Design of research-based lab sheets for the acquisition of science competencies using ICT real-time experiments. Do students get the point of what they are doing?

Montserrat Tortosa, Marek Skorsepa, Fina Guitart, Hildegard Urban-Woldron, Maija Katariina Aksela, Simo Tolvanen, Eva Stratilová-Urvalková, Petr Smejkal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


This study is part of a European project that aims to design new microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) activities to be used in secondary and high school to enhance on students scientific competencies. The aim of this work is to design and to implement research-based teaching materials that take advantage of the use of MBL and promote scientific competencies in students.

Researchers from six universities belonging to five EU countries have collaboratively designed a new research-based framework for MBL activities. Activities are context-based and inquiry guided. When students take experimental data, it is proposed a Predict-Observe-Explain (White & Gunstone, 1992) sequence. The main scientific competencies that the designed activities aim to enhance in students are the design of experiments, the interpretation of results and its communication. First versions of activities have been translated into national languages (German, Czech, Slovak, Finnish and Catalan) to be implemented. The study has been conducted with 865 students from five countries who have implemented the activities. Students answered a post-implementation questionnaire to elicit if they believed that they knew the objectives of the activities and if they really did. They were also asked if MBL helped them to interpret the results and if the activity could have been done without such equipment.

Results obtained in this study suggest that the research-based learning materials designed to work with MBL are useful and of quality as most students in different countries understand the point of the activities, and most of them think that these activities help them to learn and that the activities could not be done without MBL. Nevertheless, differences in results have been obtained for some activities. The results of this research will be used to refine teaching materials.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationE-Book Proceedings of the ESERA 2013 Conference : Science Education Research For Evidence-based Teaching and Coherence in Learning
Publication date2014
ISBN (Electronic)978-9963-700-77-6
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventESERA Conference - Nicosia, Cyprus
Duration: 2 Sep 20137 Sep 2013
Conference number: 2013

Fields of Science

  • 116 Chemical sciences
  • 516 Educational sciences

Cite this