Study on Discovery learning environment through technology integration

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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 based on technology in science classroom. Third domain is discovery learning and math teaching with integrating technology. The last domain is discovery learning with computer with a computer.

Discovery learning environment through simulation software programs in Physics classes

Reid, D., Zhang, J., & Chen, Q. (2003). Supporting scientific discovery learning in a simulation environment. Journal of Computer 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 planned an experimental exploration to study the effects of interpretative and experimental maintain on model based knowledge. 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 designed to check out the relations between "the features of discovery simulations, the learning processes elicited, the knowledge resulted, and the methods used to evaluate the acquired data." 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 based on technology in science classroom.

Van Joolingen, W. de Jong, T., Lazonder, A., Savelsbergh, E., & Manlove, S. (2005). Co-Lab: research and development of an online learning environment for collaborative scientific discovery learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 21(4), 671-688.

The purpose of study is investigate how many design challenges which must be addressed in the development of collaborative scientific discovery learning within Co-Lab. Authors argue that learners make experiments to discover relationships between concepts, and construct models. The researchers suggest Co-lab as a tool to express on collaborative discovery learning.

Co-Lab is a web-based learning method in which groups do experiment through simulations and remote laboratories. According to researchers, the processes of collaboration, inquiry, and modeling are presented with a description of how learners improve performance before and within Co-Lab's design and tools.

The results indicate that computer mediate collaboration can promote scientific discovery learning. I think this article important because it displays how can use virtual real lab and develop stimulation method.

Jianwei, Z., C., Yanquing, S., & Reid, D. (2004). Triple scheme of learning support design for scientific discovery learning based on computer simulation: experimental research. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20(4), 269-282.

The article describes three schemes for learning support design on the basis of the analysis scientific discovery learning. The researchers believe that learning support on simulation methods. This strategy helps learners to solving difficulties problems in activities.

The study examines the effects of the learning supports through a simulation program. Two experiments were conducted with eighth graders and they are learning about the concepts of mass, force and predict shape. All the participants attend a preliminary course of information technology and the basic computer skills to manipulate the simulation software in this article.

The article investigate how the generative meaning- making process for problem solving skills and hypothesis generation , the systematic and logical scientific experiment process, and the reflective generalization of discovery learning. The authors illustrate the effect of learners reasoning skills on discovery learning by using the Ravens' Standard Progressive Matrices test ability. The article helps us to find out the importance of simulation to support the discovery learning.

Carlin, M., & Ciaccio, L. (1997). Improving high school students' performance via discovery learning, collaboration and technology. The Journal, 24(10), 62.

The authors define a new learning model, which they call discovery learning. This model is a primary reason for enhancing the student performance. The researchers believe that integrating computer technology in student activities is necessary to improve the discovery learning. On the other hand, Computer software provides opportunity for students to revise information and perform different kinds of analyses. Graphics and multimedia give students the ability to communicate visual display of difficult concepts.

According to researchers, Technology is integrated into every aspect of programs. For example, students attend workshops to develop their computer skills. The first series covers computer hardware and commercial software packages; the second focuses on the Internet. Academic seminars in writing and mathematics are held in the computer labs, with students using current commercial software. Laboratory experiments and hands-on learning exercises utilize the networked computers on campus for writing reports and performing data analyses. Finally, students have the opportunity to post their research results on Web pages. The researchers indicate that integration technology in efforts is enhancing the learner's progress.

Moriarty, M. & Sullivan, F. (2009). Robotics and discovery learning: pedagogical beliefs, teacher practice, and technology integration. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 17(1), 109-142.

The aim of this article is discuss the issue of use the educational technology innovation by examining teachers' reflections on learning robotics through the discovery learning strategy. In this article, data was collected from a teacher professional development workshop series and a robotics fair. Participants in this study were 20 middle and high school teachers in development workshop over a two- month period.

The results indicate that teacher's perceptions of student learning needs influence their educational practice and these practices may be affecting through learning with discovery learning- based educational technologies methods.

The study is important because it discussed the implications for future research regarding technology integration. Also, the researchers suggested the strategies for adapting the discovery learning method. The article very interesting and it investigate the role of robotics to enhance the discovery learning.

Tzu-Chien, L., Hsinyi, P., Wen-Hsuan, W., & Ming-Sheng, L. (2009). The Effects of Mobile Natural-science Learning Based on the 5E Learning Cycle: A Case Study. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 12(4), 344-358. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database

In this article, authors discuss the effects of designing mobile natural science learning activities on 5E Learning Cycle. Researchers are examining the impact of these activities on student's performances, and discovering the student's perceptions. The research is a case study and the researchers select 46 students from fourth grade. The researchers collected data from the case to document the learning effects of and the students' perceptions of the learning activities, and to discuss factors underlying these effects and students' perceptions.

