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Supporting authentic science in the classroom using collaborative Web-based software

Raeside, Luke (2009) Supporting authentic science in the classroom using collaborative Web-based software. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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Abstract

This thesis presents aWeb-based Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called the Education through Virtual Experience (EVE) Portal which supports e-Science learning for schoolchildren. The VLE guides students and teachers in the production of collaborative research papers to summarize their inquiry-based activities. This thesis details the formative evaluations carried out on the VLE and provides empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that the initial version of the VLE successfully supported inquiry-based science investigations. The VLE evaluations also provided an opportunity to assess the eectiveness of each of the VLE components toward our educational objectives. This thesis describes the shortfalls identied in the original version of the VLE, which has lead to the encapsulation of team management, collaborative writing and image-based data collection into the VLE. This thesis also details the initial trials of the collaborative components of the VLE and provides evidence to support the contention that collaboration has been successfully introduced into the VLE. Finally, this thesis provides a technical description of the underlying architecture of the EVE Portal and describes the implementation details of the EVE imaging component. This thesis makes contributions to e-Learning by providing empirical evidence that an amalgamation of software tools can support an inquiry-based scientic process with schoolchildren and teachers. The encapsulation of team allocation and team-based writing presents an innovative method for supporting inquiry-based learning within schools. The requirements elicitation and customized development of the EVE imaging component highlights many of the difficulties associated with the creation of Web-based software to support constructivist learning at pre-tertiary level. Finally, the EVE Portal provides an innovative way for teachers to capitalize on time spent carrying out inquiry activities through the codication of structure into a software supported process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Web-based; Virtual learning environment(VLE); Classroom; e-Learning; ICT in Education; Pedagogy and VLEs; Inquiry-based ICT; Collaboration.
Subjects: Science & Engineering > Computer Science
Item ID: 1490
Depositing User: IR eTheses
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2009 16:36
URI:

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