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March 07, 2018 Wednesday 01:04:12 PM IST

WEB-BASED TEACHING IMPROVES SCIENCE UNDERSTANDING

Teacher Insights

Web-based tools can help deepen learning of the sciences among all middle-school students besides easing the “science literacy gap for underachieving students”, according to a study published in the International Journal of Science Education. Researchers introduced four interactive online science units into 13 middle schools in two US states, with students and teachers accessing the units on computers or tablets. The online units were administered in a randomised, controlled trial with over 2,300 students and 71 teachers participating. While all students improved their science knowledge, the results were most notable for less able students. Students who had learning disabilities jumped 18 percentage points on assessments of science knowledge from pre-test to post-test while English language learners increased 15 percentage points. On the other hand, children taught the same content with traditional methods, such as textbooks, showed only five-point gains. The online content was structured with lessons and activities like textbooks, but it was much more interactive. Guided by the teachers, children learnt science through videos, playing games, conducting virtual experiments, and creatively collaborating with their fellow mates.

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