Identifying potential types of guidance for supporting student inquiry when using virtual and remote labs in science: a literature review

Zacharias C. Zacharia, Constantinos Manoli, Nikoletta Xenofontos, Ton de Jong, Margus Pedaste, Siswa A.N. van Riesen, Ellen T. Kamp, Mario Mäeots, Leo Siiman, Eleftheria Tsourlidaki

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The aim of this review is to identify specific types of guidance for supporting student use of online labs, that is, virtual and remote labs, in an inquiry context. To do so, we reviewed the literature on providing guidance within computer supported inquiry learning (CoSIL) environments in science education and classified all identified guidance according to a recent taxonomy of types of guidance. In addition, we classified the types of guidance in phases of inquiry. Moreover, we examined whether the types of guidance identified for each inquiry phase were found to be effective in promoting student learning, as documented in the CoSIL research. This review identifies what types of effective guidance currently exist and can be applied in developing future CoSIL environments, especially CoSIL environments with online labs. It also highlights the needs/shortcomings of these available types of guidance. Such information is crucial for the design and development of future CoSIL environments with online labs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-302
JournalEducational technology research and development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2015


  • Guidance
  • Computer Supported Learning
  • Inquiry
  • Process constraints
  • Performance dashboard
  • Prompts
  • Heuristics
  • Scaffolds
  • Direct presentation of information
  • 22/3 OA procedure

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