Developing Students' Skills to Analyze Data in Web-based Inquiry Learning Environment "Hiking Across Estonia"

M. Pedaste and T. Sarapuu (Estonia)


: advanced technology in education and training, inquiry learning, problem solving, analysis of data.


A web-based situational learning simulation “Hiking Across Estonia” was developed in the Science Didactics Department at the University of Tartu. It comprises 25 problem solving tasks with supplementary materials for inquiry learning. 265 students in 66 groups used this envi ronment. Students’ activities during the learning process were recorded into log files. The groups were clustered according to their results and personal data into five clus ters. The five main strategies that the members of the clus ters used in processing information during solving the problems were discovered. According to these results it was found how students of the different clusters can be supported and how the educational tasks should be reor dered for increasing the effectiveness of learning process. In a study in 2005 this strategy was checked with 235 stu dents in 60 groups who were divided into the clusters de tected in the first study according to discriminant analysis. Their development in analytical skills was very high com pared with the first study. Our results demonstrated that collaborative inquiry learning has to be guided differently in each cluster found and web-based learning environ ments provide good opportunities for increasing the effec tiveness of learning inquiry skills and problem solving through developing information processing methods.

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