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Title: Teaching practical science with information technology : the potential of data-logging examined through case study
Author: Newton, Leonard Richard
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2001
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Laboratory based practical work typically involves pupils in observation, measurement, recording, display and analysis of experimental data. In recent years, computer tools have been applied to these processes through 'data-logging' methods. The benefits of these methods and their potential to serve the purposes of investigative practical science have been identified in the literature. This study presents an examination of the use of data-logging methods in order to identify factors that influence their use and to explore the extent to which the benefits claimed are achievable in everyday classroom settings. The study is organised around four major research issues concerning the features of data-logging activates designed by teachers; the ways in which activities are presented, organised and managed; the roles adopted by teachers and pupils in data-logging lessons; and evidence of productive interaction between the participants in data-logging lessons. The findings indicate that influences shaping the use of data-logging methods are wide-ranging. In addition to technically well-serviced ICT facilities and teachers experienced in the use of data-logging methods, the role of teachers emerges as highly influential in relation to: designing data-logging activities with sufficient scope and clarity of objectives, matched to pupils' needs; recognising the complexity of managing data-logging activities in classrooms and balancing this with the potential benefits of the technique; fostering an exploratory classroom ethos, encouraging pupils' talk about data-logging activity and exploiting intervention opportunities. Finally, in the light of these findings, suggestions for further empirical research are made.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available