Developing Students' Transformative and Regulative Inquiry Skills in a Computer-based Simulation

M. Mäeots, M. Pedaste, and T. Sarapuu (Estonia)

Keywords

Inquiry learning, transformative skills, regulative skills,supporting inquiry learning, webbased learning programs

Abstract

The application of the web-based learning environment “Young Researcher” (http://bio.edu.ee/teadlane) in developing students’ transformative and regulative inquiry skills was studied. 98 teams with 392 volunteer students from the 6th to 9th grades (aged 10-16) participated in an all-Estonian competition. During the competition, a pre-test and post-test were filled in and five problem-solving tasks in the learning environment “Young Researcher” were solved. According to the results of the tests, the students' skills of formulating research questions and hypotheses, and planning investigations developed statistically significantly. On the other hand, the analysis did not demonstrate any statistically significant progress in developing students’ regulative skills. Several problems which might affect students’ abilities to regulate their learning process were detected. Our study mainly focused on developing students’ regulative planning skills. Immediately after completing each inquiry stage, the students were asked to reflect it and explain how they had planned and carried out this stage. Spearman correlation revealed that the highest level of the regulation occurred among the students with a higher level of inquiry skills. It demonstrates that successful learners are more capable of regulating their transformative processes.

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