A Case Study of Student Tool Use During Hypermedia-Based Problem Solving
Kevin Oliver, Virginia Tech, United States
EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Montreal, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-40-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC
During a qualitative case study in which middle school learners used computer tools to scaffold scientific problem solving, three research questions were addressed: how do students use technological tools to find, frame, and resolve open-ended problems; what is the nature of science learning in problem-based, Internet environments; and how do attitudes and environmental variables influence students' problem solving? While the students understood how to use most tools procedurally (i.e., collecting basic information), they lacked strategic understanding for why tool use was necessary (i.e., organizing, evaluating, justifying ideas). Students scored average to high on assessments of general content understanding, but developed artifacts suggesting their understanding of specific micro problems was naive and rife with misconceptions. Process understanding was also inconsistent, with some students describing basic problem solving processes, but most students unable to describe how tools could support open-ended inquiry. Personal barriers to effective problem solving included naive epistemologies, while environmental barriers included a lack of communication activities and training. In future studies, tools may support higher-order thinking by addressing study recommendations: training students procedurally and strategically, perhaps longitudinally; using students' personal problem models as an explicit part of instructional strategies; balancing students' epistemological comprehension of problem complexity with self-directed, self-management tactics; and employing the teacher as dialectic facilitator.
Oliver, K. (2000). A Case Study of Student Tool Use During Hypermedia-Based Problem Solving. In J. Bourdeau & R. Heller (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2000--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 842-847). Montreal, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2000 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)