WebVSNonwebInstruction - Innovations in Education and...

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Innovations in Education and Teaching International Vol. 47, No. 2, May 2010, 187–199 ISSN 1470-3297 print/ISSN 1470-3300 online DOI: 10.1080/14703291003718927 http://www.informaworld.com The effects of Web-based/non-Web-based problem-solving instruction and high/low achievement on students’ problem-solving ability and biology achievement Wen-Feng Yu a , Hsiao-Ching She b * and Yu-Mei Lee c a Ching Shuei High School, Tu Chen City, Taiwan; b Institute of Education, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan; c Department of Science Education, National Science Council, Taipei City, Taiwan Taylor and Francis RI E_A_472414.sgm 10.1080/14703291003718927 Innovations in Education and Teaching International 1470-3297 (print)/1470-3300 (online) Original Article 2010 47 20000002010 Hsiao-ChingShe hcshe@mail.nctu.edu.tw This study investigates the effects of two factors: the mode of problem-solving instruction (i.e. Web-based versus non-Web-based) and the level of academic achievement (i.e. high achievers versus low achievers) on students’ problem- solving ability and biology achievement. A quasi-experimental design was used, in which the experimental group received six weeks of Web-based problem- solving instruction in biology and the control group received non-Web-based problem-solving instruction for the same content and for the same period of time. Pre-, post- and retention tests of problem-solving and biology achievement were administered before and at two different time intervals after the instruction. With the pretest scores as a covariate, the results of MANCOVA followed by protected univariate F tests suggest that Web-based problem-solving instruction has the potential to enhance and sustain the learner’s problem-solving skills over an extended period of time. Keywords: Web-based learning; problem solving; middle school biology Introduction Promoting students’ problem-solving ability has been a prevalent objective in the science education community (Blosser, 1988; Bransford, Brown, Cocking, Donovan, states that ‘preparing students to become effective problem solvers alone and in concert with others, is a major purpose of schooling’ (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1993, p. 282). In addition to problem solving being an educational goal, Watts (1994) suggested that problem solving should be a core skill in the curriculum because incorporating problem solving into the curriculum helps motivate learning, provide enjoyment, stimulate interest and foster creativity. Problems, by their nature and solution strategies, can be divided into two major categories: well-structured problems and ill-structured problems. Jonassen (1997) defined well-structured problems as ‘constrained problems with convergent solutions that engage the application of a limited number of rules and principles within well- defined parameters’ (p. 65). Most problems solved in regular science and mathematics
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course PHYS 6198 taught by Professor Cohor during the Summer '10 term at LSU.

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WebVSNonwebInstruction - Innovations in Education and...

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