Learning Life Sciences: Design and Development of a Virtual Molecular Biology Learning Lab
Joerg Zumbach, Stefanie Schmitt, University of Heidelberg, Germany ; Peter Reimann, University of Sydney, Australia ; Philipp Starkloff, University of Heidelberg, Germany
JCMST Volume 25, Number 3, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
The life sciences, in particular molecular genetics, have become a pivotal area of research and innovation, and at the same time are amongst the most controversially discussed in today's society. Despite this discussion, the demand for life science expertise increases rapidly, creating a growing need for life science education in particular and for science education in general, given that progress in this area depends on progress in biology, chemistry, computer science, and some others. In this article, an approach to science education is suggested that combines guided knowledge acquisition with hands-on experience in a computer-based learning environment. The pedagogical rationale for the learning environment are delineated and grounded in research in the learning sciences. The re-sults of a first evaluation of the main features, comprising in addition to a virtual experimental workbench various scaffolding tools, among them a pedagogical agent, and a report/presentation tool, are reported. Findings indicate that stu-dents profited equally form working with the program, independent of differences in prior knowledge and interest.
Zumbach, J., Schmitt, S., Reimann, P. & Starkloff, P. (2006). Learning Life Sciences: Design and Development of a Virtual Molecular Biology Learning Lab. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 25(3), 281-300. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2006 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
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