A review of research on technology-assisted school science laboratories

Chia Yu Wang, Hsin Kai Wu, Silvia Wen-Yu Lee, Fu Kwun Hwang, Hsin Yi Chang, Ying Tien Wu, Guo Li Chiou, Sufen Chen, Jyh Chong Liang, Jing Wen Lin, Hao Chang Lo, Chin Chung Tsai

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Abstract

Studies that incorporate technologies into school science laboratories have proliferated in the recent two decades. A total of 42 studies published from 1990 to 2011 that incorporated technologies to support school science laboratories are reviewed here. Simulations, microcomputer-based laboratories (MBLs), and virtual laboratories are commonly used to assist students in engaging in laboratory activities, followed by remote laboratories, databases, and other miscellaneous technologies. We report the demographics and characteristics of these technology-assisted laboratory studies and provide examples to illustrate how technologies have facilitated science learning in laboratories for different subjects and science domains, with various levels of student involvement and components of investigations. Major findings of the reviewed articles are summarized to understand the effects of applying technologies in school laboratories. Incorporation of technologies in school science laboratories has changed students' learning experiences in terms of the phenomena to be explored, their interactions with the natural phenomena or materials, and approaches to handling and making sense of data. Based on our findings, possible directions for future research and emerging instructional issues regarding technology-assisted laboratories are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-320
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Technology and Society
Volume17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Wang, C. Y., Wu, H. K., Lee, S. W-Y., Hwang, F. K., Chang, H. Y., Wu, Y. T., Chiou, G. L., Chen, S., Liang, J. C., Lin, J. W., Lo, H. C., & Tsai, C. C. (2014). A review of research on technology-assisted school science laboratories. Educational Technology and Society, 17(2), 307-320.