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Students' cognitive focus during a chemistry laboratory exercise: Effects of a computer simulated prelab
Umeå universitet, Fakultet för lärarutbildning, Matematik, teknik och naturvetenskap. (UMSER)
Umeå universitet, Fakultet för lärarutbildning, Matematik, teknik och naturvetenskap. (CHEER)
2007 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of research in science teaching, ISSN 0022-4308, Vol. 44, nr 8, s. 1098-2736Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

To enhance the learning outcomes achieved by students, learners undertook a computer-simulated activity based on an acid-base titration prior to a university-level chemistry laboratory activity. Students were categorized with respect to their attitudes toward learning. During the laboratory exercise, questions that students asked their assistant teachers were used as indicators of cognitive focus. During the interviews, students' frequency and level of spontaneous use of chemical knowledge served as an indicator of knowledge usability. Results suggest that the simulation influenced students toward posing more theoretical questions during their laboratory work and, regardless of attitudes, exhibiting a more complex, correct use of chemistry knowledge in their interviews. A more relativistic student attitude toward learning was positively correlated with interview performance in both the control and treatment groups.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
New York: John Wiley and Sons , 2007. Vol. 44, nr 8, s. 1098-2736
Nyckelord [en]
Kemididaktik, Chemistry education research, simulation, laboratory work, pre-lab, intuitive knowledge, attitudes toward learning
Nationell ämneskategori
Annan kemi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-6665DOI: 10.1002/tea.20217Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-35348862014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-6665DiVA, id: diva2:146335
Anmärkning

Tidigare titel: Effects of pre-lab simulated acid-base titration and student attitudes toward learning on students' cognitive focus and knowledge usability

Tillgänglig från: 2008-09-22 Skapad: 2008-09-22 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-03-24Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Simulation in university chemistry education: cognitive and affective aspects
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Simulation in university chemistry education: cognitive and affective aspects
2006 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This thesis undertakes two main tasks; to explore, within the authentic educational context, variables that influence the quality and outcomes of the knowledge-constructing activity during the simulation exercise; and to find appropriate instruments and methods to measure these variables, processes and outcomes.

Closed-ended tasks that provided a high degree of structure, i.e., supported students’ regulation of learning during the simulation exercise, were more beneficial for perceived improvement of declarative knowledge and students’ motivation than open-ended tasks. Open-ended tasks did however lead to substantial shifts in students’ cognitive focus in subsequent laboratory exercises and improvement of students’ level of chemistry reasoning in interviews.

Student attitudes toward learning proved important in the first paper where significantly higher ability to apply chemistry knowledge in interviews could be found for students with relativistic attitudes compared to those with more dualistic perspectives on learning. In the subsequent papers, the effects of attitudes were not as clear, possibly due to too small differences in the learning situations that were compared.

Quality of the learning discourse during simulation was measured with three qualitatively different methods, focusing on partly different aspects. The different methods gave very similar results regarding the relative quality of the discourses. Thus, “quality” as such seems to be an underlying feature that permeates many aspects of the discourse and consequently could be targeted in different ways, e.g., focusing on quantitative as well as qualitative aspects. The analyses revealed several components of quality; co-operative activity, correctness and complexity of chemistry reasoning, discussion length and intensity, ability to realize cognitive conflict, and reference to theory while reasoning.

Doing the simulation exercise in a distributed learning setting (written e-communication), supported discussions with higher accuracy and complexity of chemistry reasoning and frequent references to theory while the face-to-face situation allowed for longer and more intense discussions and a higher degree of co-operative activity. Not very surprisingly, high-quality discussions were characterized by high scores in all these components. There were indications that relatively good pre-knowledge might be required to benefit fully from face-to-face discussions.

The validity of instruments and methods, used to measure flow experiences, attitudes (i.e., epistemological beliefs), knowledge accessibility (intuitive knowledge) and discourse quality are discussed thoroughly. Special interest has been devoted to whether qualitative data should be quantified or not, providing arguments in favor of quantitative methods for analyzing and reporting qualitative data.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Umeå: Kemi, 2006. s. 200
Nyckelord
Simulation, knowledge accessibility, discourse quality, cognitive load, task design, affective experiences, learning, attitudes
Nationell ämneskategori
Didaktik
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-799 (URN)91-7264-097-9 (ISBN)
Disputation
2006-06-02, KB3A9, KBC-Huset, Umeå, 10:00
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2006-05-11 Skapad: 2006-05-11 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-06-09Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Learning Chemistry at the University level: Student attitudes, motivation, and design of the learning environment
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Learning Chemistry at the University level: Student attitudes, motivation, and design of the learning environment
2005 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

The main purpose of the research this thesis is based upon was to study students’ attitudes towards learning chemistry at university level and their motivation from three perspectives. How can students’ attitudes towards learning chemistry be assessed? How can these attitudes be changed? How are learning situations experienced by students with different attitude positions?

An attitude questionnaire, assessing views of knowledge, learning assessments, laboratory activities, and perceived roles of instructors and student, was used to estimate students’ attitude positions. It was shown that a positive attitude was related to motivated student behaviour. Furthermore, it was shown that factors in the educational context, such as the teachers’ empathy for students learning chemistry, had affected the students. It was also found that students holding different attitude positions showed different learning outcomes and differed in their perceptions of the learning situation. Students’ holding a more relativistic attitude more readily accepted the challenges of open experiments and other more demanding tasks than those holding a dualistic attitude.

In addition, the teachers were found to play important roles in the way the tasks were perceived and the development of students’ ideas. In studied laboratory activities open tasks resulted in positive student engagement and learning outcomes. Preparative exercises, such as a computer simulation of the phenomena to be investigated, affected students’ focus during laboratory work, encouraging them to incorporate more theoretical considerations and increasing their ability to use chemical knowledge. Finally, it was shown that students’ focus during laboratory work is reflected in the questions they ask the teacher, implying that questions could be used as tools to evaluate laboratory teaching and learning processes.

The findings imply that students’ attitudes towards learning and motivation, and the design of learning situations, are key factors in the attainment of desirable higher educational goals such as the ability to judge, use, and develop knowledge. For universities encountering students with increasingly diverse attitudes, motivation and prior knowledge, these are important considerations if they are to fulfil their commissions to provide high quality learning environments and promote high quality learning.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Umeå: Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, 2005. s. 47
Nyckelord
laboratory work, open experiments, attitude, university level, motivation, cognitive load, laboratory instruction styles, attitude change, design of learning situation, student questions.
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-589 (URN)91-7305-934-x (ISBN)
Disputation
2005-10-14, KB3A9, KBC huset, 13:00
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2005-09-15 Skapad: 2005-09-15 Senast uppdaterad: 2012-05-10Bibliografiskt granskad

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Förlagets fulltextScopushttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20217

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Winberg, MikaelBerg, Anders

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