Learning by Designing Assignments for Scientific Discovery Learning

Cornelise Vreman-de Olde, Ton de Jong

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractOther research output


    Our interest is in the learning effects elicited when students design assignments for their peers who learn with a computer based simulation. An exploratory study showed that by designing assignments students retrieved prior knowledge and gained insight in the simulated domain. In the current study we supported students in the design of assignments. Fourty-two students were assigned to one of the two conditions: 1) the instruction condition, in which the students were supported by a work- sheet; 2) the non-instruction group, in which students designed assignments without support. The worksheet guided students along important processes in the design and stimulated them to perform systematic experiments, draw conclusions and design assignments that integrated newly gained knowledge with prior knowledge. In two, one hour sessions students designed assignments for a simulation about electric circuits. An intuitive knowledge test and a definitional knowledge test were used to asses learning gains. No significant between group differences on the two knowledge test were found. Analyzes of the designed assignments indicated that students in the instruction group designed significantly more assignments about relations in the domain, whereas students in the non-instruction group designed significantly more assignments about reading numbers from a graph. Comparing the feedback in the assignments about the relations, we found that students in the instruction group more frequently described relations, and provided a proof of relations. In conclusion we might say that supporting the students in designing assignments results in more thorough assignments based on experiments performed in the simulation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    EventAERA Annual Meeting 2005: Demography and Democracy in the Era of Accountability - Montreal, Canada
    Duration: 10 Apr 190015 Apr 2005


    ConferenceAERA Annual Meeting 2005
    Abbreviated titleAERA


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