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Agreed discoveries: students’ negotiations in a virtual laboratory experiment
University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2545-7747
Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3402-525X
Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Instructional science, ISSN 0020-4277, E-ISSN 1573-1952, Vol. 41, no 3, 455-480 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents an analysis of the scientific reasoning of a dyad of secondary school students about the phenomenon of dissolution of gases in water as they work on this in a simulated laboratory experiment. A web-based virtual laboratory was developed to provide learners with the opportunity to examine the influence of physical factors on gas solubility in water. An evaluation process involving 180 students revealed that the concepts connected to the dissolution of gas in water caused problems for the students even after having experimented with the virtual laboratory. To investigate the nature of learners' reasoning about the visualised events, 13 video-recorded groups of learners were analysed. This study follows the reasoning of one group that displayed a possibly productive way of solving the problem. The results address the students' general difficulty of discovering something that they are conceptually unprepared for within the virtual laboratory. The analysis shows how the students eventually found a way out of their dilemma by making an analogy with other dissolving processes. In effect, the analysis elucidates some of the analytical work that had to be done by the participants when collaboratively negotiating a shared meaning of a scientific concept in concord with a given task and set of instructional materials. Implications for design might be to provide the learning material with explicit hints that enable students to connect to specific phenomena related to the one investigated concept. The findings show the usefulness of video analytic research, informed by CA and ethnomethodology. This analytical framework can support design processes and provide useful information, which might identify hurdles to learning a scientific concept by simulated events and pathways to overcome these hurdles. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2013. Vol. 41, no 3, 455-480 p.
Keyword [en]
Virtual laboratory work, Concept of gas solubility in water, Discovery learning, Scientific reasoning, Collaborative negotiating
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-30157DOI: 10.1007/s11251-012-9238-1ISI: 000316289700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84874988083OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-30157DiVA: diva2:893949
Projects
Bio-HOPE
Note

The Bio-HOPE project was founded by the Wallenberg Global Learning Network (WGLN). The project was brought about as a co-operative enterprise between Stanford University, University of Gothenburg and Linköping University. The work reported here has been supported by the Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS).

Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2016-01-13 Last updated: 2016-01-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Instructional technologies in science education: Students’ scientific reasoning in collaborative classroom activities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Instructional technologies in science education: Students’ scientific reasoning in collaborative classroom activities
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study originates from an interest in how students interpret scientific concepts demonstrated with animated instructional technologies. Currently, science education makes use of diverse kinds of instructional methods. For the advancement of instruction, new technologies have continuously been employed. Such new instructional technologies have always been accompanied with expectations that they should reform teaching. The availability of IT in schools and the selection of animated displays for instructional purposes provide new opportunities for education. This thesis accounts for three empirical studies of students’ collaborative work with instructional technologies. For the purpose of studying students’ scientific reasoning, two kinds of animated instructional technologies were designed. The three studies focused on designing and exploring the whole educational intervention and are located in the area of design-based research. They provide detailed analyses of secondary school students’ collaboration on an assignment of giving a joint written account of the instructed concept. Analytically, this is done within a socio-cultural framework that uses interaction analysis inspired by ideas from conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. Study I and Study II report observations from instructional technologies that deal with the flow of materials in the carbon cycle. The two studies were connected, as the outcomes from the first study informed the educational framing of the second study. Study III reports findings from a sub-study of a design experiment where students worked in a virtual laboratory to learn about the solubility of gas in water. The results from the studies show that students’ reasoning was influenced by several aspects, such as the characteristics of the animated display, language use, school cultural norms, the formulation of the assignment and the students’ pre-knowledge. The analyses also evinced that the students’ interpretation of a demonstrated concept often diverted from a canonical scientific one, which warns against assuming that the collaborative meaning-making of animated instructional technologies automatically leads to a creation of the desired scientific concept. These findings emphasise that when designing and applying animated instructional technologies in education, one has to consider a wider context where assignment formulation, teacher guidance, school culture and semiotic processes influence how students approach and frame their assignment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, 2012. 127 p.
Series
Studies in applied information technology, ISSN 1652-490X ; 11
Keyword
Instructional technologies, animations, design-based research, interaction analysis, science education
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-30160 (URN)978-91-628-8441-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-03-30, Quark, plan 3, Patricia, Forskningsgången 6, Göteborg, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-01-14 Created: 2016-01-13 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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