ERIC Number: EJ1068898
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Students' Usability Evaluation of a Web-Based Tutorial Program for College Biology Problem Solving
Kim, H. S.; Prevost, L.; Lemons, P. P.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v31 n4 p362-377 Aug 2015
The understanding of core concepts and processes of science in solving problems is important to successful learning in biology. We have designed and developed a Web-based, self-directed tutorial program, "SOLVEIT," that provides various scaffolds (e.g., prompts, expert models, visual guidance) to help college students enhance their skills and abilities in solving problems in science. An initial version of "SOLVEIT" was used in this study. This paper details the features of "SOLVEIT" that are contextualized within the biological domains of evolution and ecology. A qualitative case study was conducted to evaluate the usability of the program. Selected students were recruited from an introductory biology course at a large public university in the south-eastern United States. Data for this study were collected through the "SOLVEIT" database and semi-structured interviews. The findings of this study demonstrate the potential of the program for improving students' problem solving in biology. Suggestions for the use of "SOLVEIT" and its further improvement and development are discussed, along with suggestions for future research. This study also provides more general guidance for researchers and practitioners who are interested in the design, development and evaluation of Web-based tutorial programs in science education.
Descriptors: Biology, College Science, Scientific Concepts, Web Based Instruction, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Prompting, Models, Visual Stimuli, College Students, Science Process Skills, Problem Solving, Evolution, Ecology, Case Studies, Qualitative Research, Semi Structured Interviews, Program Effectiveness, Tutoring, Computer Assisted Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A