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Technology is an escalating part of today's societies. Technology integration projects into classroom practices had become a cornerstone in today's teaching and learning processes. Many scholars and researchers (Veermansa, Joolingenb, and De Jong 2006; Swaak & De Jong 2001; Reid, Zhang, and Chen 2003) investigated different features of such integration and reported some valuable positive results about how technology integration into academic content subjects would enhance learners' mastery of understanding, their meta-cognitive skills, and their inquiry skills.
This paper reviews the role of technology in assisting discovery learning in Physics classrooms, Chemistry classes, and computer as well. Discovery learning had seen a rebirth due to today's call for student - centered learning environments along with the availability of technology infrastructure needed to empower students with the necessary tools to carry discovery learning activities.
One of the targeted domains in this paper is discovery learning environment through simulation software programs in Physics classes, another domain is discovery learning with a computer, a third domain is â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.
Assisted Learning, (19), 9-20
Reid, Zhang, and Chen started their article by referring to a review of De Jong and Van Joolingen (1998) clarifying the reasons behind the unsuccessful applications of simulation programs in discovery learning environment in science classes. They highlighted these reasons as: "1- difficulties in generating and adopting hypothesis, 2- poorly designed experiments, 3- problems regarding regulations of discovery learning." P2. However, Reid, Zhang, and Chen suggested that in order to promote effective discovery learning through constructivist activities based on simulation environment, then learners should be guided via scaffolding of the discovery learning activities. The authors categorized such support into 3 domains:
Interpretative support (IS) to help learners to construct knowledge, generate hypothesis, and then structure a reasoned understanding.
Experimental support (ES) that scaffolds a methodical, consistent and sensible design for scientific experimentation.
Reflective support (RS) that helps learners to build an inner recognition of the learning process.
The researchers designed an experimental investigation to study the effects of interpretative and experimental support on simulation based learning. They targeted 78 eighth graders in one of the schools in UK. They chose the "floating and sinking" topic from the Physics domain subject. The study sample was required to investigate the up thrust force on objects floating in water. The task was to find out the factor(s) affecting the magnitude of the up thrust force acting on a floating object, these factors were provided to students; shape, volume, and mass. The researchers used a simulation program that could pair constructing two instance experiments at a time so students would be able to compare and contrast the outcomes of both experiments. Moreover a data sheet was provided to keep record of the values of the studies variable, and a button was prepared for students to keep in mind the procedural steps of the experiment, starting with selection of constant values of the two variables, dragging, running experiment, recording outcomes, then how start a new set of trials. The simulation program recorded all students' trials and kept a file for each one.
After setting their investigation and analyzing the results, the authors concluded that simulation software programs have a positive significant effect on students' mastery of Physics content through discovery learning activities.
The paper reflected an in depth research project that was well written and well organized, but yet more research is needed to target the discussed points.
Swaak, J., & De Jong, T. (2001). Discovery simulations and the assessment of intuitive knowledge. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (17), 284-294
Swaak and De Jong investigated the usefulness of simulation soft ware programs in advancing the knowledge learners would gain from interacting with discovery activities. They hypothesized that learners would not just attain a better body of knowledge, but would also be able to reproduce that knowledge through analytical aspects of the subject being learned in comparison with the traditional teaching-learning methodologies where learning takes place through knowledge transfer.
The researchers aimed to probe the relations among "the features of discovery simulations, the learning processes elicited, the knowledge resulted, and the methods used to measure the acquired knowledge." P2. The context was a Physics domain which included 3 topics: collisions between two spheres, harmonic oscillations, and electrical circuits. The used simulations gave students choices to change the values of the variables under study and observe a dynamic output. Moreover, the simulation programs provided 1- descriptive explanations of the physical quantities involved in the experiment, 2- guiding assignments to help students construct and assemble their own knowledge through investigations and predictions, 3- scaffolding of the offered steps to be followed.
Swaak and De Jong reviewed the work of (Friedler et al. 1990; Schauble et al., 1991; Glaser et al., 1992; see de Jong & van Joolingen, 1998) and concluded that there are two methodologies followed by researchers, teachers, and scholars generally in a discovery learning process: concept driven approach, and data driven approach. The data driven approach is best supported by interactive simulation defined environments. Moreover, the researchers defined the intuitive knowledge as a "quick quick perceptions of anticipated situations" P5. Accordingly they articulated their experimentation to measure literally each part of this definition, they measured students' response time "Quick", they used the least possible written instructions, instead they focused on visual displays "perception", they urged students' predictions by changing values of variables to create new situations "anticipated", and they offered learners whole sets of scenarios for situations composed of a certain restriction, an act, and possible prophecy "a situation".
