Development and evaluation of an innovative arduino-based datalogging system for enhancing field-based learning

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Technology-enhanced learning is particularly important in science education as it is featured with the unique use of datalogging systems for developing students’ science process skills. However, existing commercial datalogging systems are not only quite expensive but are also installed with their own proprietary software that restricts the teachers’ and students’ full or creative utilization of the systems. Therefore, the primary aim of this design-based research is to design a new, low-cost and pedagogy-embedded mobile logger. This new datalogger is based on the Arduino open-source microcontroller platform and bundled with various sensors for conducting scientific investigation and field-trip activities. Besides, our new logger is fully integrated with common mobile devices through a new user-friendly Android app, called SESLogger as specifically developed for collecting, recording and sharing of data between users located in distant places. By eliminating the large display panel and related data processing capability in the logger itself, the cost of production, CPU requirements and power consumption have been substantially reduced. Little training is required for the logger as the user will mainly use his/her smart phone or tablet for the necessary operations. Hence, it is cheaper than those market-leading dataloggers by 4-5 times, probably promoting its widespread usage in schools. Furthermore, the logger’s open-source platform can renovate the practice in science education by allowing pupils to design and conduct experiments and projects by themselves. Based on this logger and the SESLogger app, two innovative sets of field trip activities, namely (a) search of suitable sites for generating solar renewable energy and (b) investigation of heat island effect in residential areas and in a wetland park, have been developed with appropriate pedagogies by relevant teacher educators. Collaborative learning was required in the field trip and was enabled by convenient and instantaneous sharing of collected data among students located in different locations via the mobile devices. A set of research tools, including questionnaire survey, open-ended questions, interview and teacher’s reflection, have been developed to assess the learning effectiveness and implementation difficulties for running the field trips in two different courses. The preliminary findings show that student participants, in general, rate the technology-enhanced learning highly. Students’ feedback and comments from interview were triangulated with the reflection from the course lecturers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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Students
Application programs
Mobile devices
Education
Wetlands
Microcontrollers
Thermal effects
Program processors
Costs
Electric power utilization
Display devices
Feedback
Sensors
Experiments

Citation

Yeung, Y. Y., Cheang, F. C. C., & Fok, L. (2015, June). Development and evaluation of an innovative arduino-based datalogging system for enhancing field-based learning. Paper presented at The International Conference on Education and New Developments 2015 (END 2015), Porto, Portugal.

Keywords

  • Science education
  • Field-based learning
  • Mobile learning
  • Arduino platform