, 18 .600 15 Q10 .634 14 Q20 .660 13 Q5 .675 12 Q14 .693 11 Q15 .725 10 All items mean the original amount of questions before screening out any one. Table 3-4. Reliability Value of Fill-in-the-blank Question Dropped variables Cronbachs Number of items P8, P9, P11, P17* .703 16 P8 .703 16 P9 .703 16 P11 .703 16 P17 .703 16 P2 .732 15 P7 .760 14 P14 .794 13 P16 .806 12 In the analysis of Cronbachs P8, P9, P11, P17 were automatically removed by a specific computer program because the statistics analysis showed that they have low variance and their determinant of the covariance matrix is approximately zero.

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61 Combination of the two parts of test items. Twenty-two items were selected from the original 40 items including the true-and-false and fill-in-the-blank questions, according to the reliability of the statistic analyses shown above. There are 10 true-and-false questions and 12 fill-in-the-blank questions. As a result, the value of the Cronbachs of the combination items increased (specified in the table below) when some inappropriate items which badly relate to the others were dropped. Basically the adequate value for the Cronbachs should be no less than 0.7 to ensure the reliability of these test items. Table 3-5. Reliability Value of the 22 Items of True-and-false and Fill-in-the-blank Mixed. Dropped variables Cronbachs Number of items None (All items*) .673 22 Q7 .714 21 P13 .719 20 All items mean the original amount of question before screening out any. The Cronbachs increased to an acceptable value .714 when item Q7 was dropped. Moreover, when item P13 was dropped along with item Q7, the value of Cronbachs increased to .719. Although there is no big difference in the value of Cronbachs between dropping Q7 only and dropping both Q7 and P13; however, the decision was made based on general preference of having an even number questionnaire. Therefore, the final decision is that the test items were to have 20 items total with 9 of the true-and-false questions and 11 fill-in-the-blank questions. The reliability of the test items was adequate according to the value of Cronbachs at .719. The selected 20 items were finally reviewed by a Chinese literature teacher and the investigator to evaluate their

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62 content validity as well as the level of difficulty of the items. The reviewers rated the tests as valid as well as having the appropriate difficulty. Instruments The pretest and the two posttests used in this study were done as paper-and-pencil-tests developed by the researcher. The same instrument is used for the pretest and the posttests to ensure the equivalence for each group. Each test instrument consisted of the same paper and pencil test items about the concept of the Chinese narrative poemMulan Shih. Tests were given to examine the high school students knowledge about the concept of a story plot based on a Chinese narrative poem. Specifically, the test measures the efficiency of multimedia material in the varied sequence. Furthermore, the teacher and the students in high school level language arts classes used multimedia material and expository teaching methods to study the assigned literature topic. Illustrations were used in the historical-content questions to present a complete history-and-literature concept. Participants were asked to answer each question based on their knowledge, and the test questions were reviewed by two Chinese literature teachers and one English teacher who teach middle-school in Taiwan. Description of the Test Items The original 40 test items were selected and reviewed by two Chinese literature teachers and one English teacher who have, individually, more than 10-years of teaching experience in Taiwan. After the pilot study, one Chinese literature teacher and investigator reviewed the selected items according to the statistical analysis of item reliability in order to ensure the item validity. There are two sections in the paper-and-pencil-test, and the test items were true-and-false and fill-in-blank questions, which requires students to respond based on a conceptual understanding and instant reaction. To

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63 answer the questions, students need to recall and apply their knowledge based on general understanding of the concept. Advantages and limitations of the selected test formats. True-and-false and fill-in-the-blank questions, like every assessment technique, have their advantages and limitations. The advantages are as following: A broader content can be sampled because it takes little time to answer and thus increase the validity. Scores wont be influenced by the scorers impression of students writing ability. The results can yield reliable scores since there is no difference in the scoring system. True-and-false and fill-in-the-blank questions are timesaving in grading. On the other hand, the limitations of true-and-false and fill-in-the-blank questions are as follows: True-and-false and fill-in-the-blank questions cannot test complex learning concepts which could only be measurable by an essay question. The true-and-false questions sometimes confuse the students. The true-and-false questions could be answered correctly by guessing. The questions cannot be constructed relatively quickly. The questions in this study were derived from similar tests found in the standard middle school instructors handbook in Taiwan. In addition, true-and-false questions are used to test the students concept of the story plot in Mulan Shih while the fill-in-the-blank questions are used to test the students vocabulary which they learned from Mulan Shih. The-Story-of-Mulan-Shih-test was given as a pretest prior to the lecture to all participants. The researcher took adequate steps to insure the integrity of the test administration. Directions were read aloud by the classroom teacher to ask the

