The learning environment as a focus for the evaluation of inquiry-based computer classrooms
Maor, D. and Fraser, B.J. (1992) The learning environment as a focus for the evaluation of inquiry-based computer classrooms. In: 65th Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) , 21 - 25 March 1992, Boston, MA.
This paper examines the perceptions of 120 students and six teachers of the learning environment in seven inquiry-based computer classrooms. The subjects responded to the Computer Classroom Environment Inventory (CCEI) before and after using a computerized database Birds of Antarctica. The database, which was used for two school terms, has the potential for helping students to develop a wide range of inquiry skills. Generally, there was a significant increase in students' perceptions on the Investigation and openendedness scales of CCEI after using the database. A comparison of teachers' and students' profiles of perceptions at the completion of the program showed a similar trend. However, teachers' perceptions of the actual (post) classroom environment was more positive than those of the students on three of the scales of CCEI: Open-endedness, Organization and material Environment. Other aspects of the evaluation not reported in this paper involved assessment of student achievement on inquiry skills tests and a qualitative interpretive investigation of the processes involved in learning science in inquiry-oriented and computer-based environments. Overall the different aspects of the study provided complementary insights into learning in a context which was designed to emphasize both a constructivist approach and higher-level outcomes.
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