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ERIC Number: EJ1003069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
Evaluation of the Use of Remote Laboratories for Secondary School Science Education
Lowe, David; Newcombe, Peter; Stumpers, Ben
Research in Science Education, v43 n3 p1197-1219 Jun 2013
Laboratory experimentation is generally considered central to science-based education. Allowing students to "experience" science through various forms of carefully designed practical work, including experimentation, is often claimed to support their learning and motivate their engagement while fulfilling specific curriculum requirements. However, logistical constraints (most especially related to funding) place significant limitations on the ability of schools to provide and maintain high-quality science laboratory experiences and equipment. One potential solution that has recently been the subject of growing interest is the use of remotely accessible laboratories to either supplant, or more commonly to supplement, conventional hands-on laboratories. Remote laboratories allow students and teachers to use high-speed networks, coupled with cameras, sensors, and controllers, to carry out experiments on real physical laboratory apparatus that is located remotely from the student. Research has shown that when used appropriately this can bring a range of potential benefits, including the ability to share resources across multiple institutions, support access to facilities that would otherwise be inaccessible for cost or technical reasons, and provide augmentation of the experimental experience. Whilst there has been considerable work on evaluating the use of remote laboratories within tertiary education, consideration of their role within secondary school science education is much more limited. This paper describes trials of the use of remote laboratories within secondary schools, reporting on the student and teacher reactions to their interactions with the laboratories. The paper concludes that remote laboratories can be highly beneficial, but considerable care must be taken to ensure that their design and delivery address a number of critical issues identified in this paper.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A