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64 participants to complete the pretest on their own without getting help from outside resources. Participants were advised orally that the evaluation is part of a research program, and it is not an individual assessment for any other study. The students were given 10 minutes to complete the pretest, as well as the two posttests followed each appropriate treatment (i.e. either the multimedia or the lecture). The test items are provided in Appendix (A). Variables The following dependent variables were used in the study: Pretest score-the story of Mulan Shih. This variable is defined by the students score (0-20) on the pencil-and-paper-instrument, which was designed to determine the participants general knowledge of the story plot in Mulan Shih before they receive the subject lecture. Posttest score-the story of Mulan Shih. This variable is defined by the students score (0-20) on the pencil-and-paper-instrument, which was designed to determine the participants general knowledge of the story plot in Mulan Shih. There are two posttests: Posttest 1 was conducted after the first teaching method was applied; Posttest 2 was conducted after the teacher applied the second teaching method. The following independent variables were used in the study: Method Treatment. This variable refers to the first teaching method in each sequence treatment, either expository or multimedia. Sequence 1 (multimedia expository) first applies multimedia method in teaching the selected topic-Mulan Shih. Sequence 2 (expository multimedia) first applies the expository method in teaching on the same subject.

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65 The sequence of the instructional activity. This variable is consisted of two teaching methods: the expository and multimedia. Sequence 1 (multimedia expository) applies multimedia presentation before using the expository approach in teaching the selected topic-Mulan Shih. Sequence 2 (expository multimedia) applies the expository approach before using multimedia presentation on the same subject. Research Hypothesis Our hypotheses assumed that the difference in instructional sequence has major impact on the efficacy of the lecture concerning the selected Chinese narrative poem Mulan Shih. And the following two hypotheses are formulated and assessed by a Split-Plot ANOVA statistical procedures at the 0.05 level of significance (). Hypothesis. There is significant difference in sequence effect over time between the two treatments (multimedia and expository) for students to learn the selected narrative poem-Mulan Shih. Null hypothesis. There is no significant difference in sequence effect over time in the application of the two treatments (multimedia and expository) in students ability of learning. The following are the two instruction sequences involved in this study: Sequence 1. Apply multimedia before expository approach. (multimedia expository) Sequence 2. Apply expository approach before multimedia. (expository multimedia) Experimental Procedures Pretest administration. A pretest of the story of Mulan Shih was given to all participants prior to the subject lecture. Directions were read aloud by the teacher to ask

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66 the participants to complete the pretest (as well as the two posttests) without extra help from outside sources. Participants were also advised orally that the evaluation for the pretest (as well as the two posttests) is for a research program, and it is not an individual assessment that would be used for any other studies. Moreover, all tests were also coded for anonymity. Treatment 1. Defined as a series of teaching methods using multimedia presentation to introduce an ancient Chinese narrative poem (Mulan Shih) followed by the expository method on the same subject. (Sequence 1: multimedia expository) Treatment 2. Defined as a series of teaching methods using the expository approach for the same topic used in Treatment 1 followed by the multimedia presentation. (Sequence 2: expository multimedia ) Posttest 1. This was administered immediately to both experimenting groups after the application of the first teaching method of each treatment to evaluate the efficiency of the first teaching method. Posttest 2. This was administered immediately to both experimenting groups after the application of the second teaching method of each treatment to evaluate the efficiency of the specified sequence. Data Analysis Analysis of data was completed in the following manner. A Split-plot ANOVA was used to compare the test item means on the dependent variable since there is no random assignment to groups. Because the treatments were conducted in intact classes, a Split-plot ANOVA was used to analyze the data in students ability level. Split-plot ANOVA was selected for use since it estimates the treatment effect. This results in a more powerful test of the treatment effect. In face, any correlation (between a

