THOMAS, G.P. & Mcrobbie, C.J. (2000). Epistemological and Contextual Issues in the Use of Microcomputer-Based Laboratories in a Year 11 Chemistry Classroom. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 19(2), 137-160. Charlottesville, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/8067.
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Volume 19, Issue 2, 2000
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) Charlottesville, VA
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There is a lack of studies that provide fine-grained investiga-tions of the factors that affect both teachers' and students' use of microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) technology. An interpretive methodology was employed to examine the use of MBL technology by the teacher and students in a Year 11 Chemistry class studying gases and gas laws in an urban high school in Brisbane, Australia. Data sources included student and teacher interviews, direct observation and video-tape of five weeks of lessons, stimulated recall of MBL prac-ticals and pre- and posttests on students' conceptual under-standing of gases and kinetic theory. The use of the MBL technology had negligible influence on students' develop-ment of conceptual understanding of these topics. Factors such as the teacher's and the students' beliefs about teach-ing, learning, the role of practical work in the chemistry course, and the nature of the concepts under investigation in-fluenced the use of the microcomputer and the data obtained through its use. These findings are discussed in terms of the potential of the use of such technology and the obstacles to realizing that potential.