The researchers concluded that computer simulation programs had proved their instructional usefulness for learners to gain an intuitive awareness of the intended learning goals.
Veermans, K., & De Jong, T. (2000). Promoting self-directed learning in simulation-based discovery learning environments through intelligent support. Interactive Learning Environments 8 (3), 229-255
The authors of this paper addressed one particular sort of discovery learning environment which is computer simulations; they targeted a physics topic "Collisions" using an elastic collision simulation interface where learners can perform experiments by changing the variables mass and velocity for the moving spheres, they run the simulation interface and the program displays: an animation of the motion of the spheres, numerical output of the kinetic energy and the momentum of the spheres, and it displays a graphical output of the spheres' position, velocity, and kinetic energy. Students would manipulate the values of the variables by simply clicking on arrows where a new set of visual displays appear on the screen offering learners the chance to perform further analysis and comparisons to come up with conclusions about the content being studies.
In their paper the authors described discovery learning as "comprising transformative processes that include analysis, hypothesis generation, testing and evaluation, and the regulative processes of planning, verifying and monitoring" P2. They argued that learners who use computer simulations for discovery learning are in control, and have to set their own learning goals, whereas intelligent support for discovery learning through computer simulations provide the learners with the context and the cognitive tools necessary to advance the learning process by proposing the information and assembly the task, providing adaptations through assignments to enhance sub goals within reach, and providing learners with spontaneous explanations and offering the monitoring tools to categorize the performed experiments.
Veermans, K., Joolingen, W., & De Jong, T. (2006). Use of heuristics to facilitate scientific discovery learning in a simulation learning environment in a Physics domain. International Journal of Science Education 28( 4), 341-361
The authors of this paper carried a study to investigate how would heuristic support smoothen scientific discovery learning through simulation based environments. They valued simulation activities because such software programs offer constrains within the experimental structure. The researchers adapted a topic called "Collisions" from the Physics domain, and targeted 30 Dutch students who attended their physics classes regularly and had good computer usage skills.
The study was designed to investigate four subtopics under collisions: 1- the relation between force and velocity, 2- elastic collision against a fixed barrier, 3- one dimensional elastic collision, 4- one dimensional inelastic collision. Simulation software programs were available to study the four subtopics, each simulation software provided students with animation of the objects' motion, velocity - time and position - time graphs, and graphs of the kinetic energies of the colliding objects. Each subtopic simulation provided students with several levels of software enhancement sheets "Heuristics" to support students' learning.
The researchers concluded that the simulation learning environments used supported students' acquisition of the targeted objectives of the lessons understudy.
The paper showed a well organized, and a good structured experimentation. However, the sample size was not re presentable even though that the research results supported the call for today's usage of simulation software programs to advance students' learning in academic subject contents.
Discovery learning with a computer
Discovery learning is very important for students especially in these days which witness a knowledge revolution and a variety of learning sources. In the past the teacher was the only source of knowledge, but now the student has been able to construct his own knowledge which is known as discovery learning which we can't ignore the key role of the computer. In this bibliography I'll write more details about discovery learning with a computer.
Van Joolingen W.R., De Jong T., Lazonder A.W., Savelsbergh E.R., Manlove S. (2005)
Co-Lab: Research and development of an online learning environment for collaborative scientific discovery learning, Computers in Human Behavior, 21 (4), pp. 671-688. Many
challenges should be faced when we deal with the development of collaborative scientific learning environment Co. lab' design comes from the fact of facing the same kind of problems and the research agenda is planned for collaborative discovery learning besides the Co. lab environment. Learning is considered a constructive and collaborative process so, learners develop their understanding of an objective by working with peers and it should be regulated by the learners themselves instead of the teachers. Collaborative discovery learning environments are actually strong means to offer this sort of support showed that their design meets certain criteria. This article gives us an example of support. I display the design considerations for co.lab which is learning environment in which groups of learners can experiment through simulation and remote laboratories. In this article also the writer explains inquiry learning and how the learner should gather the information by discovery and more studying. The researcher also showed us several programmes that support learners in discovery learning such us (editor programme). In this contribution, the author used co. labs as a method to express his view point on collaborative discovery learning. In my view I see that this research is a good and successful one because it gave us a clear view about collaborative learning the researcher also gave us many examples that made his view understood and clear.
