The Multimedia Motion CD‐ROM is used as part of the teaching for the Supported Learning in Physics (SLIP) project, an Open University‐led project to develop open and flexible learning materials in physics for use by post‐16 students in schools and colleges. Multimedia Motion enables students to chart and analyse a range of movements: displacement, velocities, accelerations, etc. of a variety of people and vehicles. During the pilot phase of the project, we conducted an evaluation of the CD‐ROM‐based activities. The evaluation consisted of observations of teacher and student use of the material in two schools, augmented with data obtained from questionnaires administered in a further two schools. The resulting data raises a number of issues about how exploratory learning can best be supported by multimedia. We observed the expected benefits of increased motivation for learners because of access to more realistic applications of the laws of physics illustrated on the disc. However, several others factors appeared to be important to students when using it. In this paper, we explore how teachers’ and students’ perceptions of the task involved in learning post‐16 physics must be addressed in designing suitable multimedia presentations and exercises
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