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Challenges and rewards of web-based learning in physics classrooms

Chandra, Vinesh & Fisher, Darrell (2005) Challenges and rewards of web-based learning in physics classrooms. In Fisher, D., Zandvliet, D., Gaynor, I., & Koul, R. (Eds.) Fourth International Conference on Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, August 25-28, 2005, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada..

Abstract

In some classrooms, teaching methods have evolved little over the years. Enrolments in subjects like science have progressively declined and one possible reason for this outcome is the persistent use of traditional teaching methods which disengages many students. In less than a decade, the Internet has emerged as a potential tool to vary classroom routines; however, its use in high school science classrooms is still in its infancy. This paper reports part of the findings of a doctoral study in which Getsmart, a website was developed and implemented in senior physics classrooms in a blended learning environment in a Queensland State High School (Australia). Getsmart was developed on the principles of the cognitive apprenticeship teaching model (Collins, Brown, & Newman, 1989). In this study, the researcher was a science teacher with no formal qualifications or training in the design, development and implementation of web-based lessons. This paper presents the challenges of undertaking these activities in a high school environment. It also presents students’ perceptions of such an environment ascertained through quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative data were collected by using a modified version of the Web-based Learning Environment Instrument (WEBLEI) (Chang & Fisher, 2003). Qualitative data were gathered through emails and written surveys. This paper also discuses the impact of such an environment on students' learning outcomes that was determined through the analysis of their exam results achieved before and after experiencing web-based learning. Exam results of the research sample were also compared with the results of similar cohorts in previous years.

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ID Code: 14921
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: For more information, please contact the author.
Keywords: Blended learning, learning environments, WEBLEI, physics, learning outcomes, high school
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 00:06

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