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67 pretest and a posttest or between two posttests) that is significant will result in a Split-plot ANOVA power advantage.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This experiment was designed to investigate the effectiveness of alternating sequences of two teaching methods (expository and multimedia) in terms of the students improvement in their test scores. The research question described in chapter 3 concentrated on whether the alternating instructional sequences of a multimedia and an expository method can effectively make content knowledge of literature more learner-friendly. This chapter presents the descriptive statistics of the participants, and the results of the Split-plot ANOVA analysis, and concludes with a summary of major findings. Descriptive Statistics of the Sample Participants for this study were selected from a sample chosen by the investigator as a representative sample of public school students in North Florida. All 50 participants in this study came from two 11 th grade language arts classes at P.K. Yonge developmental research school, Gainesville, Florida. The pupil/teacher ratio for each class is 24 students per teacher. Table 4-1. Demographic Data for the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School white Black Hispanic Asian India Multiracial Pupil/teacher ratio Grade 11 th 60.12% 23.99 % 10.12% 1.65 % .52 % 3.57 % 24 68

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69 Group Formation The researcher randomly assigned two intact language arts classes to two experimental groups (one Treatment group and one Control group). However, the students were not randomly assigned for either the Treatment group or the Control group. Treatment All pretests and posttests in this study were paper and pencil tests (see Appendix A). A high school language arts teacher used a multimedia and an expository teaching method alternately in two sequences to test their efficiency. The selected topic of instruction was a Chinese narrative poem, Mulan Shih. The Treatment group started with a pretest followed by a lesson taught through a multimedia presentation. Then the students were administered posttest 1. A week later, the students were taught the same topic by the same teacher through the expository method, and they were administered posttest 2. The Control group followed the same pattern but reversed the sequence of the two teaching methods. Hypothesis Testing Analysis of a Split-plot ANOVA was used to compare the mean scores on the dependent variables (the pretest and the two posttests). The Split-plot ANOVA extends the ANOVA measurement by including information on some predictor, often a pretest measure. The study used Quasi-experimental design for the experimental groups since that random assignment is not possible. A Split-plot ANOVA estimates the difference between the treatments through tests. This results in a more powerful test of the treatment effect. The power advantages of a Split-plot ANOVA accrue to the extent that the pretest to posttest 1 and posttest 1 to posttest 2 are related.

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70 A Split-plot ANOVA model analysis was done for three test scores (pretest, posttest 1, posttest 2). Descriptive statistics for test results are presented in the following tables. Mauchlys test showed the value of Sphericity to be 0.022 (see Table 4-2), which violates the assumption of Sphericity. Therefore, Sphericity was no longer assumed. The Huynh-Feldt method was used instead to adjust the degree of freedom (df). Moreover, the value of df was changed to 1.837 after the adjustment so that the split-plot ANOVA test results could be used. (see Table 4-3) Table 4-2. Mauchlys Test of Sphericity Within Subjects Effect Mauchlys W Approx. Chi-Square df Sig. Test .850 7.631 2 .022 Table 4-3. Tests of Within-Subject Effects (Huynh-Feldt) Source DF Type III SS Mean Square F Value Sig. (p-value) Test 1.837 1656.373 901.831 198.039 .000 Test* sequence 1.837 140.160 76.312 16.758 .000 Significant at the 0.05 level The research hypothesis was used to test the efficacy of the sequence treatment on the students comprehension of Mulan Shih. Hypothesis. Statistical analysis reported that there is significant difference in the students test scores in sequence effect over time (as mentioned in chapter 3) between the Treatments (multimedia and expository) in learning the selected narrative poem-Mulan Shih. The Treatment group was first administrated with the multimedia presentation and then the expository approach, while the Control group was treated in the reverse order. After the treatment, each group was tested (posttest 1& posttest 2). The pretest scores were used as one of the dependent variables which reflected the students knowledge

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71 level before they receive a subject lecture. The test scores were assessed by an analysis of interaction statistical procedure at the 0.05 level of significance (alpha). The p-value of this test is 0.000 (p< 0.05). The study result indicates that there is an interaction between the test and sequence. That is, the sequence effect over time is significant since the students mean scores changed over the course of 3 consecutive tests in a positive tendency. The sequence effect over time is presented in table 4-3, 4-4 and figure 4-1. Table 4-4. Descriptive Statistics of the Means and Standard Deviation for Pretest and Posttest Scores over Time Sequence Pretest (O1) Posttest1 (O2) Posttest2 (O3) N M SD N M SD N M SD Treatment 1 25 5.68 1.887 25 12.96 2.59 25 15.64 1.68 Control 2 25 8.6 2.483 25 11.56 3.01 25 14.72 1.969 Significant at the 0.05 level Figure 4-1. Sequence effect over time. test 1: pretest. test 2: posttest 1. test 3: posttest 2. Sequence 1: Treatment group. Sequence 2: Control group. However, the students mean score (15.64) of posttest 2 in sequence 1 (multimedia expository) is not significantly different from that (14.72) of posttest 2 in

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72 sequence 2 (expository multimedia). In other words, the sequence difference (i.e. the final value of each graph in the above diagram) of the two methods (Multimedia and expository) does not have a significant effect on students learning (sequence 1= 15.64, sequence 2= 14.72). The result of the statistical report (see figure 4-2) did show that there was significant difference between the two testing teaching methods (multimedia and expository). The Treatment group was treated with a multimedia experiment, while the Control group was treated with an expository experiment. The test scores were then assessed by an analysis of comparing mean scores difference of each treatment group for its improvement from pretest to posttest1. Also, to compare the efficiency of each group for the same time frame, the table in figure 4-2 showed the Treatment group improved from the average score of 5.68 to 12.96 while the Control group only progressed from 8.6 to 11.56. The improvement of the students scores from pretest to posttest 1 in Treatment group is significant different from that of the Control group. That means the different teaching methods do make significant difference in the students comprehension. In addition, the graphs in figure 4-2, it appears that sequence 1 (multimedia expository) is partially more efficient than sequence 2 (expository multimedia). In conclusion, although sequence 1 was hypothesized to be more efficient than sequence 2, the statistical analysis showed that the efficiency of sequence 1 did not make a significant difference in the final score.

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73 024681012141618tes t 1 2 15.6812.9615.64 28.611.5614.72123 Figure 4-2. Mean scores change through tests in two sequences. In examining the interaction between test and sequence, the significant value in table 4-3 indicated that the sequence effect over time is significant since the p-value is less than 0.05. All in all, the statistical analysis in the Split-plot ANOVA model showed that sequence difference was not proven to have a significant effect in the final scores (posttest 2), but the sequence effect over time was proven to be significant. Therefore, sequence is a relatively unimportant factor in explaining the variations between the two groups final scores, but it is still important in explaining the improvement of the students scores through the experiment since both the graphs in figure 4-2 slope upward. Table 4-5 demonstrates the comparison of the two experimental groups in their test scores, from pretest to posttest 2. Sequence 1 (multimedia expository) is shown to be more effective than sequence 2 (expository multimedia).

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74 Table 4-5. Mean Scores Differences Between Tests in Two Groups Group Mean Score Mean Score difference O1 O2 O3 O2-O1 O3-O1 Treatment group 5.68 12.96 15.64 7.28 9.96 Control group 8.6 11.56 14.72 2.96 6.12 O1: pretest, O2: posttest 1, O3: posttest 2 Both method and sequence have a positive effect on students scores. That is, the effect of sequence of two methods tested over tests is significant in enhancing the efficiency of instruction in the specified Chinese literature topic. Summary This study investigated the sequence effect of a multimedia presentation verses an expository teaching method involving a Chinese narrative poem (Mulan Shih) at the high school level. The statistical analysis showed that there is significant difference in the students test scores in the sequence over time between the two experimental groups. In addition, different teaching methods do make a significant difference in the effect of the students comprehension of selected topic. The statistical report indicated that the multimedia presentation was more efficient in conveying a selected subject. The comparison of the improvement of the two experimental groups in their test scores (from pretest to posttest 2) showed that sequence 1 (multimedia expository) is more effective than sequence 2 (expository multimedia).

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This study investigated how the presentation sequence of two different instructional methods (multimedia and expository) impacted high school students ability to learn the Chinese narrative poem Mulan Shih. Empirical tests demonstrated that students scores increased in sequence over time. The statistical report indicates that the improvement of the students scores (from pretest to posttest 2) for the Treatment group (i.e. sequence 1: multimedia expository) was significantly different than that of the Control group (i.e. sequence 2: expository multimedia). The test results also show that the multimedia method is more efficient than the expository method. Since the study results indicated that multimedia was effective in enhancing students learning ability in a selected literature topic, multimedia technology was evidenced to become an important tool in helping improve Chinese literature instruction. In this study, a multimedia product, Mulan-tech-rich lesson was used as the multimedia presentation. Based upon attempts to improve learner-friendliness, the researcher created the Mulan multimedia product, which includes moveable parts to animate illustrations and buttons that deliver songs and sound effects. Thus, the content in Mulan-tech-rich lesson is interactive and fully animated. The story of Mulan Shih was presented in terms of a storybook in this multimedia product. In other words, the electronic storybook played an important role in this multimedia product of the selected literature topic. Before the investigators Mulan-tech-rich lesson was made, Mulans story had been included in childrens storybooks of various types of multimedia technology (Mulan animated 75

