A new e-Learning Resource to Support Music Education in Romanian Schools
Keywords:ICT Integration, Music Education, Digital Resources, Music Technology, Music Software
The pandemic has demonstrated the need for e-learning tools to support Romanian music education. The lack of digital resources in the national language adapted to the Romanian music curriculum made it difficult for students to learn using foreign applications with a different music notation system from Romania’s during the online teaching period. In response to this, we created a software tool that supports musical instruction in line with the outcomes expected by the country's school music curricula. This study investigated the effect of the new software on improving learning outcomes and student motivation. The participants were three experimental groups from eight schools. Group A (n = 60 pupils) were required to use the software for six weeks, at least 15 minutes per day, five days a week. This was carried out under teacher supervision in classrooms and under teacher guidance at home. Group B (n = 61 pupils) were asked to use the software once a week for six weeks in their music lessons. Group C (n=10 teachers) lead the application's testing process. Each child was allocated a unique code (to ensure each pupil's anonymity), which enabled the researcher to observe their activity. The average total use per child in Group A was 48 sessions, and for Group B, it was 12 sessions. The results for Group A showed pupils had notably enhanced their learning outcomes. Of the (n=60) pupils, 96% reported feeling 'highly motivated' by the software. The tool's facility for personalised, needs-focused exercises with immediate feedback was identified as particularly helpful. Group B, who used the software occasionally, made slower progress, but 93% reported that the addition of the software was preferable to traditional classroom music education conducted without such individual-focused technology. Out of (n=121) pupils, 94% reported the software was easy to learn and use. Each of the ten teachers who led the testing process reported increased accuracy of the elements practised with the software after six weeks of usage and decided to continue using it. More exercise resources are currently being developed for the software. Now also in English, it is easily translatable into other languages.