Casper D. Hulshof ;Ton de Jong .(2006). Using just-in-time information to support scientific discovery learning in a computer-based simulation, Interactive Learning Environments, Volume 14, Issue 1 , p79 - 94. The researcher gives us an idea about the benefit of the interaction with the scientific learning discovery that should happen during learning. The writer also stressed the uses of simplifying access to knowledge and skills during just in time learning. He illustrated his opinion by making an experiment on two groups of students. The first one had an access to information during learning time whereas the second one didn't have any access to learning. At last he found out that the first group achieved better results than the other one. This research tries to answer two questions. The first if it easy to provide the type of just in time supports the students in a context of discovery learning with the computer simulation. The second question asks if such support will be effective. The researcher made an experiment on 32 students. He divided them into two groups. A two group pre-post test design was applied. The result focuses on the performance of the test. After all the tests there was no difference between the two school classes that participated in the experiment. Through the researcher's experiment I notice that using just in time information supports discovery learning and facilitates access to knowledge and skills constructing. So, I recommend school to use on time learning because it's more fruitful the other researcher can be benefited from the experience of this author.
Zhang, Jianwei; Chen, Qi; Sun, Yanquing; Reid, David J..(2004).Triple Scheme of Learning Support Design for Scientific Discovery Learning Based on Computer Simulation: Experimental Research, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v20 n4, p269-282.The theories help in developing discovery learning. There is some researcher who developed new strategies to support discovery learning. Our researcher her designed Triple Scheme of learning. And he divided his research into three strategies. His goal is to create an integrated approach as a triple scheme for learning supports design. This scheme contains three things. This scheme depends on interpretative support, experimental support as well as reflective supports. In order to test the effects of this learning supports, the researcher made two experiments. The result of this research proves the main hypothesis that learning which is supported in a simulating environment must be directed towards the three dimensions to encourage meaningful, systematic and reflective learning. He also made a comparison between the benefits of motive learning and other traditional ways of learning, but he discovered little persuasive evidence of their importance. He also supports the main hypotheses and makes two experiments to prove his point of view. As I see it, this research is a good one because it seeks for integration and effectiveness. He also supports the main hypotheses and makes two experiments to prove his point of view.
A. Faye Borthick, Donald R. Jones. (2000). The Motivation for Collaborative Discovery Learning Online and Its Application in an Information Systems Assurance Course, Issues in Accounting Education, 15 (2), 181.Nothing succeeds like success so, the teacher should motivate his students to learn and enjoy learning. In this paper the researcher attempts to develop the motivation for collaborative discovery learning on line .In this learning participants recognize a problem and try to solve it and learn how to develop a solution strategy. The participants seek the knowledge they need and solve problems together by discussion on line which occurs in real time. This ways of learning makes the students suitable for the circumstances of wok and ready to face the new problems and help each other to solve them.. The researcher discovered that this approach is more effective than lecture based instruction because it used collaborative discovery learning on time. It is also more accessible because most participants can have an online access. In my opinion this paper is very useful because it is more practical and it is very easy to use the net in our technological age. It is available 24 hours a day and it can give us up to date information. It also teaches students to be self dependents and respect their time.
Njoo, Melanie & Jong de,Ton. (1993). Exploratory learning with a computer simulation for control theory: learning processes and instructional support. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 30 (8). pp. 821-844.In this paper the researcher presented two studies to gain more understanding of discovery learning which assess the effects of a number of instructional support measures. The researcher conducted two studies on university students. He formed two groups. The first group consisted of 17 students who work with the computer. And the second group contained 91 students who got an open ended question supported by instructions written in a sheet. The two studies that students were not showed interested in applying the learning process which is the main part of discovery learning. Moreover, students had problems with exploratory learning process such as generating hypotheses. In my point of view this research is very important because it shed the light on the problems that can face exploratory learning process especially those problems of generating hypotheses, interpreting data and drawing conclusions. I knew from this research how can students seek knowledge and educate themselves.
To conclude my bibliography, I should say that there are many researchers who shed the light on the effect of discovery learning with computer that's why; I have chosen to write in this subject. From my readings in this subject, I found out that the most of the researchers are for discovery learning and each one of them provided evidence on the importance of discovery learning. Some of them made experiments to prove their point of views. I should confess that I enjoyed reading these researches.