Using heuristic worked examples to promote inquiry-based learning

Y.G. Mulder, Adrianus W. Lazonder, Ton de Jong

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33 Citations (Scopus)
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Inquiry learning can be facilitated by having students investigate the domain through a computer simulation and express their acquired understanding in a runnable computer model. This study investigated whether heuristic worked examples can further enhance students' inquiry behaviour, the quality of the models they create, and their domain knowledge. High-school students were offered a simulation of an electrical circuit and a modelling tool. Students in the experimental condition (n = 46) could consult heuristic worked examples that explained what activities were needed and how they should be performed. Students in the control condition (n = 36) did not receive this support. Cross-condition comparisons confirmed that heuristic worked examples improved students' inquiry behaviour and enhanced the quality of their models. However, few students created a model that reflected full understanding of the electrical circuit, and the expected between-group difference in posttest scores failed to appear. Based on these findings, improvements to the design of heuristic worked examples are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalLearning and instruction
Issue numberFebruary
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • IR-88542
  • METIS-300507

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