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76 storybook, 1998). Meanwhile, with an increased emphasis on learning interest and human learning, storybooks have become a natural and powerful tool in instruction (Jonassen & Hernandez, 2002). A research project concerned with the application of various electronic storybooks in language and literature instruction also confirmed the effectiveness of electronic storybooks in literature instruction (Chen, Ferdig & Wood, 2003). Instructional Implications of This Study In this study, the alternative sequences of two delivery methods (multimedia and expository) were applied in the two experimental groups. The instructional design of this study was composed of a traditional teaching method accompanied by a computer-based multimedia presentation to demonstrate a selected literature topic. Although the result of this study showed a positive effect in the instructional sequence, some changes and advanced improvements in the design of the instructional structure might lead to a better effect in Chinese literature instruction in the future. This study showed that multimedia was a powerful tool for enhancing the students learning ability. Accordingly, more printed material in traditional lectures could be incorporated into the multimedia resources for students to browse instead of being taught by the teacher in limited class time. These technology-based resources may include background information and vocabulary or the symbols and expressions of a selected literature topic for students to preview before the class. Consequently, students would receive the outline of the concept of what they are going to learn in the selected literature topic. The benefits of these multimedia resources are that the students receive the peripheral information in advance so that the teacher can save time in introducing the background information in class. In other words, students do not passively accept

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77 knowledge from their teacher as part of the lesson. Instead, they are responsible for learning the literature material before the class through multimedia resources. Second, the electronic storybook designed for a specific literature topic could be presented through computers in the classroom. More specified categories related to the selected literature topic would be included in the electronic storybook. In the second stage, the teacher in the classroom assists his/her students in learning the subject with the multimedia product. Finally, instead of lecturing the subject content which has been posted online to his/her students, the teacher reviews and summarizes the content of the subject for his/her students in an interactive way to help them remember the important elements of the subject content. This would results in teachers having fewer lectures in their class, allowing them the time to assist their students through the learning process. That is, literature teachers should gradually change their teaching approach and their roles in the setting of a traditional literature class. To the end, multimedia technology is an important tool in providing different teaching methods for literature instruction. The Implication for Future Study This study was done without randomly assigning subject to groups. The lack of random assignment may have contributed to the results obtained. As a result, the researcher suggests the application of individual random assignment in the future replication of the study. This study also showed that multimedia material did effectively improve students learning and entices their interest in the selected Chinese literature topic. The result of

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78 this study also implied that the electronic storybooks have potential in improving the Chinese literature instruction. However, researchers should be concerned about how to make electronic storybooks meet the needs of effective literature instruction. In other words, how electronic storybooks could work for the improvement of literature instruction becomes an important issue to be considered. That means that researchers need to explore ways that electronic storybooks have been applied in literature or language instruction successfully, and test whether or not similar models of electronic storybooks work for the specified literature topic. That is, the evaluation and assessment of electronic storybooks are the prerequisite for preparing effective multimedia material in literature instruction. Additionally, the study results indicated that instructional sequence has significant importance in affecting students scores in learning a selected literature topic. The study results also implied that instructional sequence affected students learning interest. When the multimedia presentation was presented prior to the expository method in a sequence, students tended to better understand the selected topic. Based on the statistical results, the expository method was proved to be less effective than the multimedia method in the first stage in the sequence. That is, the expository method may not be as effective as the multimedia presentation in the beginning of the instruction; however, it was still effective when it was applied after a multimedia presentation in an instructional sequence. The point is, if the expository method was arranged well in the sequence, it helped the multimedia method in the whole instructional process and finally resulted in an improvement of students learning. In other words, the expository method may not be the best choice at the beginning of a literature instruction, but it was a stable and acceptable

