Two investigations were conducted in this study. In the first experiment, the effects of two types of interactivity with a computer simulation were compared: experimentation versus observation interactivity. Experimentation interactivity allows students to use simulations to conduct virtual experiments, whereas observation interactivity allows students to observe segmented video clips of the simulation at their own pace and sequence. In the second experiment, the effects of two types of scaffolding for experimentation interactivity were compared: the driving question versus structured prompt scaffolding. A total of 128 eighth-grade students were involved. The learning outcomes examined include the students’ understanding of the concepts in the simulation, their learning time, total numbers of virtual experiments conducted or observed, and learning efficiency. All four designs resulted in comparable learning gains for the students. The driving question scaffolding resulted in better learning efficiency, whereas the structured prompt scaffolding supported students in conducting more virtual experiments.
- science learning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications