ERIC Number: ED443721
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Computer Supported Collaborative Physics Learning: Developing Understanding of Image Formation by Lenses.
This article reports the use of a computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) instruction designed to help students develop understanding of image formation by lenses. The study aims to investigate how students, working in dyads and mediated by multimedia Computer-assisted learning (CAL) programs, construct shared knowledge and understanding. The subjects were a class of 36 grade 10 students working in dyads throughout the instruction. The instruction comprised three stages, pre-test, CSCL activity, and post-test, during which students' within-dyad interactions were audio-recorded and transcribed for analysis. Three months after the instruction, some students were interviewed individually. The pre-test showed that the majority of students held the "holistic conceptualizations" of image formation (rather than the physicists' point-to-point mapping model) which they applied to give incorrect answer/explanations to the questions in the test. In general, the dyads showed overall improvement in understanding in the post-test and interviews although the improvements ranged widely. The rich qualitative data of peer interactions show that students experienced many instances of conflicts and co-construction that were conducive to the development of understanding. They also show that students' development of understanding depends not only on their prior ideas but also on: (a) how they interact with each other and the ideas they invoke; and (b) the mediation by the CAL programs and the teacher. The article ends with a discussion of implications for instructional practices. (Contains 35 references.) (Author/YDS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (New Orleans, LA, April 28-May 1, 2000).