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79 way to support other teaching methods. Accordingly, researchers should explore the effectiveness of an expository method, which is applied in the literature cases. In addition, the renovation of the expository method is also significant in improving the instructional effectiveness. Likewise, research related to the effective instructional sequence including the expository method should be explored in view of the integration of effective instructional strategies. In future studies, the researcher should consider the issue of arranging proper methods in different time frames in order to get the effective instructional sequence (Jalongo, M., Dragich, D., Conrad, N. & Zhang, A., 2002). This study demonstrated that Chinese literature instruction could be improved through the integration of human learning, electronic storybooks and literature elements in an effective instructional sequence. Future studies may target the possibility of designing Chinese literature instruction in terms of integrating literature elements and electronic storybooks. At the same time, researchers need to analyze interactions among technology application, literature elements, and storybook literacy in the instructional sequence. This study also indicates that additional research regarding the effectiveness of sequence and the relationship between integrating literature elements and electronic storybook should be performed. Another issue to be explored is how individuals will interact with the computer presentation with the same ease as the traditional classroom instruction. In other words, how the interface design of the computer simulation of teaching fits these human sense operations of the learners so to reduce their apprehension in learning through computer presentation.

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APPENDIX THE TEST ITEMS OF THE STORY OF MULAN SHIH I. True and false : write your answer to each question in the blank provided. _____ 1. Mulan has an older brother. _____ 2. The she-hares eyes are sharp. _____ 3. Go to the East, Mulan buys a good horse. _____ 4. Mulan fixed her hair by the door. _____ 5. Mulan weaves by the window. _____ 6. Mulans comrades were not shocked to find out her true gender. _____ 7. At dawn, Mulan departs from her parents. _____ 8. Mulan can hear her parents calling her in the wilderness. _____ 9. Mulan cant concentrate on weaving because shes in love with a man. _____ 10. Mulan Shih is a folksong written in North Dynasty. II. Fill in the Blanks : write the correct answer in the space provided. Mulan answered the draft in 1 _________________________s place. Mulan Shih later became a narrative poem, but it still retains the simplicity nature of a 2 __________________. In the ancient China, the Emperor meets his officials at the 3 _____________. Go to the East, Mulan buys a 4 ________________________. In the ancient wild West of China and among other Northern tribes, the people address their King as 5 _____________________. When Mulan weaves one hears 6 ________________________ instead of the shuttle of a loom. After Mulan left home, she travels through the 7 ___________Mountain. 80

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81 Casualties are 8 ___________ even among Generals. Mulans parents meet her at the 9 _____________________ when she returns. Mulans military life lasted 10 _______________ years.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH My name is Minchu Chen. I am a doctoral graduate student currently majoring in educational technology at the University of Florida. Before attending the University of Florida, I was employed as a full-time instructor at the Center of General Education at Chang Gung University in Taiwan where I taught courses in Chinese literature from September of 1995 to August of 1999. I also served as Chief of the Division of Curriculum in the office of the dean, from June of 1998 until August of 1999. In my capacity as Chief of the Division of Curriculum, I became very familiar with what is needed to foster an exemplary instructional program for university faculty members. Rather than being an expert in any one field, I prefer to promote excellence and creativity in teaching across a broad spectrum of academic endeavors by acting as a faculty facilitator, thereby making the best use of my talents and abilities. In the fall of 1999, I enrolled at the University of Florida, where I am currently specializing in curriculum and educational system designs, performance technology, information-based teaching, problem-based teaching, assessment design, and other related disciplines. For the 2000 spring semester here at the University of Florida, I have worked for the Southeastern University and College Coalition for Engineering EDucation (SUCCEED) and have been a research assistant at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. SUCCEED seeks to promote teaching excellence at the college 90

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91 level by integrating current technologies. Also, I helped develop the Lecture on Demand method of using multimedia str eaming technologies with the Asynchronous Learning Network (ALN) model. The online ALN content includes a classroom lecture which is web-cast live on the Internet and then post-processed to add other components such as synchronous PowerPoint slides. In addition to these projects, I helped design multiple web pages for other online courses, as well as templates for virtual cla ssrooms. Later, I carefully researched and evaluated the effects of onlin e learning in general. I worked as an assistant from May, 2001, to December, 2003, in the Office of Educational Technology in College of Educa tion at UF. I was responsible for the workshop of faculty development and student electronic portfolio and the individual consultation for technology teaching on both of th em. In addition to these, I also worked for the online tutorial for helping st udents and faculty get online support: http://www.coe.ufl.edu/school/portfolio/tutorials.htm Then I evaluated the students electronic portfolios to suggest whethe r they are qualifie d enough in technology requirement to graduate or not. The result may be reviewed at http://www.coe.ufl.edu/school/portfolio/index.htm