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One major reason why students have difficulty discovering new
knowledge is that they lack appropriate prior knowledge (DeJong and von
Joolingen, 1998). This includes both academic content knowledge and knowledge
of how to conduct an experiment. For example, students may not know how to
frame a hypothesis or how to design an experiment that matches their hypothesis.
Students can use CD ROM technology, computer programs, and
appropriate web sites to help them gather necessary academic content knowledge.
In fact, some
applications like the American Schools Challenge Zone (http://www.asd.com)
provide links to web sites where students can immediately access information 63 they need for their problem solving. This direct connection to knowledge can be
very relevant to students because they are accessing information to address an
immediate need (Berry & Broadbent, 1987).
Support structures deigned into software can also increase students’
knowledge of the scientific method (e. g. hypothesis formation and research
design). For exa...
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- Spring '08