Use of Heuristics to Facilitate Scientific Discovery Learning in a Simulation Learning Environment in a Physics Domain

Abstract : This article describes a study into the role of heuristic support in facilitating discovery learning through simulation-based learning. The study compares the use of two such learning environments in the physics domain of collisions. In one learning environment (implicit heuristics) heuristics are only used to provide the learner with guidance derived from heuristics, without presenting the heuristics themselves; in the other (explicit heuristics) the heuristics themselves are also made explicit to the learner. The two learning environments are tested with 46 students from two schools. The results show that learners in both conditions gain domain knowledge from pre-test to post-test. Regression analyses show that pre-test results can predict post-test results in the implicit heuristics condition but not in the explicit heuristic condition. Process analyses suggest that presenting the heuristics explicitly facilitate more self-regulation in students.
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Koen Veermans, Wouter van Joolingen, Ton de Jong. Use of Heuristics to Facilitate Scientific Discovery Learning in a Simulation Learning Environment in a Physics Domain. International Journal of Science Education, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2006, 28 (4), pp.341 - 361. ⟨10.1080/09500690500277615⟩. ⟨hal-00197360⟩

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