Ghent University (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 782-791
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0240
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
The Covid-19 pandemic forced educators to go fully online. In most cases, this was a first encounter with online teaching for secondary education [1]. Student-centred forms of learning are promoted to activate and motivate students during online teaching [2]. For secondary STEM-education, inquiry learning has been advocated [3] for which online learning environments have been developed, introducing Computer-Supported Inquiry Learning (CoSIL). However, collaboration during CoSIL takes mostly place face-to-face in the classroom. Forced online education allowed to investigate the learning effect of CoSIL when students work online synchronous together. Moreover, as most perception research about online learning is situated at the higher education level, it is valuable to explore secondary students’ perspective.This explorative study used a mixed methods design to examine the impact of online CoSIL on scientific knowledge, inquiry skills and motivation of secondary students as well as their perspective on online CoSIL.The intervention consisted out of four online lessons about climate change designed on the WISE-platform. In total 38 students of the 9th and 10th grade participated of which 10 students follow a general track and 28 students a science track. Students were randomized in 13 dyads and 4 triads and collaborated via an online tool.Data was collected by a pre-post online test and focus groups. The test measured scientific knowledge about climate change, scientific inquiry skills and motivation for sciences (total of 20 points). Two online semi-structured focus groups took place with 26 participants. To determine the effect of the lessons a one-way ANOVA with repeated measures was performed via SPSS (significance level: p<.05). The focus groups were recorded, transcribed and uploaded in NVivo. The transcripts were thematically analysed. Results show a main positive effect of time for both knowledge (Wilks’ Lambda=.357, F(1,36)=64.769, p<.001, ηG²=.643) and inquiry skills (Wilks’ Lambda=.797, F(1,36)=9.152, p<0.05, ηG²=.203). No significant main effect was found for motivation. Furthermore, an interaction effect between time and study track can be observed for knowledge (Wilks’ Lambda=.888, F(1,36)=4.529, p<.05, ηG²=.112). Namely, on average students of science tracks improved more than students of a general track (MD=2.98). Focus groups show mixed results. On the one hand, students think that, compared to traditional science lectures, they are more active and attentive during online CoSIL and perform better. On the other hand, they do not feel more motivated during online CoSIL and they think that face-to-face collaboration is more effective. Our results provide important insights for future post-Covid redesign processes in which blended learning scenarios can be explored in depth.

[1] S.K. Howard, J. Tondeur, F. Siddiq, and R. Scherer, “Ready, set, go! Profiling teachers’ readiness for online teaching in secondary education,” Technol. Pedagog. Educ., vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 141–158, 2021, doi: 10.1080/1475939X.2020.1839543.
[2] H. So and T. A. Brush, “Student perceptions of collaborative learning, social presence and satisfaction in a blended learning environment: Relationships and critical factors,” Comput. Educ., vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 318–336, 2008, doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2007.05.009.
[3] A. Raes, “The impact of "computer-supported collaborative inquiry" for science learning in secondary education,” Ghent University, 2015.
Inquiry learning, online learning, online collaborative learning, STEM-education, Covid-19 pandemic.