The results indicate that the learning activities can improve students' scientific skills: knowledge and understanding levels. Students' perceptions of these learning activities appear to be increase. The authors emphasize two effects students engaging in mobile technology supported during their scientific exploration, which are observation and manipulation.

Researchers believe that this study has drawn could constitute a useful guide for educators concerned with the importance of mobile computing in school setting.

Borthick, A., & Jones, D. (2000). The motivation for collaborative discovery learning online. Issues in accounting education, 15(2), 210.

In this article, authors develop collaborative discovery learning online. The purpose is the students try to research the knowledge they need and solve problems together in virtual model.

Researchers argues that the course implemented as collaborative discovery learning online is more effective than lecture based on instruction for developing problem solving skills, more accessible for students to access internet anywhere and submit task easily. Also, communicate with multiple universities.

The article explain the importance of the collaborative online and how can make education more effective, accessible and more affordable. Researchers discuss the limitations omitted learning objective, limitations associated with studying online classes and collaborative discovery online.

However, the paper suggests practices increasing the effectiveness, accessibility, and affordability of education with online course. The study is important because it shows the impact of discovery learning on students learning.

Discovery learning and math teaching with integrating technology

Castronova, J. (2002). "Discovery Learning for the 21st Century: What is it and How Does it Compare to Traditional Learning in Effectiveness in the 21st Century?" Action Research Exchange 1 (1).

The researchers in this article developed a technology tool of discovery learning which called web quest. They defined discovery learning as the technique to learn and can be assistance by teaching process.

Also, try to discover the efficiency of a technology depended on discovery learning. Researchers agree that the effective learning should be active more than passive, learning procedures, and how failure and feedback both are very important. And the last one was the depth of understanding.

The researchers show that to theories which they depend it of discovery learning such as John Dewey, Jean Piaget and Levvygot sky and the teacher center of attention on students refection and he answered the student questions but as indirect way and students will not be learn if they didn't make mistakes, so they have to make these mistakes to learn very well.

Additionally, researchers indicated the basic architectures, which found in discovery learning 1) case based learning, 2) incidental learning 3) learning by exploring 4) learning by reflection and simulation based learning. Moreover, this article covers the main 4 idea of focus 1) motivation 2) relation 3) achievement, 4) transference.

A-Web Quest is a educational tool of an inquiring - oriented activity that uses recourses from internet to complete and finish their projects.

I think this resource is a valuable, reliable, and it's very important because it shows that a Web Quest is a good tool for teachers and useful for integrating the technology in classroom.

Rieber, L.P. (2009). Supporting Discovery-Based Learning within Simulations. Cognitive Effects of Multimedia Learning. (pp 218-228). IGI Global:USA

This study describes the visualization in education simulations and this article covers how are using different simulation representations and creative designs to the simulation's interface. Furthermore, researchers showed that the theoretical carry for visualization in learning for example dual coding theory and mental models.

Additionally, to integrate and combine discovery learning technology and design of simulations needing to teach the teachers to support the computer based simulations. The teaching of mathematics lessons will be more interactive and effective if these simulations applied very well and in the correct ways in the classrooms.

For what I read, I found that, the positive effects of discovery learning on student's achievement happen if the simulations are attractive.

This article good and emphasizes to the teachers how they can design computer based simulations lessons.

Zakaria,E., & Nordin, N. M.(2008). " The Effects of Mathematics Anxiety on Matriculation Students as Related to Motivation and Achievement " Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 4(1), 27-30. Retrieved from

One of the aims of matriculation education was to develop students' knowledge competency and interest in the subject area (Nordin & Zakaria) 2007. The authors in this study try to investigate if there was a statistical difference between matriculation students' motivation and achievement when they were can classified depending to math anxiety levels and if the discovery learning has effective in learning progress.

The researchers applies this study on (73 females and 15 male) students, they selected by volunteer and they know it is will not affect in their grades during the semester.

About the results if this study was emphasized that there was a relationship between anxiety and achievement. That's mean if mathematics anxiety scores increase then the achievement scores decrease and vice versa..

In addition, there are teaching procedures, which decrease mathematics anxiety suggested by Woodard (2004) (1) Create an environment in which students do not feel helpless and allow them to relax and rest. (2) Use cooperative grouping in the class room. It helps students to understand that others have the same problems as they do. (3) Teach at a slow pace. It can help students better comprehend the material during taught.

(4) provide extra teaching sessions so that they are not left behind academically.

Therefore, I believe that the teachers should try to think that how they could get less anxiety on the students by preparing a good environment in their class and try to find the best ways for teaching mathematics.

Duggan, M., & Husman, J. (2007). " Online Mathematics Achievement: Effects of Learning Strategies and Self-Efficacy " Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 4(1), 27-30.

This Research showed that the increased independence of an online or web-based learning environment may support students' motivation for learning and enhancing the discovery learning in learning. The purpose of our article was to investigate students' learning strategies and motivation in the framework of an online developmental mathematics course. Moreover, the cores of this study to help teachers and be more efficient and be more convenience with this strategy. The researchers applied the experiment 511 students with 89 participants completed all the surveys they answered all the questions.

There are limitations and margins of this study one of them was the number of the sample with 89 students cannot generalizing the results. The second one was the timing of the survey time problem, which collected the data at the end of semester.

According to this article I believe that a good web-based learning environment will be more effect that's what the results indicated in this article, on the other hand this research is valuable and currency.

Matsuda, T. (2008). "Using instructional activities game to promote mathematics teachers' innovative instruction" US-China Education Review, 5(3), 24-30. ISSN1548-6613

The author completed a study which improves teachers' professional competence and he indicated that the curriculum or the instructional method should be changed and it is difficult to change the curriculum so he chooses the instructional method.

The change on the instructional method should be based on three types of scientific resources approach for solving problems in daily life. First approach uses experiments and observations, the second approach uses mathematical concepts and procedures and the last approach is computer - based approach, which is easy to understand and utilize than other approaches. (Matsuda, 2008)

However, the purpose of this study to develop a training system to improve teachers' professional proficiency through the design of lessons and created which will develop students' ability to solve problem sloving questions using ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in (Matsuda, 2008)

So, this a case study which the researcher use the model and concluding a meaningful graphs and tables which show what researchers indicated. This article also, was written very well with many references that help us as teachers to be professional development.

Discovery learning with 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.

Saab, Nadira; van Joolingen, Wouter R.; van Hout-Wolters, Bernadette H. A. M.(2005). Communication in Collaborative Discovery Learning. British Journal of Educational Psychology, v75 n4 p603-621.

Both discovery learning and collaborative learning are very important for students to construct their own knowledge which is based on computer that makes discovery learning very easy and available. The researcher wants to show the communicative activities that are always used and habitually happen. To prove this the researcher made a study in 21 participants from 10 grade students in high school. The participants communicated together by using a chat box. The researcher studied the relationship between communicative activities and discovery learning and he found that there is a clear relationship between them and suggested other researcher to focus on positive learning outcomes. In my opinion it is important for students to use communicative learning and d discovery learning too because we are in the age of technology add to this that the teacher has become a guide for them not the main source of knowledge.

Janine Swaak &Ton de Jong.(2001). Learner vs. System Control in Using Online Support for Simulation-based Discovery Learning. Learning Environments Research, Volume 4, Number 3 , p217-241.

We can't deny the benefits of discovery learning in the standard of our students and using the computer can support this kind of learning. The researcher aims at showing the importance of planning on discovery learning. The researcher pointed out that supporting students is very important without neglecting the role of the students themselves they should be self dependent too. The researcher made an experiment on two groups and evaluated them by following a pretest and posttest design. The results showed that intuitive knowledge grows faster than definitional knowledge.

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.

Faye, Donald R. Jones. (2000).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.


Study on discovery learning is one of the most success stories in the history of educational countryside. Why exploratory learning methods influences on discovery learning and on student accomplishment? And above what situations discovery learning has these effects? As a result, for what I see and read I think that discovery learning and proof are necessary process in mathematics teaching.

In addition, from prior perspective I am know that integrating the technology tools in math teaching was based on the concept of discovery learning and have important character and how using mathematics in useful ways. These researches recommend and asked development needed to move range of discovery learning can make easy and promote innovative thing collaboration between groups can be a tool of discover mathematical principles and concepts by working with models, with unit blocks, diagrams, graphs, calculating and other real goals.

Discovery learning is "an approach to instruction through students interacts with their environment-by exploring objects or performing experiments" (Ormrod, 1995, p. 442). Modern technology can provide a virtual lesson for students to explore. Simulations based on computer technology can improve students' learning. A lot of teachers find simulations offer effective application to real labs, either to prepare students for making effective use of the actual labs, or follow-ups with variations on the original experiments (Roblyer, Edwards, and Havriluk, 1997, p 96).

Simulations provide students with experiences that they cannot do in reality. On the other hand, the internet environment has some definite advantages. There are used to research and discover the knowledge but we must learn how to use it effectively. Moreover, can we using the website design to add animation, visualization models, pictures and interactive work to enhance student understanding. There are many interactive technologies using in discovery learning such as: virtual lab interactive video, interactive science simulation, scientific inquiry and discovery education player.

Discovery Learning based on technology engage the learning process and students learn faster because it improves student learning, retention information and transfer. I think these method give students the opportunity to explore, experiment and solving any problem. However, we need many efforts and time in our school to implement discovery learning environment based on technology. Also, it is necessary when the teacher apply this method choose more effective strategy and determine the kinds of activity and technology for which discovery learning is suitable.