ERIC Number: EJ721975
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-18
Reference Count: 55
The Difficult Process of Scientific Modelling: An Analysis Of Novices' Reasoning During Computer-Based Modelling
Sins, Patrick H. M.; Savelsbergh, Elwin R.; van Joolingen, Wouter R.
International Journal of Science Education, v27 n14 p1695-1721 Nov 2005
Although computer modelling is widely advocated as a way to offer students a deeper understanding of complex phenomena, the process of modelling is rather complex itself and needs scaffolding. In order to offer adequate support, a thorough understanding of the reasoning processes students employ and of difficulties they encounter during a modelling task is needed. Therefore, in this study 26 students, working in dyads, were observed while working on a modelling task in the domain of physics. A coding scheme was developed in order to capture the types of reasoning processes used by students. Results indicate that most students had a strong focus on adjusting model parameters to fit the empirical data with little reference to prior knowledge. The successful students differed from the less successful students in using more prior knowledge and in showing more inductive reasoning. These observations lead to suggestions for the design of appropriate scaffolds.
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Models, Computer Simulation, Thinking Skills, Foreign Countries, Physics, Logical Thinking, High School Students, Grade 11, Case Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands