Combining qualitative and quantitative methods in a study of inquiry-based computer learning environments
Fraser, B. and Maor, D. (1993) Combining qualitative and quantitative methods in a study of inquiry-based computer learning environments. In: 66th Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), 15 - 19 April 1993, Atlanta, Georgia.
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Qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed to investigate students' development of inquiry skills and higher-level thinking skills during the use of a computerized scientific database. The use of a computerized database in inquiry-based science classrooms offers the potential to facilitate higher-level learning among students, a significant issue facing students and teachers today. An interpretive research methodology was employed to facilitate understanding of the multidimensionality of the learning processes in the classroom. Data were obtained from classroom observations, interviews with teachers and students, and students' entries in their workbooks. As well, two questionnaires were developed and used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in terms of its impact upon the development of students' inquiry skills and upon the nature of the classroom learning environment. The explanatory study resulted in the generation of assertions about the learning and teaching processes in the classroom.
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