Factors that influence pupil engagement with science simulations: the role of distraction, vividness, logic, instruction and prior knowledge

Susan Rodrigues

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Constructivist perspectives advocate high quality visual and auditory multimedia to simulate complex and authentic situations. However, the influence of symbolic or representational learning materials on pupil engagement or learning outcomes is not clear. This paper reports on pupil engagement with two types of simulation commonly found in school science (to illustrate practical experiments or depict microscopic chemical interactions). The project pilot phase involved three 15-16 year old male pupils and a main phase involved twenty one 14-15 year old pupils. They were presented with a digital record of their ‘think aloud’ behaviour with the simulation and they were asked for retrospective comment. Pre and post surveys were also used. Distraction, vividness, logic, instruction and prior knowledge played a significant role in determining the nature of engagement and the outcome of engagement. E-assessment involving multimedia or symbolic representation in science education must take great care if it is to ensure that what it is assessing is the pupil’s science capability and not information processing skills that rely on shared symbol identification or on the ability to follow the designers’ logic of instructions
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalChemistry Education Research and Practice
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Keywords

    • Science education
    • Secondary school pupils

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